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I gather in

I gather this bright summer’s day,

At last,

after the winter’s stone,

I gather mugwort from the village roads.

Feathered purple sage,

fresh mint,

lemon balm,

thyme’s purple flowers

and parsley’s drooping stars,

hang in my kitchen,


to save the scents of summer,

against the winter chills.


I gather the pearl-grey down

of cygnets


on the dappled morning



I gather in

my muscles,

stomach contracting as the river reaches,




fish skimming thigh,


until I gather in my breath

and fall backwards into the golden river,

floating into stillness,

powdered with willow,

skimmed with jewelled damsel flies.

Silently I stretch my arms,

through the flow,

to the islands small feet paddled on,

too many summers ago.

I gather in the pebbles we used to skim,

notice how the willow has taken root where there was none,

inhale half remembered summers chasing shoals of tiddlers

with plastic buckets,

sometimes catching some.


I gather,

fingers and toes

then root down into mountain pose,

feeling the stretch and taut of

older bones.


I gather arrows of sunlight,

reflected in the smooth blue sky,

watching the swallows

circle and swoop,

looping freely

on unseen currents

with playful ease.


I gather the banter,

of teenage conversation

in a different language from my own,

their familiar-strange faces,

moving away

and staying close.


I gather memories of skin to skin,

of hand in hand,

of the freckled weathering.


I gather this bright summer’s day,

into my cells,

my bones,

my heart.

I wrap is safely,

it is a spell

against the dark.

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Julie Leoni

Julie Leoni

Coach, author, podcaster, facilitator, Yoga and psychology teacher, learner

I have over 30 years of experience and qualification in various therapeutic and meditation/mindfulness based approaches. I work with change. Some changes we chose, others happen to us.  Sometimes we know we want to change but don't know how. Sometimes we don't want to change but external events or people are forcing us to change. The menopause, children leaving home, the end of a relationship or job, becoming a parent, coming out, bereavement are just some of the personal changes I support people with. I also work with people who want to make changes to their life and wider world in response to social issues such as Covid, the climate crisis and racial, sexual and gender inequalities. Times are changing whether we want them to or not and we need to be nimble, agile, curious and open in order to part of the new story emerging. Work with me to get clear on what matters to you, what makes your heart sing and what kind of future you want for yourself and those you love. It is possible to live differently, get in touch to explore how.

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