This past Friday was the Autumnal Equinox, and with that came our first celebration of a new tradition. There's been so much change in our family in recent years, and while we still hold and celebrate our old traditions, I found myself longing for a celebration that was all our own, one that could be shaped and molded completely to our choosing without the burden of generations of observance. I found the answer in the solstices and equinoxes.

Mabon is celebrated with the Autumnal Equinox, sometime around September 21. It embraces the harvest, the celebration of the equal length of day and night. It encourages connection to nature. Gwen and I did a nature walk after school to collect items for our table, including pinecones, leaves, and some wildflowers. We do a house cleaning, like in the spring (which we did a week and a half ago), and finish with sage smudging (I did that when everyone else was out at work/school, its a strong smell!).

Of course the star of the show for my family was the food! We did a smattering of harvest relevant foods like corn, bread, apples, nuts, grapes, and wine. We did turkey legs as our main protein. 

We turned off the light and ate by candlelight to embrace the coming darkness. And we discussed the meaning behind the holiday, what we were being thankful for.

For dessert, there was French Apple Cake, a new recipe for me to play with! 

After dinner we took another walk, as the sunset fell. It really turned out so well and we enjoyed it thoroughly!!

Happy Mabon all! I hope it is a beautiful season for you!


Autumnal Equinox

Oh Autumn! Time of crunchy leaves, crisp air, and that happy place between hottest summer and snowy winter.

I will always celebrate this season, and revel in the unique joys and observances we find this time of year. Indeed, last night/tonight we add a new element to our keeping of this day, and I can't wait to share it with you once I get a real chance to put down my thoughts (Monday!).

But for today I'll just enjoy the balance that comes this time of year, when days and nights have found their equilibrium and before we move into the longer nights of winter.

Enjoy, friends!


Rambling Rambles

Wedding hair color!
Before the wedding I was more then a little stressed out. There was so much to think about and get done - logistical things like replacing tires for the drive out, booking a dogsitter, making sure I had everything for my outfit, and buying things to help make the centerpieces - I wanted my best girl's wedding to perfect! That was not, of course, my responsibility, but I just wanted to be sure that everything that I was handling was as perfect as possible. Plus, the rest of life didn't stop because I was thinking about a wedding. We have a bunch of big travel coming up throughout the rest of the year, and there were things that needed to be addressed for those as well, not to mention school items and teaching. I was feeling a little overwhelmed.

While all this was happening, I couldn't help thinking about how ridiculous it was of me to complain; because at the very same time, a whole city was/is underwater. Blogs that I read, people that I know, friends and online acquaintances, whole cities of strangers that deserve so much better... they're all underwater. Fighting for their lives in some cases, or for their homes and livelihoods. (Just look at this over at Lag Liv, and this one too.) I feel silly for being overwhelmed by the good things in life, and completely stuck for ways to actually help (these are great references).

But here's the thing about life: it keeps going despite the horrors of the world.

(From Lag Liv:

I was standing in Trader Joe's today and just looking at all the people buying healthy foods for their week ahead and I just wanted to yell "do you know what Houston looks like right now? do you know there are piles of drywall everywhere? and mold is starting to grow and spread? and people don't have flood insurance? or money or power or AC or water and it is all just fucking awful?" But of course they don't. I mean, some may have gone down to Houston like me and seen it, but one of our necessary abilities is being able to move on from other people's tragedies to focus on ourselves. You can't let every disaster devastate you. You help, but you stay in your circle and you live your life. I've done the exact same thing over and over again and you must, but it was just so jarring to have gone from a drywall covered emotionally overwrought hellscape to... Trader Joe's, four hours and several light-years away. )

So I continued to be overwhelmed and anticipatory.

There are just so many things on my To Do list, projects I want to try to tackle, things I want to incorporate into life, new ventures to pursue; but I already feel like I am just maintaining adequacy with what is currently on my plate.

I had a full week last week, with new doula clients, yoga classes, a dozen errands and the normal day-to-day details, but this one should be slightly calmer? I look forward to "working ahead" on what I can. Pounding out details so hopefully our next trips are just a smidge less stressful. We'll see how that actually works, of course.