Thyme for solstice

by | Jun 16, 2015 | Seasons Newsletter, Uncategorized | 6 comments

Thyme for Solstice

Just before I picked up my pen to write to you for winter solstice, I opened an envelope that had just arrived through the mail. Neatly folded inside the letter, I discovered two little sprigs of wild thyme. 


Lost on the limestone

I inhaled the tangy scent and was suddenly tumbled back to the late sixties, when I was living in Paris. It was Easter, I was three months pregnant and we’d taken a train to the south of France for a holiday. Now we were wandering on a high limestone plateau known as the Calanques, searching for the Youth Hostel that would be our haven for the night.

Darkness was falling rapidly, the moon sailed high, and we were lost. I sat down on a rock to relieve the weight of the back-pack and rest my weary legs. That’s when I was surprised by an unusual fragrance, penetrating the air: wild thyme, more pungent than anything my kitchen had known. It was everywhere, growing out of every crevice.


An injection of courage

Have you ever found that the smallest, most unexpected thing can charge you with courage when you are floundering? That’s what the wild thyme did for me.

My friend is having medical treatment that requires her to draw on courage every day. Her gift reminded me of how connecting with my senses, beauty and wonder allowed me to refresh my brain, make sense of the map, agree on a route with my partner and find the way to the welcoming lights of the hostel.


Finding life in the dead of winter

At winter solstice on June 22 the sun’s light will return. But how can you feel it when the days grow more chilly from now on? In winter, sensory awareness tends to contract. Autumn brings glorious richness and spring sweet fragrance, but winter sometimes seems like a bundle of dry sticks or soggy dead leaves.


Winter Attunement

That’s why I’m offering the Winter Attunement on June 23, as an opportunity for you to tune in — not just to the depths of winter, but to your own self. In the online meditation you will be guided to connect with the source of nourishment and wonder within. Following this there will be the time for drawing or writing so that you can express what you discovered.

My friend did the first winter attunement in 2014. She told me that the image she drew sustained her for months afterwards. Others reported feeling ‘very relaxed, centred and nourished’, and having something ‘shift and ease inside’.

To subscribe or find out more, click here.

Note: Please register by June 20 so that I can send you the details for how to prepare.


In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
—Albert Camus


  1. Sue Kearney (@MagnoliasWest)

    Ahhh, the light in the dark and the dark in the light! Everything contains the seed of its apparent opposite. One of my very favorite truths. Here in California the light will begin to seep away.

    Blessed be! (visiting from the Heart of Biz group)

    • Juliet Batten

      Sue, thank you. I love that seeding of the light/dark each solstice. It’s nice to meet across the polarity of our seasons.

  2. Dana Leigh Lyons

    Sweeping images as always, Juliet! Love the story that unfolds in my mind’s eye as I read your posts. And love how you honour and celebrate the magical path of experience, memory and remembering…and the power of small things to mean so much through the course of time. (And thyme:)

    • Juliet Batten

      Dana, so glad you enjoyed the story. Yes, the power of small things – especially fragrances and tastes, as you know (and evoke) so well. Thank you for your kind appreciation.

  3. Rosalie Steward

    Hi Juliet, I so enjoyed reading your ‘memory shot’ of wild thyme. What a powerful thing the human memory is, a fragrance brought all of that experience sweeping back in. Hugs from me, hope to see you in the summer.

    • Juliet Batten

      Rosalie, how nice to see you here! Yes, fragrances are such strong memory triggers aren’t they? I’m glad you enjoyed the post, and thank you for visiting.


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