2011 was not an easy year for me. I did manage to keep my weight down which given the various stresses I’ve been under I feel quite proud of but I think I’ve probably cried more this year than I have for many years. In spite of all the stress and difficulties I have been dealing with though I have also found a happiness that I never expected I would find. I have found myself more able to be the woman I was inside. The woman that had to be careful what she said and did so as not to cause problems at home no longer has to be as watchful. There are now times when I am actually encouraged to drop the masks and let go of my emotions and that still feels odd.
The winter festivals of Eponalia, Winter Solstice and Midwinter were not the easiest for me. Eponalia and Midwinter (aka Christmas) were both at weekends and I was unable to be with my children for those. I did make a bigger deal of the Winter Solstice with the kids than I had done in previous years though.
Eponalia for me was very much about acknowledging and embracing the darkness as well as honouring Epona and horses generally. I got to write and lead the local Tuatha de Bridget group ritual and these things were the focus for that ritual. Interestingly enough it was a beautiful bright winter’s day for that ritual.
On previous winter solstices I had started a tradition of going for a walk with my son around the local houses and looking at their decorations and lights. Last year (2010) the weather had been too cold, snowy and icy for us to continue that but this time the weather was fairly mild so out we all went. My nephews and niece joined us too making 5 kids and 1 adult. This was the first time my little girl could join us and every time she saw new decorations she shouted “Lights! Lights!” and bouncing up and down with excitement. She also kept wanting to knock on the doors and I had to explain that we didn’t do that at this time of year, that was a halloween thing. After the walk I gave presents to all the kids as I wouldn’t be seeing them on Christmas day until the evening and they all had fun opening them.
Midwinter (or Christmas) was a quiet one, probably the quietest I have had for years, but although I missed the children I did have a good time and it really felt like the light was coming back and not just the physical light.
New year’s eve was also quiet as again I was away from the children. I spent it with the new love of my life though and it felt really wonderful to be with him.
So here I am in the early days of 2012. Next week the children return to school and nursery and I return to work. Later this month I will have the first court hearing connected with my divorce and early next month will be the second one. Hopefully this year will see the divorce completed and I will be able to start moving on in more ways than one.
Life is full of changes, some more traumatic than others. May this year be filled with changes for the better for all of my readers.