Punam of paeonsunplugged, setting a poetic challenge at dVerse Poets pub, is encouraging us not to be discouraged by the burden of January resolutions (from Latin solvere = to loosen) and to loosen any critical expectations we have of ourselves and our flagging resolve.

One of her suggestions involves saying out loud “I am happy now!” – when one is – and relishing that moment of awareness.

Immerse yourself completely in a happy moment and say aloud, “I am happy now”!

As one who hasn’t been rolling in mirth for several months, I was suddenly “surprised by joy” when I rolled those words on my lips, teeth, and the tip of my tongue.

A spell has perhaps been broken, or a new warmer incantation uttered at midnight as we move towards St Brighid’s Day, Imbolc, this 1 February 2023.

Thank you Punam!

Hear me re-souling

"I am happy now!"

(although last Wednesday afternoon

I'd wandered into hell)

"I am happy now!"

(yet it might take a year - or soon -

to hear my voice sound well)

"I am happy now!"

To say that loud, and to believe...

... that's plenty for today

"I am happy now!"

I never thought I would relieve;

those four sweet words to say ...

"I am happy now!"

Punam, I thank you for the way

you've wooed me back to joy.

I am happy now

that I have reached St Brighid's Day

alive, not walking over hot coals but feeling the soil murmur under my feet

as the earthworms begin to surface to snatch leaves of beech and cherry, sycamore and oak,

and to re-engage with the whole enntanglement of fungal mycelium and roots,

nutrients, rhizomorphs, haustoria, silts and clay minerals, quartz

and chalk, building the skeletons of blackbird and crow and

the voice of song thrush and snail, rasping radula onto stalk.

© Kathy Labrum McVittie 23 January 2023