by Hazel Jane - Scotland-based Independent Celebrant


A summer birthday

I have resented, for a long time, that it always rains on my birthday. Every year, regardless of where I am in the world, I wake up in the height of summer and it rains. But this year, I started to realise how wonderful it is to be greeted so passionately by the natural elements. Rain is cleansing and ultimately nurturing; as it drizzled down into the darkness of Friday night, I let my vision blur and made my way up Calton Hill.


I live a few minutes away from the Hill, which, once climbed, gives a stunning view over the shorelines of Portobello and Leith, the cobbled streets of the city and unmissable hills of Holyrood. The view is spectacular regardless of the weather or time of day, and I’m quite sure I’ll never get bored of it. I don’t know too much about chakras, but I remember a yoga teacher telling me once that lying back and resting on the crown of your head opens your throat chakra, it clears a space and encourages you to express yourself fully. So, I rested on the grass, let my bare feet settle into the ground and tilted my head to watch the clouds.

I wasn’t concentrating on anything until the night air shook: lightning. Sparks lit up the distant horizon every few minutes. What bliss, to see a sky so full of life and energy. The power in nature is the overwhelming reminder that we will always be smaller; Mother Earth, Gaia, shows us that we are forever at her mercy. As midnight drew nearer, the other people on the hill went on their merry way, and so there I stood, in the middle of my country’s busy capital city, all alone under a thunderstorm.


I never got to see the lunar eclipse, but I felt it, and as birthdays go, this one was pretty special.


It is not any great intention of mine to measure myself by my birthdays, but I enjoyed reflecting on the last year. It’s been a big one, full of change and love and trust. I am so grateful to find myself living in a city I fell in love with four years ago, I am grateful for my friends and mentors who bring so much warmth to my world, I am grateful to do work that I deeply enjoy, and now, I am ready to be grateful for what is sent my way next. 

May we all spend even a few minutes of our birthdays, or rather, of all our days, feeling close to the elements - feeling part of this beautiful world.

Song of the evening:

Accidentally Like A Martyr - The War On Drugs