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Letter from Cressida Pryor
April 21, 2020

Cressida Pryor

An early Lockdown Beltane FOI Letter 2020

Dear Friends,

Hoping this finds you all safe and well...and preparing for the season of Beltane.

This is how it usually is for me:

May 1st morning...alarm goes off just before dawn. Seriously wonder why I do this every year...but still put on Morris dancing gear...creep out of the house not disturbing the neighbours; drive up to Cleeve Hill, (the highest hill in the Cotswold escarpment) park up and greet friends who share this strange habit and welcome and celebrate the sunrise with song and dance...

Not this year...

I started doing this early morning ritual some thirty years ago; only missed it once when I had a bad chest infection and felt rubbish but otherwise it’s one of those ‘come hell or high water’ things.

Not this year...

It gives a particular shape and rhythm to the year that allows other events to find their place in relation to it.

Not this year...

Now in lockdown the Beltane restriction is just one of the many ‘not this year’ occurrences that we are all experiencing. Its loss is relatively minor when considering the huge losses that many face...

Earlier this month when wrapping the book ‘a short Philosophy of Birds’ I bought to send my sister for her birthday; my eye was caught by the first short essay:

‘Embracing our Vulnerability...the eclipse of the duck’...

Reading this essay I learned that when ducks moult they enter a time of great vulnerability...moulting is vital; it trades in old plumage for new feathers gleaming with health. These new feathers are necessary and crucial for flying...but while moulting many species of duck can’t fly...and are in a state of ‘eclipse plumage’ and enter a necessary isolation away from their peers...they enter a time of liminality, while the bird waits, in an ‘in between state’...

They know they are vulnerable and keep a low profile, not engaging in important activities during this time. They appear to be patient and waiting.

Liminality is where we are betwixt and between the familiar and the completely unknown...our old world left behind and not yet sure of the new existence. Perhaps we can see parallels in our current enforced state of almost global ‘lockdown’...a ‘not this year’ time.

So what are we waiting for? Apart from the flattening of the curve and those virus related factors perhaps we are waiting for our glorious imaginations to dream a different world that would be both fair and ruled by justice and joy...a song I love to sing is called: ‘to everyone born a place at the table’...this is surely a wakeup call to reflect on what really matters; the choices we have and how to make sense of it all...

So we need time...this is a big task.

And it is THIS YEAR that we are faced with these possibilities...

So may the Goddess guide us to imagine a world that is worthy of her and us.
May we create together this inspired vision and serve to bring justice and joy and a place for everyone at the table of abundant love.

So may it be, amen.

Stay well and be safe,
Cressida, FOI Steward


FOI Letters & Correspondence



(Our thanks to Cressida for her seasonal letters.)





























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