I’m exhausted and exhilarated both, in spring. Coming through what – in Germany – is called Frühjahrsmüdigkeit (literally spring fatigue).

So I am about to treat myself to a solitary writing retreat, here at Dhruvaloka under the North Star, five years since I came to my first solitary at Portgower just a dozen miles up the A9.

Yet not solitary, because I shall be joining – by Zoom – a Buddhist retreat at Adhisthana, called ‘Friendship: Duty, Delight and Freedom’,

It’s my second virtual retreat there this year, following ‘Individuality: Self-contained and Boundless’ in February, where I joyed to find – by delightful serendipity – some of my friends from Cambridge Buddhist Centre. And we had been placed in a group led by a close friend from Triratna Highlands Sangha (sangha means ‘fellowship’ or ‘community’).

I also was welcomed at Adhisthana for two live visits in 2016 and 2018, which I mention (2016) here: and here.

Meanwhile here is a new poem, birthed from the chilly viscerality of living towards a northern May, emerging through & into the shock, the pandaemonium, the cacophony of spring tides & terns on a boreal shore.

Blessings of Earth, Air, Fire & Water to you all.

Full Beltane
(for thee, Raven)

I found myself, then, at
the heart of the mandala
by whatever devious, delirious
root it took to draw, from deep
within the earth, the nourish-
meant for we, and we alone.

I found myself, there, at 
the here-and-now moment-
ousness of grace, no race
to reach the centre; placenta
wavering like the trembling of
catkins on a numinous 
breeze of a May morning, when

with ease the wallflower opens, and
blushes with all her blood-red fragrance
upon and upon the pregnant lambkin-land
where the maimed crow, too,
learns to ride his song

© Kathy Labrum McVittie 26 April 2021