The quickening

It was as though I suddenly had to make immediate and direct contact with the earth…via every round molecule of my flesh…though I didn’t think it through at the time. I just threw my jacket on the ground in that sunny field as we were walking and lay down on it. Promptly taking my cue, my husband did likewise and, with time, our dog settled too…so we lay there, like that, in a meadow by a brook for the longest time, certainly over an hour, with other bemused dog walkers doing double takes before calling their own dogs away lest they jump all over us in their curiosity. I kept a hand on my dog’s rump via which I could tell if his pulse quickened which then let me know if anyone else was approaching but, most of the time, I kept my eyes completely shut though the surprising intensity of February sun was burning iridescent colours through my lids and I gobbled this energy up. Inside, I felt incredible….just so so so incredible…like I was coming to experience what vitality inside of flesh, made all the better because of flesh, felt like instead of experiencing it outside of myself then drawing it in as the finished product. I didn’t want it to end and so I set a memo to do much more of this; sometimes, I realised, we just have to get back to grass-roots and I needed to prioritise this from now on. I promised to be back at this level very soon…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt took some persuading for me to move to my husband’s cue that he was hungry for lunch but he was right, we would have stiffened-up had we stayed there much longer. Yes, it was still “only February” and the earth was still pretty moist beneath the layer of sun-warmth. Yet, as soon as got home, our chairs were put out and after what could have been a summer salad, we reclined ourselves back into position and continued our eyes-closed sun gazing for almost another three hours. Floating somewhere between alpha and theta, I noticed inspiration after inspiration passing through; mostly, new colours that I longed to play with in the designs I’m currently working on but I let it all remain as liquid; like spilt ink morphing and taking shape only to disperse and reconstitute again and again. It felt like a month’s worth of therapy in a single afternoon; a couple of mountain ranges had moved by the time we went indoors. Bird song had accompanied us the whole of the day; so much more prominent than it ever normally was…the rhythms of it more meaningful than ever and those solos as though there were just for us. The light quality was astonishing, as though an iridescent blue filter had been applied to make everything more vivid, pristine and crystal clear, somehow; we both experienced that.

And I knew, as I woke today with sun-flushed skin, like I might normally in May or June, that what I had welcomed so hungrily into tissue and bone, yesterday, was what I term “The Quickening”. It’s a phrase I came to use a handful of years ago when I both noticed it yet seemed to buckle under its physical demands. It always started to beat its drum in early February, around Imbolc, becoming stronger until, by this last week of Feb I would be both happily observing its effects in the world around me, my favourite time of year, yet still (oh irony) sent down onto my knees by it, lapsing into a new bout of pain and chronic exhaustion for what seemed to wipe out a month and a half of the burgeoning year. I always remembered the date it became most lethal-seeming to me since it was around my father’s birthday…21st Feb (he would have been 106 last week), by which time its current would normally have become so strong and demanding of me that it was as though I was cleaved in two. Part of me would be so uplifted by the obvious change in tempo, the increased bird song, the light quota, the feeling that everything in nature was joining in some sort of carnival procession with spirits growing ever higher and more elated…and part of me doubled up in woe that I was too weak to keep up or join in. Things would, eventually, settle for me so that I became more comfortable in my body by late April or early May, but always at a pace that felt as though I was lagging behind…a little more with each passing year.

The year it came on the strongest was the one where the months that followed were the hardest of all the years I had been unwell in some sort of definitive way, like a retrograde turning point; the one when I seemed to become allergic to the pulse of life itself. We had had the opportunity to get away for a weekend in London around that date, 21st of Feb, and so I set off in good spirits to have this unexpected treat but came back as though hacked down by a broadsword. Just one night there, over which I hadn’t slept a wink in our four-poster bed, and I was back home curled up in the foetal position for a day, too sensitive to open my eyes or do anything until some kind of cautious equilibrium was refound. Walking those London streets, it had been as though the pavements were electric, burning through my soles, sparking nerve pains up my legs, which I blamed on the electrification of everything but, really that was just the finishing touch. It was the combined energy; of all those people, underground-overground, along with electric currents, wi-fi and then the life force of Nature itself, on top of all that, like the straw that broke my camel’s back, rising up through the pavements, unstopable even where there is concrete and girders (perhaps pushing all the harder for it) that had floored me. How ironic, that what was apparently too much for me seemed only to bring me down even closer to what seemed to be my peril; the ground beneath my feet.

Because all of what I’m describing here is the profound inability to ground myself that has been at the core of all of my health (and other) issues for years!

This need to ground ourselves, as bandied around so freely these days in both health and spiritual circles, is so fundamental to our wellbeing that, without it being met, we cease to exist. Quite literally, our bodies and our ability to manifest anything of substance fails and so our desire turns to pure spirit and we leave, inch by inch by inch, like vapour rising from a corpse on a hot day. Excuse the unsavoury graphic but it feels closest to what I have been through for the longest time. Somewhere along life’s path, my ability to trust life and stay grounded had become precarious, as so-often happens to many of us, as our health starts to testify to. Sometimes this breakdown happens abruptly in the way of acute illness, at other times in a long and lingering seperation that becomes chronic and precarious health, but it all comes from the same state of imbalance between our physical and nonphysical aspects and then we start to doubt our very ability to be here in physical form.

So to be compelled to lie down on the ground; more, to have survived it (believe me, I have zealously followed such whims many times before, only to feel in much worse pain afterwards), in this month of The Quickening was, for me, a remarkable outcome and one that I have paid its due attention. Just as I paid attention to some new developments in this regard last year, though they took somewhat longer to get started that time. I see now how I have been on a steady path of progression since early last year and how this is all part of such a positive new trajectory for my health.

A year ago, I was still in recovery from the flu that began the day after my AuraTransformation and which took me several weeks to, really, get over though I was still feeling compromised for much longer than that, as though my body was having to find feet it had long-ago lost sight of. And yet…by mid-summer…I was noticing something else. I was feeling this Quickening every day now, more and more, hearing its pulse as the dawn got started and the light began to repigment….and I was now wanting to stir to its drumbeat. No, not just listen from the sidelines; it was no longer enough to plump up my pillows and just lie there, playing audience to the dawn chorus…I needed to be part of it. So I could be part of how Nature repaints the picture of life with each rise of the sun; and how every living creatures plays their part, like well-rehearsed brushstrokes taking up position; the birds in the sky, the song in the air, the rising of moisture from the earth and the laying-on of colour from the strengthening sun.

So I began slipping on my clothes and sneaking from the bedroom as soon as I felt its first rhythm, which would always wake me with just enough time to be by the back door with my keys in hand, to summon a sleepy dog and be gone through the deserted streets in the first monochrome light of day, to a place…a favourite place…that I often walk by the river, though made “as new” in this new colour scheme. 

And for all those many weeks of high summer, I got into the pattern of walking in this Quickening air of early morning, if not all then, many days; often accompanied by “my” owl (an old friend from sunset evenings) still hunting in the half-light, who would almost seem to be following my route across two vast fields and return to her box in the tree near the car as I walked back to it with the ever-strengthening sunlight warming my hair. Those mornings were pure magic and it was as though they reconnected me to life; with the upward thrust of what it means to be physical, to want to stand on legs, to move and to be vital in physical form, as The Quickening always speaks about. The most remarkable thing of all was how I was bouncing out of bed, onto immediately upright legs and straightened back, none of my usual stooping and dragging that made me seem like an old woman until I had properly woken up. I was as lithe and as action-ready as my far younger self had ever been and it felt so amazing, so exhilarating, that it made me want more and more of it; to the point I became convinced I was now going to go backwards and would get younger as the years went on from the sheer desire for it, reclaiming all I had missed over the last decade or so like it had been held in a savings account and gathered interest. Though it had taken me until mid summer to catch up with this pulse, this feeling lasted me until late October and I had the most physically active and upright year I had had since my health crashed well over a decade ago.

So this year, to be on time…to feel The Quickening as me, inside of me at its very first stirrings and to be in a state that can carry that pulse, hold onto it, made manifest as me, and not be floored, toppled over, or in so much rigidity and pain that I can’t move my limbs for days or bear the daylight, has been so tremendous as a sign, a clear signal, that I am grounding at last. And this has been going on for several weeks now; I have been doing some of the longest walks of my year since the sun regained some warmth and I seem to want to be outside more than in, upright more than sitting, moving more than stagnating…all of this is wonderfully new.

My AuraTransformation (see my post) last February (sorry to go on about this but it has been so key to my process) began this sheer momentum of crystallisation taking place in the body in such a way that  it has equipped me to merge the spirit, which I already had in spadefuls, with the flesh and not topple over…which, for me, is immense since it is all I could ever hope for, to stay alive. Its only as I experience this for the second year running that I get to grasp how this new momentum began with that milestone and turned the downward slide of my health on its head.

Honestly, the way I was before taking that step, I was doubting whether I would manage to keep things together for so very much longer because, once “old age” joined in the party, I feared I would just disintegrate in weakness, pain and more-and-more bizarre symptoms and that would be that. Now, I feel like I’m just at the beginning of enjoying this brand-new marriage of two aspects of myself that have always been on a somewhat tenuous footing with each other and which are now fully committed, together, to go the distance…as me. As I sit here writing this in the early morning…a little stiff from yesterday, yes, but nothing some of Doterra’s magical Deep Blue couldn’t make bearable and having jumped out of bed, to my yoga mat, as soon as the first light came around the shutters, I know I’ve had the breakthrough of my life this last year and, for me, this is enormous progress. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday, it seems, I went to meet The Quickening on its territory. Yes, I went to meet it on its terms as its first stirrings pulsed the very rhythm through the earth that gives the blossom its cue to open from the bud, the birds to sing louder, the green shoots to push through the earth, the bulb to explode with new life, the mating pairs to think ahead to nesting, the first butterflies to risk flight (I saw my first one last week, in my cherry tree), the clouds to give way to blue and the river to run with all-new vitality, casting sparkles into a clear sky…and I lay with it, taking it into me as the very life-force of planet earth that it is. It was tantamount to saying to it “yes, I plan to stay” and that is what it took to begin over again, on a brand-new footing; to make myself whole, drawing that part of me that I have made my everything (the spirit; thus it is puffed up like the biggest balloon from a lifetime of constant attention), deep into the infrastructure of the physical aspect of me, newly made all the stronger from the sheer will to be here and take part in life. Now, I can’t wait for those sunrise walks to begin and which, I suspect, are a matter of mere weeks away, just as soon as it gets a fraction warmer…so, in under a month, I would say. For a woman who could hardly get out of bed in the mornings for over 12 years, this quickening process in me is astonishing and life-affirming, like the rebirth enacted by Nature itself, time and time again.

About Helen White

Helen White is a professional artist and published writer with two primary blogs to her name. Her themes pivot around health and wellbeing, expanded consciousness and ways of noticing how life is a constant dance between the deeply subjective and the collective-universal, all of which she explores with a daily hunger to get to know herself better. Her blog Living Whole shines a light on living with high sensitivity, dealing with trauma and healing from chronic health issues. Spinning the Light is an extremely broad-based platform where she elucidates the everyday alchemy of relentless self-exploration. A lifetime of "feeling like an outsider" slowly emerged as neurodivergence (being a Highly Sensitive Person with ADHD, synaesthesia, sensory processing challenges and other defecits overlapping with giftedness). All of these topics are covered in her blogs, written from two distinct vantage points so, if you have enjoyed one of them, you may wish to explore the other for a different, yet entirely complimentary, perspective.
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2 Responses to The quickening

  1. I’m so glad to hear that you’re having such a positive beginning to spring Helen. I often find the transition from winter to spring can be a difficult time as the earth energy tries to get into balance – we think of spring as pretty and bountiful, but it can be almost violent in the way the energy changes from a sleepy energy to the chaos of new life.


  2. Pingback: Seeing the light of day | spinning the light

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