Mar 23Liked by David Charles

I've been increasingly drawn to the eightfold cycle over the last few years (particularly as an Imbolc baby), I'm getting there, but I still find it incredibly hard to set aside the time and come up with the ritual that might meaningfully split the year. I meant - I really meant so hard - to go up to the moor above our house and meditate for an hour on the 21st. But then I got busy, and the day swooshed by, and I got tired, and... I didn't do it.

In the meantime, however, the world leaves signs for me. I got up early on the morning of 22nd and found that the chickens had left this - https://www.instagram.com/p/C4zrDI5y8zG/ - first egg of the year! Then I went out for the walk and meditate which I had intended for the previous day, and in every pond along the way were thick clumps of frogspawn. The overnight change, made manifestly obvious. Of course, up here the seasons turn later - not only are we in the northernmost part of England, we are very high up so that, for example, the hawthorns flower around a month later than they do in the valley.

All these signs. When you live out here, they become unavoidable, and they connect you. Three weeks ago, the lapwings, curlews and oystercatchers arrived, and now they sing throughout the night. I have a Google Photos album named after the yearly change that brings me the most joy, "roadside flowers", and from it I see that we have around 6 weeks until the verges explode with wild violets and marsh orchids. In the meantime, I keenly await the arrival of dandelions and buttercups.

I see from my archive that, exactly one year ago today, these changes were once more on my mind:


Shout out to John Higgs's Octannual Manual - https://johnhiggs.substack.com/ - which is published on the eightfold days. I'm jealous of John's discipline.

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Great to hear from you! It sounds like you are well connected to your vital signs :)

And this - 'I have a Google Photos album named after the yearly change that brings me the most joy' - this is such a clever idea! I don't use Google Photos, but I'm sure I can figure out a similar structure. Wonderful! 💚

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