Sunday, September 30, 2012

Shine on us all, Harvest Moon

The air is crisp, in the evening and there are no crickets, the owls haven't started their courting calls yet.  Each night the sun sets earlier, rises a little later.  Now was the time to gather the last of the harvest, make the last few candles get in the last of the wood, just to be sure that it was there as our ancestors had little or no way of replenishing their supplies during the depths of winter. In that time before artificial lighting the moon and especially the full moon helped prolong the daylight hours. think of the smell of apple butter cooking down in the moon light or conversation of family members rendering tallow and making candles, or putting cabbages, squash, potatoes and pumpkins into storage...doing whatever  could be done ahead before winter.  And then perhaps there was time for some courting, or just visiting if one wasn't too tired.

My garden did very poorly this year, but i think it just might have known that it would get dried out from too much sun and too little rain, then rained out and then frosted, and so it just plain didn't bother.
So, NOW even before I even have it put to bed for the year, I am thinking about next years garden.  They had a big sale on seeds and all sorts or garden "stuffs" at Dollar General, and I partook of the bounty, i will spend my winter dreaming of the splendid garden I will have  next year...just like I do every year.  I'm not sure if that is hopefulness or foolishness on my part. 

We are not dependant on the food from our gardens, anymore. Nor are we dependant on our own resource to make the heat and light for our homes. There does seem to be an innate need to prepare for winter, to make sure there is an extra pack of light bulbs and a few extras in the pantry, just in case, yes, just in case.  
With a mind set somewhere between excitement and the dread of winters snows, we are getting ready for the seasonal change, be it the modern version of hunting and gathering, preparing ones home for winter, planning for next year, taking up a new hobby or new skill, or just hibernating after a long hot summer.

Harvest can mean many things.

Shine on us all.
 Harvest Moon.

posting delayed by dial-up issues

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ivy thinks too much

Ivy was looking down at her ankle, it looked like it belonged to someone else, for months it had been in a cast, now it looked like it should be in a zombie movie. and it itched worse than when the cast was still on. 

Della had been silent for several minutes and Ivy had the feeling that they were lost, but since she didn't know where Della's Aunt Lindy lived she thought it best to stay quiet and let Della drive, even though it made her uneasy to sit next to a quiet for too long Della.   Ivy heard the turn signal flip on and tick,tick,tick, as Della eased  the car onto the exit ramp. At the stop sign Della looked over at Ivy who was looking at her and quizzed "What?", Ivy replied "nothing", Della looked at the road, then back at Ivy and pulled out   onto a  tree lined narrow road, flanked by fenced in pastures, the grass was cropped closely and the scent of manure hung in the chilly damp air, "reminds me of "All Creatures Great and Small", Ivy said.  Della replied,"it should remind you of  Gus's field, or may-be his field hand?" Della grinned.  Ivy blushed.

A few large farmhouses came into view.  They made her think of Beans Cove, and how much she still wanted to go there, before winter set in.  here and there a few leaves were already turning, it was the sort of day if she was at home she would be making soup, hardly the type of day you would expect for mid September after of one the the hottest summers on record.  "Who did you leave him with?" Della asked, Ivy looked back at her, with a puzzled expression" Who did you leave Skye with?"  "Oh replied Ivy with a mixture of relief and surprise" He's with little Cam, well you can't  call him little anymore, he's going to graduate after this school year." 

"Let's stop for some pie and coffee, I  gotta call Vikki and see where she is,  and I've been driving so long my butt is tired. there is a Dinor around here somewhere." they circled the business district, all three streets and  finally found it.   "Hasn't changed a bit. but I sure have." Della offered as she  struggled out of the car.  " We should have stopped before."  Ivy cautiously pulled herself from the car and leaning on her cane said" Common old girl. Grandma Amosette McKoy "il Hep yuns."  Della was not amused,  and they made their way into the dinor and plopped into the nearest booth. "It's just like I remember it, only cleaner, and the people are older." Della's voice trailed off as she looked around, "Aunt Lindy used to bring me here for a lemon meringue pie almost every night when  I stayed with her.  I think it was her favorite.  She and Uncle Del never had any children.  her nieces and nephews were her kids.   I think  they used to stay up nights thinking up interesting things for is to do when we visited.  I would have lived with them if Mom would have let me."   Ivy was enjoying every particle of her nesselrode pie, and completely lost in thought and worry, how could she ever be of any help cleaning someones house.  That poor woman could be coming home to a worse mess than she had when she went into the hospital.  Della continued, not realising the Ivy was miles away in her own world. Ivy was still thinking about it when they arrived at Aunt Lindy's house, a small cottage with overgrown flowerbeds, reminded ivy of home and made her feel even more useless. During the last few months Ivy could do very little while she dragged the huge cast around with her, about the only thing good to come of this was that she became much more skillful with the computer.   she spotted a very unsafe looking ladder propped up against the apple tree, and climbing up the ladder were morning glories,  growing over old gravel screens that were leaning on the fences were sweet peas.  "someone put some thought into all of this." she muttered to herself, as Della continued to talk
Once inside there was Vikki scrubbing  away at the floor with an old scrub brush and a bucket of Pine Sol scented suds.   Vikki looked up extended a wet , hot pink gloved hand and said " I have always want to meet the lady that my sister met waving to from her window,,,did i say that right?"  Everyone dissolved into laughter.
ivy looked around, Aunt Lindy's house certainly looked much better swept and dusted than hers, but then she reckoned that at 87 Aunt Lindy didn't get very dirty, "Now wait, who tends the gardens?" she surprised herself when she heard her thoughts out loud.  Vikki stood up and brushed a wisp of greying hair away from her face , leaving a glob of foam to tack it back, " Aunt Lindy, does a lot of the work, but the neighbors help her."  "I have been telling you, that woman has more energy than all of us put together, you haven't been listening have you?" Della scolded. "I guess not", Ivy muttered back as she shuffled into the living room carrying a dust rag.
The large front room was plain and spare, a few books and a newspaper, a couple of framed photos , the light streamed in through the windows where an  immense parlor palm and statuesque snake plants stood guard.   Her thoughts floating gently through her head she was glad to have something to do, dusting was not one of her favorite activities, but this was pleasant, she carefully replaced the books and photos as she dusted them, but be careful not to disturb the basket of crocheting as she placed it on the chair, so that Della could vacuum.  As she dusted the window frames she noticed that the tiny figurines were actually souvenirs from their travels.  From there she moved on to dust the banister and  and the turned spindles, this had been her weekly job when she was a little girl, and she did enjoy it.  The stairs were and still are one of her favorite places to sit, to think deeply, and daydream, and to realise how quiet her world had become.

Friday, September 21, 2012

a few thougts on Mabon

In the Northern hemisphere the Autumnal equinox occurs at 10:49 Am EDT on September 22, the length of night time is roughly equivalent to the length of daylight hours. and officially Fall begins, unless you are one of the people who uses the Meteorological determination , where fall begins on September 1st.
The Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes and the Summer and winter Solstices were major points in the year, a sort of Everyman's Calender, one would think.  We don't have that much information about how these days were celebrated in those distant times before writing was common, and possibly information about how the day was marked was considered a sacred secret and would not have never been written down. 
Mabon is a relatively modern celebration of the Equinox, based as much as possible on what is known and what is believed to have been a part of those ancient celebrations.   In those times before efficient lighting people relied on the moon, preferably a full moon to light their work in the fields, and it was this same harvest moon they would dance under, celebrating the hopefully good harvest and preparing for the long winter indoors.  Showing their gratitude for the abundance of the harvest and of their animals, and making offerings to the earth, Gods and Goddesses, perhaps the spirits of the field and woods and weather, in thanks and asking to be spared the dangers of a harsh winter and other dangers of the time.  Mabon marks the second harvest and focuses on the times ahead, as well as the passing of Summer.  it looks forward into the new year which begins on November 1st, and the new beginnings offered by a new year.
Mabon Abundance and blessings 
Thank you to Lady Abigail of Ravengrove, who provides the following correspondences

(Pronounced ma-bawn)
September 21 - 22

Symbolism of Mabon:
Second Harvest, the Mysteries, Equality and Balance

Symbols of Mabon:
wine, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates, vines such as ivy, dried seeds, and horns of plenty

Herbs of Mabon:
Acorn, benzoin, ferns, grains, honeysuckle, marigold, milkweed, myrrh, passion flower, rose, sage, solomon's seal, tobacco, thistle, and vegetables

Foods of Mabon:
Breads, nuts, apples, pomegranates, and vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, and onions

Incense of Mabon:
Autumn Blend-benzoin, myrrh, and sage

Colors of Mabon:
Red, orange, russet, maroon, brown, and gold

Stones of Mabon:
Sapphire, lapis lazuli, and yellow agates

Activities of Mabon:
Making wine, gathering dried herbs, plants, seeds and seed pods, walking in the woods, scattering offerings in harvested fields, offering libations to trees, adorning burial sites with leaves, acorns, and pine cones to honor those who have passed over.

Spellworkings of Mabon:
Protection, prosperity, security, and self-confidence. Also those of harmony and balance.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

from the bottom of a well

"you can see the stars in the daytime from the bottom of a well"

And exactly why would you be doing that? Other than, of course, if you were a well digger.

Then may-be this a one of those sayings, not the ones that are physical truths, but the ones that are truths of the soul.

The last few months have been difficult for my little family. to say the least, I have tried not to complain, tried to be positive, because I just don't want to go around all sad and pitiful, I feel that everyone goes through bad times, and since I know that I try to wait them out, keep myself busy, not worry(just about impossible), and find my joys where ever I can.  However, when times are really rough, it shows in your interactions with others and if they don't know you are going through a bad time, they could and sometimes do mistake your distraction for something else.


Talking is important, I feel a kind word can make a bad day better, and certainly sharing a joy can make it even better.  Asking for advice or directions is a good thing. But it is just as important to change the subject sometimes, if not often.

So anyway there you find yourself, one's self, at the bottom of the well, dank, cold, wondering and in a slippery place, looking up at the daylight and beyond it you see the stars. here one is, at a low point, the lowest point, wanting to get to the middle, and being able to see the highest point from the lowest, I knew, it was only a matter of time. 

No solutions or advise, just siting here and pondering.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Once upon a day, the sky was perfect, the sun was perfect, the breeze was perfect, the light was perfect, the subject was i took this picture. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

searching for a one room schoolhouse

    By now school has probably started again everywhere.   It seems school starts a little earlier and ends a little later every year.   It has been a rather long time since I had anyone in school, and a really long time since i was in school.  Lately however I have become interested in old school houses. There certainly seem to be alot of them around, many but not all seem to have been converted  to other uses, some sadly not.
This one has been converted into a Community Center, and has retained  it'soriginal look.  Even it's bell!  Next door is large modern building.  The people of  Lamont have wisely kept the building much as it was. 
Walking up to the door, I looked up and saw the bell, and could almost smell the old wooden floors. Don't know how many classrooms were in this building, it doesn't look like there could have been more than 3. 
So quiet, the children were all in school in the next town, no traffic, not even a dog barking, just the sound of leaves in the breeze.  It must have looked and sounded very different then.  Excited or reluctant children playing games or talking and laughing while they waited for the bell to ring. one thing hasn't changed and that is the  First Great Rule of Kiddom, never go in until the last possible second.   Sorts think that are some things that never change, and may-be those big windows on old school houses were as much to let extra light and air in as they were to let daydreamers imaginations soar.  The sidewalk must have lead somewhere, since this building stands along a road, i would guess that the children spent recess and possibly lunch break in the area behind the school.   of course it is just possible that it was the way to the out house, or may-be to the shed where wood and or coal were stored for heating.


I plan to keep looking for a one room school house. Surely there is one down some side road that I will travel to escape the rush of people who are in a hurry to get somewhere or no where.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Is it Autumn yet?

After an all too short.and all too hot summer we  are on the threshold of Autumn.  Climatological Autumn begins on September 1st and ends on November 31st, which seems about right to me, because the first hints of Autumn are already showing themselves.  In the evening crickets chrip in a thundering chorus, and scarcely a birdsong is heard.   This year there aren't many apples, but the trees in the forrest show the occasional flash of red. orange or gold.

Wildflowers and tame ones are putting on one last show, before going dormant, or going to seed, resting under winters cold blanket.   And each evening sunset comes a little earlier.  There is a hint of something new and fresh in each breeze.
The sun's light is changing from a dazzling white, to a rich golden color as it's angle grows  lower in the sky.  It wraps you in it's gentler warmth, even though earth's  orbit is bringing it closer to the  Northern henisphere.  You don't really need a calander to tell you Autumn has begun, you can smell , feel and see it. 

The weeks ahead will be filled with warm days and cool nights, bright sun and brightly colored leaves, the crisp clean smell of frosty air with wisps of smoke from burning leaves and coal smoke, and sooner or later for most of us the first snowfalls.
Our lives will turn inward, to indoor pursuits. and some of us, like me will be counting the days until spring, climatological Spring begins on March !st, and chances are we will still be knee deep in snow and ice here.

For now there there is the excitement of something new, and a quiet days before cider, apples and donuts. pumpkins, scarecrows, ghosts and goblins;  turkey, family and football.

slightly wordy Slent Sunday on a road

Not every picture is worth a thousand words, but the memory it represents is.