We crawled out of the womb into the wilderness.

There were long summer days, and equally long dark nights of the soul.

Since then, many of us have become silent and voiceless.

This is not the year for that.

We have so little because we ask so little, we have learned to expect so little because we believe we deserve so little.

We were inundated with thousands of tiny poison arrows until we had to find protection or die. We went to ground and hid, our budding wings crushed and our growth stunted.

We got so used to this prone position that it seemed normal to creep around on our stomachs or on all fours, our eyes down and our heads in the dust.

We erected walls because we had no boundaries. Our walls kept out the darts but they also kept out warmth and wisdom and light and life. They stopped us finding the way home.

So we lead little lives and yearn for more, not knowing why our lives don’t grow and expand.

But the darkness has incubated us.

We have been making preparations in the dark, using our own muscle to carve a path through the undergrowth and move ancient baggage.

And we did it in silence, alone. No-one is coming to our rescue because no-one knows we need rescue.

This is a pilgrimage from the depths of our souls. There are dragons here. So much of our being is submerged below the surface, in the shadows, invisible.

Here lies our heart and soul and reason for being. The wild corners of our soul hold the truth. This is the year for plucking knowledge from the darkness, for claiming all of ourselves.

We welcome even our woundedness and scars, our shame and sorrow, all our truths. There is no light without the dark, no triumph without fear.

We gather them together and bring them home. We make room for them at our table by sending away the old stories that held us captive.

Re-emerging requires shedding the old skin.

We become naked and vulnerable as we release this creature from the past, the caterpillar whose stories no longer fit, from chains that hem us in and constrict us until we can hardly breathe.

A butterfly is forming and our wings need the light of day so they can harden and become our true skin, one that fits, with all the vibrant colours of the rainbow.

A creature so big and bright and beautiful that nothing could ever silence her again.

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