the leaves are falling in droves and we've had 2 nights of frost. I know it's cold but seeing the sun in a million crystals on the trees and grass sure is pretty. Samhain aproaches with it's usual upheavals forcing summer to end and the winter to hold fast.
But on this day, October 24 2008, Our Whole Protogrove is born
Juggling schedules, opportunities and events, we came together. Earlier than originally planned and then a bit later, accommodating all that we had to do and remember. This harvest time of plenty. Concord grapes, berries and tomatoes and the many roots- golden and burgundy beets and pale turnips and orange carrots of all sizes (even the miniscule). Beautiful weather and friends. Uncle Magoo came up from NC with newly carved runes, Lovisa and Tolin came with pizza and juice (kid food deluxe), Aunt Lisa came from Woodstock with lentil soup and of course Elizabeth, radiant in her smoke-free body, came with the ever present chicken! Thanks everyone for adjusting to my sudden need to rebalance our timing. I had been thinking a lot about renewal, rejoicing, rebounding, recording, reviving – all the “re” words as we were approaching a mercury retrograde at this time and the usual need to revamp and revisit our choices. With that in mind, we kept our offerings simple, our fire small and ourselves relaxed. After feeding the kids and putting our food to warm in the oven we gently and silently processed to the central fire, the bird flying and swooping overhead, and found our places on the earth around the circle. The sun shining made everything feel like summer again if only for a brief moment. Us and the bird and the Kindreds bathed in the brilliant light of a blazing autumn afternoon and ethereal fire. Leaves beginning to change, us beginning to change, realizing the coming end of summer and acknowledging with deep gratitude the bounty of our harvest. Our silent-ish offerings, always appropriate and rarely, it seems, like what we plan. The children pulled Magoo’s new runes for divination which phonetically spelled his last name. The bird coming through again for the final sacrifice- our bean pods, our corn husks, our dried grasses. Offering all the flowers, all the tomatoes, all the libations, all our prayers and thanks.
Our runes were as follows: From the Ancestors: Berkana- Birch or beginnings, birth From the Spirits of Nature & Place: Odul or Othila- sacred enclosure From the Gods & Godesses: Manuz- self For the Season: Nauthiz – need
So it felt like we never wanted to leave the circle or like we were enveloped in this glow of the end of summer and we did not need to move on. The infinite point that is balance. I don’t remember recessing back to the deck, though I remember our feasting.
And now it is 2 weeks until Samhain. Already many leaves are down- we walk ankle deep across the lawn crunching them in the brisk air. Each day there is noticeably less daylight. We clear out the garden and make the last of the sauces, pile pumpkins, dig out roots, harvest seeds, and dream of next year’s sowing.
While the belated autumn equinox entry brews, I thought I would put out that we have submitted our ADF paperwork registration and have started the process to become an officially recognized (proto)Grove. What does that mean? Well, many things- mainly organizational. As Bryan is already a fully ordained Priest, we don't have to jump through that hoop (though others would now be able to join us and then persue the dedicant path if they so choose.) But now we will get to be listed on lists, and Bryan (as clergy) will have a home grove, and we will be able to go out into the world as a group with a name and who know where that leads one.