Smoking roses and tobacco, this is me, clad in silk and heavy tapestry, barefoot on the steps beneath a winter grey sky. The clouds form a blanket hanging low and at last I've carved out a length of solitude sufficient to return my knowing Soul to me. There are so many layers of tender tears to unravel, each one a dewy spiderweb glistening beneath the small wet weight of its own allowing. The last year has aged me tangibly though in ways that I suspect are not visible to most. A layer of grey widens beneath my tawny blond hair, I wake slower and listen more. I don't take things personally. I feel as though nothing belongs to me. That is how I like it. I burn Juniper and Sweetgrass for my Ancestors and I listen for their wisdom. There are so many things to remember when you are an adult human, so many bills and voicemails and endless petty details. There is another remembering that comes with age too though, which eases the freneticism of the first. It's a remembrance of the Self that comes through the steady passing of Time and the weathering of great loss; it comes through truly grieving and then allowing peace to enter you once you are emptied of it. It is a good thing to dissolve. It is a good thing to be reconstituted anew. Perhaps this is the teaching of the Winter Solstice--that as the Sun returns day by day, we too return to the Self and to our own light. This is me, smoking roses and tobacco on the stoop, this is me, barefoot and crying old tears softly.