This evening the crows gathered, with the moon almost full.
The weather has been warm, not typical November weather. I love the feel and smell of autumn, so I’m happy with this warm sunny spell.
The crows put me in mind of The Dark is Rising (Susan Cooper). Crows as harbingers. There is a sense of stillness, of waiting.
Again my life is filled with a series of ER and doctor visits. The most recent was for my mother’s fall. Life is such a mixture of beauty and pain.
More photos! Last night we received about 10 inches of heavy, wet snow. Because the leaves are still on most of the trees, the weight brought down tree limbs. There were a couple of large tree limbs (one oak, one maple) that hit the roof, with many smaller limbs down all around. Brave husband climbed up on the roofs to remove the limbs, while I handed up saws, etc.
Below is my hand, as I cleared snow off the yew. You can see how deep the snow is.
A photo shot skyward at the snow on the maple leaves. With the sun shining on it, the snow has been melting quickly. See the birds in the upper right corner?
The last time we experienced a winter storm here in October was in the 1980’s. We were without power for days, melting snow for water and cooking on the wood stove. So far we have not lost power with this storm, though the lights flickered a few times.
So, what does Mother Nature have in store for us next?
Many of the leaves on the trees have not yet turned color and fallen, yet last evening was our first snow of the season. The photos below were taken around my home and studio in the early morning light.
The echinacea plants are wearing tall, snowy caps.
The yew bushes simply bend.
A view from my studio window. Snow was sifting down in the early sunshine, giving the air a dreamy quality.
A few minutes later, the sky was intensely blue.
Now, in the early afternoon, the snow is melting away.
Transitory pleasures, but certain to be repeated. This is just the beginning!
Last night we attended a nearby annual event, Barnstorm, which included live music, dancing, food, a pumpkin-carving contest, and conversation.
Women in the window! There were windows on all four sides of the second floor of this marvelous old barn.
The interior of the second floor was home to the festivities. The small loft above was used decoratively.
The stage, ready for a variety of musical acts.
Three women, three paper lanterns ~ waiting for the music to begin.
A musical beginning. The show was opened with a lively guitar and ukulele number.
More music ~ Em and Kate
Some of the entries in the pumpkin-carving contest.
A Jack o Lantern with quite the nose.
Goodnight, Barnstorm! We left early and missed many musical acts, dancing, and the pumpkin judging. Several people brought tents, which were pitched outside the barn for those wanting to sleep over. I opted for my cozy bed at home.
It has begun.
Flowers go to seed,
and autumn flowers blossom.
The Autumn Equinox ~ Stepping into the power of the dark part of the yearly cycle.
This is the time when the dark, which has been growing, is in balance with the light. We are grateful for the Harvest, but we also know that Life is waning.
This is time of year when Persephone descends to the Underworld to access her deep wisdom and compassion in caring for the dead. It is the time of her mother Demeter’s grief and sorrow, and with her we weep for our losses.
This year, Mabon, or the Autumn Equinox, is especially meaningful for me. In the past few months I have gone through losses due to an autoimmune disease signaled by a medical emergency in May. Since then, I have not posted much, because I have been resting, regaining strength by walking, and most difficult, getting used to my new life. Some days are good, others are not so good. Until I wake in the morning, I do not know whether I’ll be incapacitated by fatigue, or whether I’ll be able to do some work or visit a friend.
Some days I feel that life is indeed waning. This Equinox I enter the underworld of chronic illness and seek whatever wisdom I am able to glean from this dark place. Certainly I am learning much about patience, loss, compassion, and stepping into my power as I deal with the medical community. The dark also feels womb-like at times, and I can even appreciate how this hermit-life may suit me. This is a perfect time of year for introspection, for seeking wisdom.
Will you be descending to the underworld this Autumn?
Sometimes, usually when we least expect it, an event happens ~ after which life is never quite the same again. There have been no posts from me for quite some time, as I learn and feel my way into new ways of living after experiencing a health crisis. Slowly, deliberately, over the past few months I’ve been regaining my strength, noticing the little things ~ and coming to terms with the unpredictability of living. We can never know what will happen tomorrow, or even in the next few moments. On some level, we all know this, but for me it has become a lived reality.
Photo by Seth Rockmuller
As a result, I’m not certain which direction this blog will follow. What shall I release? What shall I continue? As the leaves begin to drift down from the trees, autumn seems an appropriate time to sweep away the unessential. Samhain will soon arrive, heralding a new year, a new cycle. Its meaning will be deeper for me this year, as I welcome my ancestors into conversation, and walk on the wild side.