Swallows Gathering, Geoff Jennings
(this is the post that I have been terrifically busy not-writing since about early May. I am giving myself a bare half-hour to get it down and out there so please forgive any lack in it.)
April this year saw my fiftieth birthday. that may have had something to do with it too, about how I began feeling afterwards and into May. a feeling of restlessness, of what next? I gave myself a necklace symbolising new doors opening, and began looking for the door. because something inside me was urging me, like the swallows, to gather, to rise, to move on to who knew where?
and I was bewildered and angry, a lot of the time, in May. angry because I have worked so hard, first on my sobriety, then on other lesser things, like meditation, and yoga, and getting offline, and putting other self-care routines into place like taking vitamins, and those things began to fall away from me. I couldn’t make myself do them because – what I couldn’t see at the time – was that I needed to make space for the next thing.
those things were all good things, and I had carefully constructed them. I felt like a Great British Bake Off finalist in the first round – the signature round – where I had been asked to create a croque en bouche – the French wedding cake painstakingly created out of a tower of profiteroles cemented together with caramel.
I wanted the next thing to be another teeny tiny cream-filled puff of choux pastry, to balance on the top of my almost-perfect life.
but no, dammit. I am in the next round.
it’s the technical bake, now, guys. where I get a list of basic ingredients and instructions for some mittel-European pastry, but I have not a glimmer of an idea of what the finished product is supposed to look like.
and I’ve decided not to go into here what my secondary Big Challenge is… essentially because I don’t feel comfortable doing so here, also because it could/would be something different for you – whether it is your marriage, your health, your finances, or your job, or your relationship with a parent, or whatever comes up for you when you are in long-term sobriety and STILL tripping over the Something Else.
so I will just describe it here, with entirely teeth-gritting optimism, as The Adventure. I have now been on The Adventure for six weeks, and I am working out a little bit better what it looks like. still a long way to go.
writing this here what I have learnt over the last few months – to say that if you feel those swallows gathering – please, pay attention to them. they are gathering because it is time for them to move on, to survive, to thrive. and if that struggle for you is around alcohol, there is a big leap to make, but you can do it, with faith and support. or if that Something Else is the next challenge, you can do that, too.
the swallows from England take six weeks to fly to Africa.
if a tiny bird the size of a matchbox can fly 6,000 miles over oceans and deserts, then what could you and I do, if we try? Prim xx