Friday, July 31, 2009

More Thoughts on the First Fruits

Lordy I'm Wordy...
If you'll remember my thoughts on the Celtic celebration of Lughnasadh, this is the continuation of those thoughts...I took my camera out to the garden just before a thunderstorm yesterday, looking for more GREEN.
I searched through the leaves of my cabbages looking for the little guys who made the windows in the leaves...and here he was...him and all 162 of his little friends.
I couldn't help but thinking it was a good metaphor for the feeling of Lughnasadh - the taking of the First Fruits...and there is something about making windows and being satisfied after making those windows...but there is nothing in the metaphor about ruining a good girl's cabbages.

There is something in the metaphor about these tendrils of green, all coiled up so pretty like that. They GREW that way, like a hose curled around, waiting to be attached to a sprinkler to wet down a yellowing patch of lawn.
There is something in the metaphor about this Egg-Gourd vine now curling around the fence with its tendrils and letting itself go wherever it needed to, to get out from under the huge tomatoes that grow over the top of them...

Tenacity brings this vine its rewards of sunshine and water.

There is something in the metaphor about how the leaf on this Hollyhock is making itself visible, right on top of the showy purpley-pink flower. There is a kind of contentment in laying itself out to soak in all it needs to give energy to the flower. There is a time to be the showy flower, and a time to be the practical, unassuming leaf...
at this time of year, I am so content to be the green leaf.

There is something in the metaphor about this willow tree growing in my backyard. I planted it purposefully, with vigor, to remind me that I may bend, but will never break.
There is a metaphor of Letting Go in each of these:
I can't cry and stalk the poor little blokes that insist on creating swiss cheese from my cabbages...I just calmly sprayed them out.
It is okay for me to uncoil the tendrils I've carefully grown,
so I can grasp and cling quietly to what I need.
I am well within my rights to unfurl myself and soak in all that I need to thrive.
I can stand proud and tall,
because I know that no manner of bending to listen and look will break me.
This August 1st, I will be grateful, thankful, down on my knees with gratitude
over the growth of my spirit, and the plucking of the first fruits of my heart.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"It's Raining Tooooth-ehs!"

After days and days of boil-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk heat - in the upper 90's here in Sisters, Oregon, which is an absolute heatwave in the Pacific Northwest - it finally grew dark and dim by 3pm today, and by 4pm it had begun to thunder and lightening,
and by 5 o'clock we had thumb-sized hail and rain just pouring, pouring, pouring.
My daughter yelled out, "Mommy!!! It's raining tooooooth-ehs! Ihave to get one!"
I said, "Okay! Why do you need one?"
"So I can give one to the tooth fairy!!!"
Well...I believe that just might work as a get-rich-quick scheme...
I like that Emma. She's always thinking ahead.

It was such a relief, I stood in it for a bit with my eyes closed and arms out being thankful for the release of all the moisture the heat had taken.
Reason Number 134 of Why I love the Earth so much:
it always gives back what it takes.
It teaches me to graciously give of those things I have taken.

A little video of our Sudden Rain.


The First Fruits of My Heart

Lammas (or Lughnasadh from the Ancient Celts) is a festival (traditionally celebrated on August 1st of each year) that celebrates the first fruits of harvest, the fruits of our labours, and seeing the desires that we had at the start of the year unfold. Lammas is an early Christian festival, "lammas" means loaf mass and represented the first loaves baked from that year's crop. These were taken to church and laid on the altar. Lughnasadh, a much earlier, pre-Christian form of the holiday, celebrates the first harvest, completion of work, a transformation, contentment, letting go; the first moments when the Earth is giving of her harvest before she readies herself for the winter are celebrated now.
It seems that Earth-Centered belief systems have a lot to say about the Harvest seasons, and take great pleasure in making them worthwhile and meaningful. Though, the traditional colors of this holiday are the earthier reds and golds, purply-browns and burnt-oranges, I am thinking of GREEN. Transformation, completion and contentment at the work I have done, looks like LOVE to me...and LOVE is the color of the Heart Chakra, which is GREEN for me.
To me, this time of year means, "Look at what your hard work has brought you to. Look at how the heart of the Goddess parallels your heart." I am deep within the Green Chakra these days, as I have languished beneath the drooping leaves of precious trees, and peered out among tall grasses...I have been inside the Goddess' Heart, like a Sanctuary. And as I learn to "DO" what I want to "BE", I find that green surrounds me. Like a chrysalis, a green room in which my wings are forming. This August 1st at Lughnasadh, I am reminded to be THANKFUL for the generosity and the bounty of the First Fruits of the labour that the Goddess and I have been doing, side by side, weeding and tending down the garden paths of my heart.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Inspire Me Mondays - Little Memories

Today I am inspired by Little Memories.
In a oblong, off-kilter honey-hued wooden bowl
I keep little bits of memory...
tiny heart-shaped rocks, no bigger than my pinky fingernail,
and itty bitty feathers left like presents on my lawn,
chips of fire-roasted orange agate,
the remains of fresh-water oysters,
They each serve to remind me of walks we've been on,
or birds we've met,
the flowers we identified,
I wish I could put this memory into my little wooden bowl...
having dug like mini-archeaologists for hours in a dust pile,
hop in the house and shift off all their loose dirt here;
they left this tiny footprint stencil,
like fossilized childhood.
Find other Inspirational Mondays here, and join up yourself!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I've Run Away with Nature - AND EXCITING NEWS!!

This summer has been handed to me like a gift.
I have been friends with
the sun, the grasses, the bumblebees,
the wildflowers, the calling bird, the rushing river,
the clinging vine, the small spiders,
...the midnight moon in full...
they whisper to me, begging me to come
And so I have.
Like the dish ran away with the spoon,
I've run away with Nature.
I've been sitting among grasses and hiding myself,
pulling up the energy of the roots and taking in all those fine feelings
of the intricate hum and brizzle of these fat fellows
so intense upon their work
like chubby little policemen with powdered sugar on their faces
and up and down their arms
and on their fuzzy backs

I've been driven to capture the wild domesticity of flowers in a garden -
planted here but dreaming of living somewhere quiet and frequented by only butterflies and the occasional fawn...
Striking hues that take me to sunset beaches of places I've never been,
open and receiving,
giving freely

Wildly Organized

translucent and full of light

Nestled her and there
unassuming little Ladies
opening like a kitschy lotus

found in an odd hazy corner of a very large garden

these bits of cloudy blue crepe

hovering over genteel ladies sipping tea at garden parties

More fuzzy bees in pink mallow
so happy and busy and smile-inducing
How appropriate to find Her here as well...
She offers reflection, prayer, thanks, and sanctuary.
I am so thankful for this beautiful world we live in,
and even for the bit of taming and creating gardeners try to do,
so that women like me can run away with Nature,
and never get lost.
My book is finally available for purchase!!
It is so gosh darned exciting, I just can't express it enough.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Secret Garden at Belknap Springs

On the banks of the glacier-cold Mckenzie River
in the Cascade Mountains of my BEAUTIFUL state of Oregon,
we found a 100+ year old resort at the site of a natural hot springs.
Belknap Hot Springs is full of a peaceful, vibrant energy.
It invited us to walk and inhale scents down to our toes and warm our bodies,
floating on the most bouyant hot mineral water you've ever rested in.
A bridge over the rushing river carried my son and I
away from our camping spot one early morning
As we crossed the bridge we saw the steam from the hot springs trickling down the hillside and could almost make out the hissssss at it hit the icy waters...but not quite, because the river was rather loud as it rushed past us.

We were enchanted by the wall of vines,
and felt the humidity in this spot like a blanket over our skin.
We followed a very pleasant but unassuming little path straight into the forest
and expected nothing more than a little jaunt through the cedars and pines.

But upon turning the first corner, we knew this wasn't like any forest walk we'd been on.
It began with little bridges over creeks and pools.
Further along, we found spots like this one above...I bowed here and said a prayer of thanks,
quietly touching my cheek to the Japanese Maple here...
My breath caught in my throat when we went around a dark,
cobbled corner and found this gateway...
Here is what greeted us...
A page from the past was flashing before my eyes...
All the light and bright
of the greens in every single hue and shade and shadow and brightness,
dotted with spots of brilliant mango-blush reds and exotic-sunset purples
The air was fresh and everything was dewy,
I washed my face in the dew caught in the leaves of the Lady's Mantle here.
I breathed it in, but could not close my eyes.
No other soul was around, and we were enchanted.
I could imagine people quietly murmuring in their togas walking to and fro,
in this Ancient Greco-Romanesque Temple Garden. It was both fascinatingly familiar,
and unknown to me. I've never quite felt anything like it before.
The natural creek had been diverted and sent on all these reflecting pools and around the center dias, back off the other side through the huge moss-covered boulders. We could hear it quietly draining through them and off into another pool on the other side of the high walls.

I would happily spend an entire day in this garden lying on the grasses and listening to the little waterfalls here and there and the bumble bees in the roses and watch the spiders spinning their webs. There was a very clear feeling of a place that is not entirely neglected, but has a sort of "aloof-elite" feeling...very airy and whispery in here...

There were big wonderful moss-covered "stone" tables and benches in one portion and I was imagining myself spending much time here journaling and photographing every nook and cranny.
I dream of going back and spending more than one night here!
We never did actually get to explore the Oregon Caves, as our littlest one was a tad too short for their specifications, so that was a big bummer, but maybe next year!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

At the Close of Day - poem prompt

At the Close of Day
sanguine hearts heat
beat together
two wings of one feathered
flaming being
one fox fur-streak
sky seance
at close of day
an open orb is cut
by sunbeam-acuity
section by section
a lost-orange hue
like icarus
a lingering loiter
then a sorry slump
a hump
of coal-dark feathers
Oooh, these are my favorite, and I wait for these prompts. I love WORDS!
This one was so quick - I love the idea of describing a slow, but eventual down-fall of the sun at the end of the day.
These "wordles" are prompts from READWRITEPOEM

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My Son - My Heart

Tonight I'm thinking about my son. He is an awful lot like me. He likes to get his own way, and it touches him deeply when he is denied an opportunity. He wants to KNOW, not just be told something. He wants to be taken seriously. He needs his voice to be heard, and I think of how often I am tired, or busy, or just don't want to be bothered. Oh Goddess, I am so glad that I am a reflective human being. I am SO thankful that I look back so quickly on things I've said or done that did not serve. I do not ever like to live with regrets. Some things I thought I would do before it was too late, and when I did not do them, I wasn't as unhappy as I thought I'd be, but THIS I know: if I am not as good to my children and for my children that I know it is possible for me to be, I will regret it.

Sometimes I do not see him. Sometimes he is me, and I do not see us. I know that I can take the shushing and the "not now" and so I do it to him, thinking we are the same. I regret it, because though we are so much alike, he is him, and I am me.

My son. I don't know if I can describe how much...if I can let you know what it is to love another human being like I do him. It is such familiarity that I tend to put him in my back pocket, and that is like pocketing a star. Poor little trusting star, that gets bags under its eyes over the tiredness of trying to shine so bright in there.

He is a mirror to me. The more tender I am to myself, the more tender I am to him. I am consciously taking the time to look him over, to look into him and see the beautiful gift he is here to give. He wants me to know that he is capable, that he is smart, that he is strong. The way he lights up when I listen, the way he clings to me when we is a gift. What a beautiful, open, trusting little man I've been gifted.

Friday morning, I woke up very early with him (he prides himself on being an early riser...he is so much like the Sun in all he does), and we went for a long walk at Belknap Springs (which I will tell more about later). He just followed me and held my hand, and was so giddy at time alone with me, and I was intent and curious to find all the hidden nooks and crannies in the meandering trails that lead from garden to garden, that I was barely noticing his presence, just pulling him along: "This way, Ethan. Hurry up!" Until the last picture I took, when he said, "Mommy, take a picture of me by the fountain!" So, though I had only one picture left on the card, I grudgingly said, "Alright honey, go ahead." He ran to the center and I snapped his picture, almost absentmindedly. He was so happy about it and had to see it twice before we left. I am ashamed of myself now, and first thing in the morning I want to look him full in the face and say, "Hey! I see you. Tell me how you are. Let's do what you want to do."

Only now, when I was loading up the pictures onto the computer, did I look at his picture and really got a close up view, and I saw how tired he was (it was very early) and how happy he looked to be getting me to take his picture. I felt sad that I was so intent on my own agenda that morning that I didn't make it more about US, more about the time we were spending together.
I don't like to have regrets, and like I said, I am very thankful that I was born to be so reflective. I see it, and I say, "No more of that. I've got to change that attitude." and so I shall.
I've been putting him in my pocket, and I need to be taking him out to look him full in the face. I love to see him shine.

The night before we went out on our walk, I was listening to my ipod trying to get to sleep by listening to a new John Denver cd I put on it, "Poems, Prayers and Promises" and I heard the song, "Let it Be" - how BEAUTIFUL! I know I've heard that song about 100 times in my life, but this was really floating over me like a fine warm mist. I just was smiling and taking it all in.

Today, I am taking it into my heart...though I've made mistakes before, I am always striving to do my best, "Let it Be...there will be an answer, let it be...whisper words of wisdom, let it be...and when the night is clouded there is still a light that shines on me, shines until tomorrow, let it be...and I wake up to the sounds of music, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it Be!"

Ah!!! What a healing balm...Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, Let it Be.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Inspire Me Mondays - Camping

"Camping is an Oregon Value"
I read that somewhere recently about traveling in Oregon, and I thought, "cool...camping is a value!" If camping is a value, then we are like...full of value...hmmm...well, anyway, we camp and camp and camp and this is the first time I've brought my computer with was really so that I could be typing up my Goode Ladye's Press for July, but I realized that we could get wireless just by hooking up my husband's Blackberry to the computer!!! What a cool deal, so today, though I'm a day late, and waaaaay out of town, I thought to myself, I just had to share the pictures I took today, with short captions. ALSO, MOM!! You won the necklace! Those little stone-looking casings WERE little stones, a kind of insect called a Caddisfly makes these casings around themselves when they are mutating, and then they live in them until they outgrow them and put other things around them, too, with some kind of "insect glue" - veeery cool. So, ma, thanks for playing! Thanks ladies for trying!!! Okay, onto the camping trip:

"Lady of the Wood"
This was carved by a man who worked at Crater Lake in 1917. He wasn't recognized for it for quite a few years; apparently some people thought that perhaps the rock was carved/formed by nature (?) That would be a big stretch for me, but what do I know! It was a very sensitive and beautiful carving that was suppose to reflect his emotions about this place.

The Crater Lake gift shop...there were many gift shops, but this one was something else...I don't know what it was, but I had very SERIOUS dejavu' with it...Like...VERY serious dejavu'...did I work here in a previous life? I've had dreams about this building for a few years...recurring dreams...isn't that veeery veery interesting?! It was built in the 1920s, but was really in it's hayday in the 30's.
And we actually saw Crater Lake, too! Crater Lake is actually a Caldera, not a Crater, but this was named before anybody knew the difference. A "crater" is formed when the top is blown clean off of a volcano, but a "caldera" is formed when the volcano simply can't support itself anymore and the top crumbles into itself. This caldera then filled with melted snow and rain over centuries and centuries. Mount Mazama actually erupted some 7,700 years ago...I love this stuff!!!
The Island there is called "Wizard Island" and is another magma formed cone. Apparently, you could pay out-the-nose to get a boat ride out to it and around the whole thing. We didn't have any money up our noses, so we couldn't do it.
The edges were very steep, and it was fairly freaking me out, but...I got over it. The water is the cleanest in the WORLD. The water was so BLUE!! I couldn't get over it. The dark spots on the top of the water in this picture were actually cloud shadows! wow...
I really did love all the geological history of the place, in fact, I couldn't get enough of all of that, but I just was also fascinated by the human history. This, for instance, is the Crater Lake Lodge (which you must pay an arm-and-a-leg for per night, and just didn't have any extra arms and legs to stay there). They began building this in the early 1900s - something like 1902, and seems like it wasn't really finished until the 20s. They used local stone for the foundation. It was just so picturesque, and, it was very 1918, if you ask me.
I mean, look at this porch with old wooden rockers, facing Crater Lake. How much more "1918" could you get?! You would literally only have to walk about 50 feet to get to the cliff edge of the crater from this spot. I don't think I'd enjoy staying there, but I loved learning about it's history!
Hopefully, I'll be able to share our trip to the Oregon Caves tomorrow, too.