I have enjoyed the sense of calm, the pervading, slightly heavy fragrance of smoke and herbs, your unobtrusive yet steady presence in our house as you have gone about your work. For me, this is about restoring balance, in the first place: a sense of being centred, at rest, at peace. A sense of acceptance, gratitude, readiness to move on, an openness to life. And finally, I think, a bringing back to life, a warming up, of a home that has simply retreated from the world, and fallen silent. A caring, considerate, reintroduction of music, laughter and love, to a space that has been empty for too long.

For several hours over the past two days, Hermon has moved about our house, a figure of calm meditation, spreading smoke and fragrance that has filled the rooms and lingered, ringing bells, listening, breathing in the laden air. I have no idea what it means, but it feels meaningful; no idea what is being accomplished, but it feels as if somehow there is change.

The house is waking up. There are signs of life. There is warmth, and the strain and exhaustion of the past weeks are making way for the first intimations of a real and centred happiness.

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