What is Spirit? Yes, it’s an alcoholic beverage. Yes, it’s Caspar the ghost. But what is my spirit and what is yours?
Unlike the above, it is invisible and, yet, at the same time, highly visible, in who I am. I wake with it. It carries me through my ordinary, and extraordinary days but, and here’s the rub, I must needs call it up, because if I don’t, it lies like cold porage somewhere inside me. I must spin it into life regardless of my doubts and fears and self-flagellation.
Thankfully, my spirit is way stronger than any of those enemies, like David was to Goliath. As I rise from sleep, whatever excitements the night brought me, and, nowadays that means a dive into the oatcake tin and a barefoot wander through the quiet house, I make a choice. Out you damn spots, because I don’t want you littering my face any more than I did as a teenager…..out I say, for there is no room for you once Spirit steps in to hold her sway. She is magnificent, tall and strong, proud and unique and she demands the whole room.
I remember hating this unique thing. I didn’t want to be unique. I wanted to be like Lizzie or Jill with their only childness and beans on toast in front of the telly. When someone flagged up my talents and gifts I wanted to bop them on the nose and run back to the crowd. Now I get it, but with that ‘getting it’ comes responsibility. Now I have to see who I am and actually be who I am which means I write with my own hand, say what is in my head, act according to Spirit, and then, unfortunately, to take the consequences.
T’is odd that I have spent so many years wishing I wasn’t me, especially as all that wishing made absolutely no difference. It was just a waste of time and that is something Spirit won’t allow. The key, for me, was giving in and letting go. Ok Spirit, I said, I’m all yours, warts and all, you win.
Surprisingly, I feel free. It is as if holding on to the control stick did me no favours. She swings with the wind, they said, she’s flighty and unpredictable and she talks to the trees, for goodness sake. She hears stories in the rain, flies with the geese, lifts with the cloud animals and cooks without recipes. She wears crazy clothes and wellies with a tutu and a fisherman’s jumper whilst weeding the garden. She makes mistakes, says the wrong thing at the wrong time, feels anger and frustration, sends an email she wish she hadn’t. But, this same woman is the one who will stand to be counted. She will rise in defence or attack for her family and friends. She is kind, she is strong, she is wild. This is Spirit, her spirit.
I see spirit in those I meet every day. Rising into their eyes, evident in the way they take on whatever life throws at them, still moving on into the next day. Invisible, yes, but not if we really look and really notice, pausing in our own rush towards death just long enough to recognise and respect another spirit strength. And, sometimes, if I have left my spirit at home, the light of another shines bright enough to illuminate my own demons, and to send them scurrying back into the shadow dark.