Sunday, December 21

Solstice Stroll

Ah. That special time of year returns. The Winter Solstice.

This morning, around dawn, an early riser wandering deep amongst the bog strewn land of the New Forest may have stumbled across a long observed ritual.

For there, in a glade amongst a circle of ancient oaks, high on solitary hill, there is a secret place whose location & nature is known to few.

Standing proud - Magister John - naked to the elements. Accompanied, as tradition demands, by his seven vestal virgins all similarly skyclad to greet the four natural elements (you can imagine the increasingly intense effort it takes each year to trace suitable candidates)

Arms aloft we welcomed the breaking dawn. Our low chant rising to a roar as the sun shyly poked its orb above the eastern horizon, winked, and then slyly slipped off into the low cloud & damp chilled mists rising from the overnight dew.

For we were at one with our natural world. Beneath our feet autumnal leaf mulch & thick mud, churned together after our long night of ritual that started at dusk the previous day.

The ceremony at an end, we went our separate ways. The bluing white of our wind chapped flesh contrasting imaginatively with the blackness of our mud coated lower limbs.

Winter Solstice. A welcome back to the sun. Heralding the coming of longer days & warmer times.

Spring. Bring it on. For I've done my bit.

(Dictated, in a hoarse whisper, by John Hee. Swaddled under multiple layers of menthol/mustard wrappings, between bouts of intense shivering and sneezing. The whisper of his voice punctuated only by a dull thud as yet another piece of congealed mud breaks free from his frail body, falling unheeded onto the shed floor)

A rare picture of the event can be seen here (Warning - may contain scenes of an "adult" nature)

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LOL - aye, nights are fair drawn' out now.
From solstice to poultice, eh? That'll teach you!
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