Yule 2015#2

So, guess what – the sun shone today!

After day upon day of drizzle, downpours and dreariness, this morning offered a glimpse of blue sky as a much longed for Sun poked an apologetic head under a  narrow bank of black cloud. I don’t know where he has been all this time. He offered no explanation. And he wasn’t around that long. Nevertheless, it was a joy to see him. My spirits were immediately lifted.

It never ceases to amaze me, and yet it comes as no surprise, how immediately and deeply my mood is influenced by the weather. It amazes me because it is a magical and wonderful thing. A reminder that Mankind, despite all the Science and Technology, despite all the Progress and Advances, despite all the Culture and Civilisation, despite all the Industry and Urbanisation, is intimately connected to the Natural World. Yes, despite our best efforts to erect a multitude of walls to separate us from Nature –

the physical walls of our cities. Islands of concrete, brick, glass and tarmac cleared of trees, admitting only domesticated animals. Islands where we can hide and imagine that we have beaten the Wild. Tamed it to city parks and suburban lawns.

the intellectual walls raised by an over dependence on Mind and a lack of regard for Heart. By which I mean, the Modern Western tendency to believe that ultimately everything can be understood intellectually. That everything is open to Logic – it only has to be studied hard enough and deeply enough. Chopped up into small enough pieces. But, in the end, we can understand it all. And therefore control it all. This arrogance builds a huge wall and places Mankind somewhere behind it. Somehow separate from Nature and therefore able to study it.

the emotional walls we create when we define Civilisation and Culture as somehow opposite the Natural and Wild. When we talk about acting in a civilised way as a good thing. Whereas behaving wildly is bad. Frowned upon.

the spiritual walls we create with stories of Mankind’s expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Myths that place Man outside Nature. Myths that talk of Mankind’s stewardship of the Earth. Myths that make us the centre of the Universe. The point of Creation. Not just part of it.

Yes, despite our best efforts to erect these walls, the Weather reminds me that I am just a part of Nature. The Weather humbles me. It mocks Mankind’s arrogance. Gently in the way that it subtly influences moods. Then, sometimes with devastating power, Wind and Storm can tear down our homes, Floods bring our cities to a halt, Hurricanes or Tsunamis level it all. In the end, we are no more powerful than an ant. We cannot really understand the Weather. We cannot control it. We had best respect it. Be humble before it. Work with it. Accept our place.

All that just because the sun came out for an hour. Amazing!

So, my idea for this year’s Yule Calendar is that, like a commercial Advent Calendar, for each day there is a little door. A door that opens to reveal a small gift – in my childhood, a disappointing picture of a robin. Nowadays, a piece of poor quality confectionery.

The gift on Day 1 was the Elf mugs.

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The gift on Day 2 is the Sun.

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