September 23, 2013

Caught Between the Full Moon and the Equinox


Harvest Moon 2013
Harvest Moon just after dusk September 19th.
Welcome to Autumn of the year 2013. It is official now, not just the media and image driven Fall we have all been enjoying for some weeks now. Summer, still clothed in golden sunshine and shimmering heat has heaved her last sigh, but the weather in very many places would fool you if you did not know better. It is not as hot here. We have had some small relief from the sweltering heat we have bathed in for the past couple of months, so why do I feel such grief at Summer's passing?

It is, I think, because I do not understand everyone's need to hurry. As though time were not already zipping by at an incredible rate, there seems a constant clamoring for the next thing; the next event, holiday, season, year, I phone version, the list just goes on and on. As a culture, our attention span is shrinking even faster than the Earth's rapidly depleting natural resources. That is a frightening thought on many fronts. There are times when I just want to make it all stop. Not long term, mind you, but I would like to have time to savor some of the fleeting moments of my life. My Eternal Now wont stay still long enough for me to recognize it as now rather than yesterday, the past, the already been there and done that.  I do not want to hurry any more. I want to once more find that rhythm that accompanies this planet on Her journey around the Sun. I want to respond to and live within the seasons, with the cycles of creation, birth, growth, age and death that are embodied therein. I need to feel the tug of the Moon as she waxes and wanes, engendering tides of creative energy, reflective peace and new beginnings in my soul. I know that I have lived this way before. I have only to remember how to disengage from the madness of contemporary life, to turn from outward obsession to inner contemplation.

The Autumnal Equinox is not yet  twenty-four hours old as I write this —Alban Elfed to those of us of Druidic inclinations (and by other names; Harvest Home, Mabon, the Feast of the Ingathering, Meán Fómhair, etc) —and I am trying to find that place within me that can not only embrace the season, but to feel its ancient currents and manifestations deep within. I noted in my last post that there seemed to be a great deal, even more than usual I think, of anticipation for Fall this year. Despite wanting to hang on to Summer just a little longer, I have felt this too. Also, most of my household seem to be thrumming with a not pleasant, but demanding and anticipatory, energy for the past week. Our sleep around here has been restless, interrupted by strange dreams and physical discomfort. My own mood has been heavy, unwieldy and almost impossible to interpret. I suppose that I was hoping that the day would pass and it would begin to lighten up. As I write this I feel quite wretched though, without any real reason, but perhaps with some still unknown or unacknowledged purpose.

Moonrise at dusk. Full moon on Sept. 19, 2013.
Moonrise through the Rose Arbor.
In my post a few weeks ago, I mentioned that though this time of year has typically been sad for me, an interlude of unhappiness and sometimes near despair, last year's busyness had seemingly spared me. As this years Autumnal Equinox approached, currents of memory swept over me, and I remembered that last year was no exception to what has become my Rule for perhaps twenty five years now. It is merely a tribute to how thoroughly I had cleansed that negative energy, that I only recalled it in the depths of night from what was nearly a dream state, and that I can think of it now with only a bittersweet twinge around my Heart. Perhaps it is only because it is an anniversary, but I was unaware of exactly when this sad cycle began for me until just this week also. Seemingly, it was time to remember that also. A quarter of a century is a fairly long cycle. Maybe it is time to break it.

I do not know for certain. I am not sad exactly at the present. This entire year has been quite harrowing—difficult in ways manifest and spiritual. I regard the next month or two to come with a wee bit of apprehension. But I think that this is more habit than any actual precognition. If I am cognizant of any probable future at present, it is seemingly on a much larger scale. I feel something looming, for good or ill I haven't a clue, but since it seems to me that the Mass Consciousness has so assiduously been courting the Fall season, it may very well be something that is at least positive on the surface.  I choose to wait and see.

The Barn-- Sept. 2013
From this...
 In the meantime, I am occupied and preoccupied as usual. We are planning a party for the weekend following Halloween, which is on a Thursday this year. The party will be on a Saturday, honoring as best I can the collective collision of schedules that are my family's. In other words, going for maximum convenience and scheduling pretty far ahead.  So officially, It will be an Feast of All Souls or The Day (Night) of the Dead. Close enough. Music, food and drink, costumes and hopefully a bonfire will make for a merry gathering. We have decided to stage this fête in the barn, throwing the doors wide open to the night. This House has seen many parties over the years, but I think this will be the first one actually in the barn.

The "haunted barn" waiting for Halloween.
To this.... Hooooooooooo
This is all well and good. I loved the idea from its first conception. Hay bales, strings of lights, casual seating on a miss-mash of lawn chairs, throws  and wicker, a buffet table on the workbench and drinks on ice or in the 70 year old fridge (it still works) we have out there. It will be lovely. That is, if we roll up our sleeves and get some cleaning done. I really hope it does cool down a mite more. Mostly it is just a matter of motivation I think. Wish I had more of that than I do most times of late. Hopefully, most of the spider webs out there for the party wont be real. Let the transformation begin.

On other fronts, I have stayed busy as usual. The yard is not growing quite as fast, but still occupying us for hours every week. I have planted two figs and a guava in the yard on the garden end, and a new oleander out by the driveway.  I am in the process of freshening mulch, expanding some beds, and always pulling weeds. The pear tree in the yard has yielded a good crop this year of hard golden brown fruits.

Pear Tree-- Sand pear or Pyrus pyrifolia
Asian or Sand Pear (Pyrus pyrifolia)
Sand pears in bowl It is what my mother calls a  sand pear. The fruits are very hard, a bit grainy and not as sweet as conventional pears. They are irregularly shaped and inclined to be lumpy looking. Many people do not like them for eating raw, but I have to say that their crispness appeals to me. I find them quite tasty. Mostly though, they are used for preserves, jams and pie fillings. I made a double batch of jam late last week and will be making a gingered pie filling later on this week. And I will still have pears to spare.

Sand Pear Jam cooling on kitchen counter
  
Now that I have lived through another Summer, through the transition into Fall, and as the moon which hung so large and lit the nights like daylight a few days ago wanes, I look forward to this new season with both trepidation and delight. I know that it must seem that I am rather gloomy (I can be) and pessimistic oftentimes as I write these posts, but that is not really the case. I am realistic though, and I seek to be truthful to myself and to my readers.

HopeLet me say that I try not to make suppositions as to what the future will bring, but that in spite of myself I do often expect the worst, only because that has too often been the case, but I also hope for the best. And where there is hope, there is always a ray of sunshine waiting to pierce the clouds. So, I leave you today, not only with any blessings I am capable of bestowing, but with my best wishes also, and with Hope...

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