It has been a long time since I last posted on Going Deeper. In mid-January, I fell ill with the Covid-19 virus. I may, or may not, write about this experience another time. It most certainly took me deeper than I have ever been before. But I am engaged in emerging. I don’t really respond to the idea of recovering. The word, itself, doesn’t resonate for me in terms of my experience. The prefix “re” apparently carries the meaning of something going back to its original state – and I can’t do that. The experience of Covid-19 altered me, and in that process I entered more deeply into the underworld than ever before. It was, and was not, an imaginal journey. To have descended any further feels like my body might not have been able to emerge again. I experienced the impossibility of separating body, mind and soul. In descent, it all goes together.
Emergence has been slow, with constant evaluating of what my state is at any one time. My energy was extremely unreliable at first. I described it to a friend as being like antique lace, fragile and full of holes. Now, I rely on my body to tell me when I need to stop. There is a place, just above my heart and below my collar bones, that alerts me to the approach of energy collapse – a sense of pressure there, telling me I need to stop and rest.
It was a full month before I could get myself outside again and up the lane to the trees, birds and multitudes of life forms that I love – slowly, slowly. Last Sunday I finally got to do what I longed for – to go into a field on my own and lie down in the grass and just listen.
A Wren shouts and rattles in the bramble thicket. A Woodpecker laughs in the oak above, then shoots itself over the field, torpedo-like. A Bumble Bee is searching behind me among the dead branches of the old felled oak. I can hear a Collared Dove in the valley below. Woodpecker drumming. Crow cawing – one flies overhead – so fast with seeming so little effort. As I settle, more sounds become apparent. A flutter of wings behind me. Each sound is an individual. Great Tit squeaking. Robin piping his varied tunes. Blackbird chipping briefly. A Blue Tit has arrived to feed on the willow twigs. There is a kind of embodied urgency to each sound. Each must be an important communication, or they wouldn’t use their precious energy or make their position known to possible predators. Two joggers pass on the path below, chatting as they go – no urgency in this sound. Have we forgotten how urgent simply being alive is?