Of Druidry and time

One of the things I’ve become really conscious of this week, is that engaging with nature has a time element to it. Different parts of the day belong to different entities. The same place has a very different character, set of inhabitants and, arguably, spirit, depending on time of day. While the sun is up, I have birds and butterflies. At twilight the fish are jumping, the bats and owls come out, the toads are more active. Into the night there are foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, and at least rumours of otters. I’ve seen glow bugs lately as well.

We all have to sleep. When we’re asleep, we’re not out there encountering the wildlife or engaging with the spirits of place. I find that I can’t go messing about with my sleep patterns without consequences, so while the odd all nighter, random early morning and the such is ok, mostly for my own wellbeing I need a fairly stable sleep/wake pattern.

One of the consequences of needing to engage with the rest of the world, is that I can’t have the summer sleep pattern I really want. I’m a creature of twilight by preference, but to do dawn and dusk when the nights are so short here, I would need to sleep for a few hours in the middle of the day. One of my longstanding ambitions is to have the time and space for experimenting with how this affects me.

No matter how deep a spiritual bond we have with a space, there will always be things we do not know about it. If I’m watching the fish, I will not see what the birds are doing. The more attention I give to one aspect of what is around me, the more likely I am to miss something in the bigger picture. There are balances to strike, between focus and wider awareness. We need that bigger picture – without context, and a sense of how it all fits together impressions readily distort. We also need the deeper, more involved relationships. And thus we come back to the issue of time. There’s only a finite number of hours at our disposal. I cannot forage with the badgers, and dive with the terns, and sing with the dawn chorus and the evening blackbirds and have time to work and eat and fulfil other duties and needs.

Therefore there are always going to be times when what happens around me remains a mystery.  I may get odd glimpses. When I say ‘hello spirits of place’ even though I know the place well, I hold an awareness that I am also speaking to the mysteries, the unknown, the things that come out to play when I am asleep.

There were eleven badgers last night, one rabbit who I watched for ages, one fleeting visit from a fox cub, and a great number of glow bugs, several bats, and no doubt far more small things that I didn’t see. Hello mysteries.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

3 responses to “Of Druidry and time

  • silverbear

    I think that it is awesome to make time to sing with the Dawn. One question about that: Is there something specific that you sing or do you make it up as you go along? I work an overnight shift and I am almost always awake when dawn comes around even though I have rarely gone out to sing with the Dawn. Ultimately, I don’t know what to sing and I get self conscious about it. I usually just make something up as I go along, usually wordless, the last time I sounded a bit like the monks in Monty Python and the Holy Grail minus the actual words, just tones.

    This one hit home a little since I am terrible at time management. It is still something I need to place more focus on.

    • Nimue Brown

      Often it’s more singing with the ehart – same as the badger forraging and not literally divin in the canal with the terns, BUT I do sing a lot an I love singing outside and sharing music wit the sky. Folk is my main vice, the odd self penned, and for sheer druiding joy, anything at all by Damh the Bard. Also I love plain song (guessing that’s the monks) but have nevetried to learn or improvise any. Hmmm…

  • Alex Jones

    Saw glow worms for the first time in my life last Sunday night, and the fisrt sighting of them by anyone in the Colchester area for 20 years.

    Human brain is evolved to concentrate attention on one thing at a time. Nature, which is the Cosmos, is vast, unlimited, and will always be a mystery to the day humanity ceases to exist.

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