Dreaded Season

By Dawn M. Sanders

As a solitary pagan I celebrate the seasons; always with spiritual vigour and pride in my convictions. The winter that passed through just gone, was a soft touch, soothing and a restful time to hibernate, roost and regenerate new brain cells for new thoughts or ideas. As many others complained of the dark season, I secretly treasured it; comfy cuddles at night with the cat, the odd long lazy morning lie-in – waiting for the morning sun to greet me through my bedroom window.

Imbolc Spring blossomed in earnest and with early blooming the sparkle and gathering greens and colour faded back to life, for those who can see it, with Father sun making his return – reawakening the senses and the natural world.

But in between the replenishing rains, April showers and gathering light; just over the seasonal hill, beyond the horizon of the then present, I could feel it – the rising mercury, the heat coming closer, as Apollo climbed ever higher on his great ladder in the sky – the season of hell fire was on its way.

Last year, when the heat wave hit and the UK boiled in record temperatures, they said it was only the beginning. So it’s here, upon us and everywhere. Someone in a shop where I had to stop the other day, hide from the baking sun in a cool place, said Egypt recorded 153 degrees – not habitable for humans who, have reaped holy havoc on Mother Gaia, gasping.

Summer. Always the season of play, parties, celebrating life or holidays away, as children run free. Families flock to beaches and body beautiful culture is the flavour of the season, as kids queue for their favourite flavour of ice cream at waiting vans in the park or shops with chirpy ice cream sellers at the seaside. Summer. The season we long for in long hard winters of the past, where snow ploughs and chain-clad vehicles sludge the streets of Canada, as we dreamt of festivals with our friends, blessed by the summer sun. The warm, sultry, starry nights; next to a fire in a field, in a pub garden or next to the one you want to take home to bed. Summer. Where scantily-clad young girls would leap from the clutches of the nest to embrace the sun, while the boys came looking.

Me, a former California girl, growing up in an endless summer – a desert-like dryness and the occasional rain, we thought we had it made. We were the golden state, Florida was the sunshine state, but the sun was always a friend to us all, a celebrant, never to be shunned.

Now, as the earth bakes and the sun bares down, with an intensity not felt before, I draw my curtains for shelter against the sweltering rays. I sit and savour the light wind through my window, before the sun comes to the back of my flat, on this side – soaring high in the sky, my greenhouse-like windows trap the sun and it’s too hot, so I adjourn to the other room in the front of the flat, moving to avoid the scorch and suffocating heat. 

As large pieces of our home, the planet we inhabit, are draped in concrete; adorn with high-rise buildings, be-speckled with satellite dishes and highways and by-ways as cemented arteries. Everything is choked as carbon and monoxide float through the air, saturated with bouncing signals and frequencies, while the heat pulses. The trees struggle to make clouds and bees are driven from pollinating flowers, while ecosystems and lives hang in the balance.

Oh the clouds, I now long for the clouds, the cool soothing clouds and the rain they bring. As the replenished, lush greens from the spring rains turns to yellow, parched from a merciless sun, intensified by climate change, my heart cries of pain and my mind aches of knowing; knowing that it’s just too late. Scientists say it’s not, we can stop it, but not enough humans care, not enough governments try to stop it, so we’ll pass the point of no return.

So, I now dread the summer. June is only halfway blazed through and the torturous heat could stretch out for months before us. Meaner, more violent thunderstorms will permeate the heat – giving us short, sharp bouts of relief. But, when will humanity and nature truly breathe, that sigh of relief; when will humans give not take away from the earth and nurture, as she has nurtured us all? I knew this was coming, I could feel it and I’ve been quietly dreading it.

© 2023