Now a month past Beltane, the lush green is full and as if it always has been. Roses begin to bloom, the garden wants planting and thunderstorms rock the land. The Maypole was torn out of the Earth by violent winds in a crazy storm one night just before the end of May. Sometimes the heat is already at times oppressive, the first fresh vegetables and fruits are at markets and bugs are constant. Days stretch until past bedtime, summer is now.
Some notes for the season:
Halfway from Beltane, it has rained for weeks, sometimes a deluge, sometimes just mist. The bottom of my skirt is soaked from wet grass- walking across the land and working in the garden. Finally the lilacs and the lilies of the valley have bloomed and the air is fragrant. Columbine, irises and chives show off their scarlet and purple heads. We have eaten bowls of violets, had armloads of daffodils, and the tulips are huge. The rose bushes are covered with buds, as are the lilies and the peonies. Summer flies towards us on raindrops.
But Beltane always seems to be the time of the flowering tree. Since this season was pleasantly slowed by cool weather, we had weeks of magnolias, dogwood and fruit trees blossoming. A magical world of flowers and mist.
We welcomed the season with an all day/late night celebration of Bryan with food and friends and community. Up before the dawn, waking up slow with the dew, washing my face and sleeping more.
We were up long before the day-o to welcome in the summertime to welcome in the May-o.
Setting up the maypole is always the work of both of us, male and female together, a balanced division of laboring. All the ribbons were there but were tangled-the long methodical unraveling of color and memory.
I wove daffodils of every variety from all over the land around the bicycle wheel crown of our Maypole.
Notes from the day:
Birds talk, telling each other to come or go. Redwing blackbirds, robins and blue jays and hummingbirds.
The aliveness of this earth.
Morning-after morning. Suddenly summer, where the outside hangout takes over. Lots of coffee and too many sweets. Bryan sitting with bees.
Bringing the fire to the fire, the all night burning fire re-kindled like magic with an instant giving needed warmth and embers for our sacred fire. The all night smolder to shed the winter.
Twice round the circle with crushed corn tortillas for the Earth Mother. Colored eggs for the directions, old dairy for the outsiders. Beer for the gates, Beer for Mananan, pork gravy for Bridget- sizzling and sparking.
Gently handing sacrifices one by one to Bryan. Barefoot on the earth, toes in dandelions. Feeling comfortable on the the earth, energy from the sun and earth mixing within our center. Being present in the present.
the stories of the oils:
The first for our Ancestors in the darkest blue glass was sweet almond oil. The next for the Spirits of Nature and Place in a medium blue glass was sunflower oil rich yellow and full of bubbles. The light blue glass- bright blue like the sky and very clean was for the Gods and Goddesses. Olive oil, green and rich filled the glass. For the Season -a pale green glass with a bit of each oil.
Then the essentials: for the Ancestors -sweet almond oil in a dark blue glass – VALOR, deep blue oil, strong – very slow to drop a single drop. Patience. for the Spirits of Nature and Place - sunflower oil in a medium blue glass- CLARITY- steadily dripping and fragrant. for the Gods & Goddesses- clear blue glass with green olive oil- MOTIVATION- flowing so fast it got 7 drops instead of 6. for the season – all 3 oils in the pale green glass- LAVENDER- coming out so slowly and sparsely only getting 3 drops.
flowers, flowers, thanks for the flowers- gratitude for past lives that they may come together now to support/ show present day self what it needs to know.
Past earth incarnations/selves coming together to support us with lessons.
past and future together in flowers, petals blowing in the wind, ashes of petals blowing in the smoke.
flaming oil in the air.
chocolate, mussels, bread, smoldering baked smoke sacrifice carry our prayers and gratitude.
Bryan enveloped in the smoke asking for a sign from the spirits in our omens.
from our Ancestors- Berkanu, birch, birth and beginnings
from the Spirits of Nature & Place- Gibor, gift or sacrifice
from the Gods & Goddesses- Ingwaz, the seed, the growing and expanding
for the Season- Uruz, the ox, the wild ox, great primordial strength.
OGHAM- Straif- blackthorn meaning force.
Beginning. Giving. Seed. Strength. (life)FORCE
time to shine.
the maypole dance – gentle and peaceful.
2 boys, 2 girls- naturally balanced with love.
over under, over under. Simply wound and then untangling the one ribbon, gently unwound.
the warm strength of the fire
the warm strength of the sun.
the rush of the stream, the wind blowing gently.
Camaraderie of good friends, women in the kitchen. Summer gatherings.
I gave the wilted hand wash flowers as thanks to the fire well and tree. Waiting at the well for the flowers to drift towards their journey downstream seemed like a lesson.
Last weekend there were only daffodils, no other flowers or leaves. Soon all will be fully leafed. But today, this May- I watch the buds open and the chartreuse darken to summer green.
transformation is complete and happens in an instant.