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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rituals of Life, the Year, and Especially Autumn

Well, folks, I have read the "writing prompts" for NaBloWriMo and please excuse me if I continue to follow my own path. NEVER am I at a loss for words, voice or in print!  LOL

After over a week of damp, wet and totally rainy days the weather pattern has shifted for a day or so. We have had sunny and partially sunny skies today and tomorrow is forecast to be equally warm (low 70s) but overcast. NO RAIN or fog.

When you live like I do, the ebb and flow of the seasons and the weather day by day has an unavoidable effect. Many outside farm and garden projects simply cannot be completed in the rain and the necessary ones (tending critters, picking from the garden for lunch or supper) take longer when fighting rain, mud and working in foul weather gear. I also have chosen to omit a clothes dryer from my home's appliance list, so laundry works around "good drying days" or gets done in small bits and hung on drying racks in the house.
I last did laundry about a week and a half ago (count the underwear if you are not sure) and that did not include sheets. The day was getting late when I discovered one of the kitties had left a wet hairball mess on the bed and getting the spread and blanket out in time to dry before the evening dew was top priority. I took the opportunity to begin the seasonal change to flannel sheets. The fall clothing swap, when my shorts, short sleeve shirts and other warm weather gear gets washed and placed in boxes, labeled by category, to be stacked in an old wardrobe in the garage. Cooler season clothing must be brought in for this to happen; the boxes are all labeled with a "summer" label on one end and a "winter" on the other. This several-time-a-year ritual is one that I really enjoy. It is nice to meet "old friends" again! You can probably guess I am not one to buy lots of new clothing and as time goes on, I am actively moving towards do so even less frequently. Most of what I wear is here on the farm and my black pants/white tops for work. I used to say "the goats don't care" what I am wearing and I am pretty sure the tomatoes don't either! Tractor Guy grew up in the south, and does not have this clothing swap tradition, though he does now have to wear different things to accommodate the seasons. I try not to let it drive me nuts when I see ALL his clothes, winter and summer, hanging in his closet... winter and summer!

Fall always gets me to thinking about Ritual. Fall is the beginning of the dark season, when in my tradition, we turn more inward in physical space and in spirit. I find myself, only at this time of the year, wanting to gather like-minded folk around the hearth to study the lore and to talk of the Gods and the way of the northlands. I'll likely pick up a study of the Runes again soon. Spend time in the evening spinning (once I get the wheel completed!) and do more regular and formal work on Friday evenings with Frigga in mind.

It is also a time when my mind dredges up new designs for the hex signs I paint. Finding time to put ideas into electrons and eventually to paint them on wood is always a challenge. I have one in the works -- a Maine theme hex ("the way life should be") featuring a moose surrounded by a wreath of maple leaves in the colors of the changing seasons. It's meaning will be quiet strength and sweetness in life.

But for now, thoughts of supper and bed gather in my mind. Last evening we were able to resolve "the skunk problem" but it kept us up later than usual and I was scheduled for a longer and very busy day at work today. But I am about done getting the laundry out (it can hang overnight; come in tomorrow mid-day) and the rabbit cages and cat boxes got cleaned. With any luck we will have steps on our new deck and I will be able to use them tomorrow! Putting on my muck boots and tromping through the tall wet grass before dawn to go to work the past few days was NOT fun, but we got rained out last week before completing the new deck. And power tools do not go well with rain, especially as I need to keep Tractor Guy around a least long enough to FIX the tractor!