Recently I returned to my homelands, the region where I was born and spent my early days. For most of my life I thought I would never return here: I couldn’t get away quick enough as a young teen … the world called and there was pain in this place. I returned after forty-seven years to be closer to my mother, to be of some help and to share more in her life; but as I now reflect, who was “my mother” to whom I wished to return? She was indeed my biological mother, but she was more, and indeed always was/is. I realise now that for me, returning to the homelands was also a call back to Mother, back to Origins. I had really invoked this Return over years of seasonal ceremony where I had often placed the “earth of my birth”, as I named the bowl of red dirt from my homeland, on the altar in the direction of Earth. I had also always placed a photo of my mother amongst ceremonial Winter Solstice decorations – acknowledging her sovereignty, and always the seamless connection all the way back to Origins. So, here I am.
This morning as I sat in the Sun, on my goatskin and cushion having tea, I reflected on the moment some fifty-one years ago, when I as a young teen, became conscious of the consistency of Sun passing over the particular place and land where I sat at that time: that is, I became aware of the Sun “seeing” this particular place every day through the eons and millennia, and I imagined all the changes Sun had seen here. It was my first conscious deep-time experience, as I would name it now. I was about fifteen years old and perhaps it was significant that it was synchronous with my menarche, and /or it was also called forth by the times; it was the late 1960’s when my generation was rallying and opening the doors of perception, and I was aroused and affected by these events though they were far from my place.
I have returned now to this place of my birth, to its red dirt, and my relations in this place, after a long journey away in many other locations around the globe. The journey seems long to me, and at times it was through treacherous places: I sometimes wonder at how I made it through. The journey was also through marvellous places: where I stepped with apparent ease and grace, and I was deeply blessed. Often I did not know the difference between danger and safety until later: I misjudged the situation often. Now here I am, sitting with the Sun in my face again, remembering, and feeling the red thread connecting through space-time. For the Sun, fifty-one years is an instant, less than that. I understand afresh old stories of Rip van Winkle and that of Maya: how the passing of time is a kind of illusion. Yet I have returned with the presence of so much and so many: gifts from the Underworld and the Otherworld. The journey is apparent. I did gather the riches, the gems, and have been graced to have brought them back with me. I will celebrate this emergence and return this Spring Equinox.
Glenys Livingstone, September 2020, Southern Hemisphere Spring Equinox.