Ostara 2022…and the final countdown!!
Welcome to 2022, the year I have been calling the year of ‘hope and change’. The pandemic has shown us where our lives were failing, and where changes need to be made. It has also shown us where we need to find balance in our lives too. Our old perception that we are here to work 24/7 is at an end, and that other parts of our life are more important, such as our family & friends. I am brimming with hope this year and keep saying to everyone that we will all have made changes in our lives, some life changing, by the time 2022 gets to and end ! More later…
It is so nice when I wake up in the morning and it is light and the sun melting that morning frost away. Suddenly, the world feels different – brighter, more hopeful, and soon the light will overwhelm the dark and we can look forward to warmer and sunnier times. I am indeed convinced this is a year of wishing and hoping and being, and we can embrace the equinox and move our lives forward.
I spent December mostly missing from the shop after my ‘big son’ was rushed to intensive care. We all thought it was Covid, but he had a bacterial infection that led to pneumonia. I abandoned the shop and left it to the girls to run, whilst I collapsed in a heap at the thought of losing my son, and my grandson losing his dad!! He fought hard and, to the surprise of even the ICU doctors, recovered well and was allowed home in time for Christmas. Spending a few days over the festive period at his, cooking the feast, with a little overseeing from him, for us to celebrate his homecoming was a great joy and the realisation of how precious family is.
More optimism for the future was to come from spending New Year in an airport hotel, and the fear of testing in the hope of getting on a plane for the first time in 2 years. We waited 15 minutes on tenterhooks, like many others in lots of hotels around many UK airports, for that line not to show up, and jumped up and down like idiots, celebrating with a glass of bubbly when the tests were negative. For the 1st time since Jan 2020, we would be heading off to the cold in search of snow, exploring of another country and culture, not to mention Après ski!! The next morning, we got on our plane and headed for the Arctic circle in Finland. I had been and seen the Midsummer sun, but never seen winter in the Arctic, & my optimism flourished at the thoughts of seeing the Northern lights! On the plane and in flight, the stewardess came to chat and brought us champagne…a treat to surprise me by my husband. Around, they began to congratulate us, asking what the occasion was …to which my husband replied “We are all alive and kicking, and on a plane” – the only excuse we needed – so we celebrated in style at just being alive and starting to live again! There was this sudden realisation that life was back and the future was for living it!
Time away in up to -37c certainly gives you time to think and helps you think clearly...as life is so much simpler up there. Life is about getting out for the necessities and staying alive & warm – it takes 15 minutes to dress just to step out the door with a 50°C difference between inside and out…no just nipping out to put stuff in the bin!! It was interesting to walk to the shops, see something wonderful and just watch it…there was no chance I was removing gloves and holding a lump of metal in -25 to capture a photo! The mind was the old-fashioned way of storing your memories and would suffice on this and many more occasions on this holiday. We went riding on a snowmobile to see reindeer, and completely froze through 4 layers clothing plus a balaclava and helmet. That feeling of frozen eyelashes hitting your cheek when you blinked and removing helmets to see our frozen white eyebrows & hair made such a picture… but again, in our memory as I am sure it would not be good for the phone in such temperatures, plus those 2 layers of gloves were not coming off!! To be honest, some of the best moments have been captured to memory rather than phone, as I enjoyed living that moment rather than being distracted for even a second to sort out the phone to record the occasion and actually miss watching it. It’s all about living in the moment and enjoying it as it happens… something often forgotten in these days of social media!
Another such occasion was when the alert to the Northern lights went off, telling you to go straight outside as it can be fleeting! If there is no nipping out in slippers to the bin in daytime, there is definitely no chance of nipping out late at night to check the sky. 15-20 minutes to dress ready to go see if the Northern lights were visible. Standing on a snow slope in -25c in the freezing night air looking for the lights was exciting, but then no fun after 30 minutes. I saw a little of them - not like you see in the movies, but I did see the sky moving behind the edge of the mountain…oh well, was worth checking it out. After 3 attempts to see them, I gave up… the effort made to go outside was not worth the light level on show, visible to the naked eye but a dark green. Oh well, maybe next time!
Ostara - the balance of light and dark…
The Equinox is all about balance, and time to decide what you want to attract and what needs removing from your life to bring about balance. This is a year of change, and the Equinox is the perfect time to work out your plan of action to bring about those much-needed changes.
Being in Finland gave me lots of time to think, and it’s with this newsletter that the final countdown begins. This began life as the Imbolc newsletter, but my life was so busy, I gave up writing it, and nobody even noticed!! Life is too precious to stress about such things, but have only missed 2 others since 1999!! Maybe that’s a sign…
Whilst on that cold, frozen mountain, the same tune spun in my head… and it made me think about life in 2022… All my life’s a circle, sunrise and sundown,
The Moon rolls thru the night-time till the daybreak comes around.
All my life’s a circle, but I can’t tell you why
The Season’s spinning round again, the years keep rolling by!
On the equinox, the shop is 26 years old & I feel I have come full circle (2+6 =8 = infinity). In the beginning, I was told I would need to make 25 years stood behind that counter, with my office by the fire, and although that seemed impossible, I have done it, but the pandemic has changed the way people shop, and that my customers have also changed. It used to be kids bored whilst mum checked out my shop, but now the shop’s busy with youngsters buying crystals, and bored parents hanging in corners. They don’t want to speak to the old dinosaur sitting in the rocking chair by the fire – all their information comes from TikTok and Instagram! I am redundant!
So, now what’s in store…?
Some years ago now, the village gave my shop 6 months, but my stubbornness made me keep going just to prove them wrong! I started the shop to support my children, but they are now have jobs, homes and families of their own. Having worked my whole life since 16, some 47 years, I have decided to finally let go of my little baby. The recent few months have proved that my family should now be my priority and with an 88-year-old disabled mum living 300 miles away and another grandchild on the way, I feel I have done my witchy duty helping the public deal with their little bumps in the road on the journey of life, and now it’s time to pay attention to my husband, mum, kids and grandkids and have time for me, as I’m not getting any younger either!! The Universe has always worked in mysterious ways in my life, and just 12 hours after finally deciding to sell and mentioning my thoughts in passing, the shop had been reserved with a list of interested behind without even going to market. It is never done and dusted for definite in Scotland until Missives are complete, boxes all ticked and the dotted line signed, so I waited for that final thumbs up, and now we are complete, I can finally tell you the shop’s fate!
The future for me…
What will life be like after the shop has gone? I am looking forward to getting back into travelling in Meg the magickal Motorhome, our godsend after each release from lockdown. We want to explore more in her, along with our daft Dally, Marshall. I need to see more of mum now she is heading for 90 and still living alone without help but for her neighbours, and I cannot do that with a shop to run!
I am looking forward to getting back into my gardening. I need to spend time with nature, and I want to show my grandkids how things grow. When I began the shop, I had a garden and 2 allotments and grew all my own herbs and vegetables etc in among the jasmine, holly and lilac. Then the allotments had to go, the garden simplified and the herb section ignored as the business got busier. So, it’s time to do what I want, when I want, how I want!! I’m going to get a garden full of herbs, fruit and vegetables once more, and the way things are going, we’ll need to, as prices continue to rise and wallets gets tested!! I am looking forward to planning meals instead of cooking in a rush each night after work – making that Biryani instead of sending for it, and using home grown ingredients like I used to… so it’s back to the beginning that launched the shop in the 1st place…like I said, I have come full circle!
Mad March Sale…the 1st and last…
During March, as days get lighter and the mad hares begin to box, we will have our Mad March sale – my very 1st and last! To mark 25 years of the Green Witch, which under lockdown, I marked alone in the shop, there will be 25% off your total witchy shop from 8-19 March inclusive meaning youngsters can buy he best crystals for their collection and remember to stock up on tinctures and oils etc, because, once my shelves are emptied, as I opened the door 26 years ago, so I will close it for the last time to customers on 19th. We will still be in the shop until at least 31. March if anything has been missed, as we begin to pack away whatever is left, before the shop changes hands and the Green Witch leaves Aberdour High Street for the last time! We will continue in a small way on FB, website & Instagram until the last of the stock has gone (because I’m a crystal hoarder), and of course, I will continue to make the things I have made over the years because they were made for me & mine long before the shop, and we will continue to use them. I’ll miss the shop – it’s been my life for 26 years through thick & thin. Maybe there will be the odd appearance at a local festival or school fayre or a festive pop-up shop…who knows!
For those who have stuck with me over the many years, I say a massive Thank You. I will miss our many long conversations in the shop with lots of you…like old friends, and I thank you for all the support over the years. It has been hard, it has been challenging, it has been fun, and in many ways, just living my truth, not work at all!
I wish you all luck, success, love and happiness for the future and hope to see you instore before I close the door for good and say goodbye to what has been such a massive part of my life…and look forward to my new life!
For the last time, which you many blessings from Chris (alias the Green Witch, Aberdour)