Saturday, July 20, 2013

Full-on Summer: a recap of the busyness in and around solstice-it’s a long season

hawk at Clearwater
Each day is overbooked and hot. It has torrentially rained for a week or more, though these last days have had more sun than rain. And it is hot. Sweat pouring into your eyes hot.
Tropical hot. Even in the shade, waiting for a breeze to stir. Gratefully loving cloud cover. Cloud cover without rain.

But the woods and the brook are cool.
Sitting on a rock in the middle of the water rushing over my feet is normalizing.
does it ever stop this nonstop summer season?
lists over lists, and every day events we miss.
Circling the wagons in our overgrown land,
full of summer and flowers and bugs.
Having the option to just be,
to lay in bed and read summer homework,
or roll like the cat,
or pace or stretch or cry or laugh
or babble like the brook or sing.
Thinking that maybe summer is doing all the things to prepare for winter,
and winter is dreaming of summer.
It rained and was cool for ever.
All of June we had  jackets or shawls out.
Just in case.
Now even the loosest clothes are too much and though the earth and wood remain constantly wet. we cannot get enough water in or on us.

Spiraling days, nights, dreams, visions manifest.
Tumbling into each other.
Ok so it all began when she died.
She who was his mother, their mother, 
everyone’s mother.
She was the mother of
my brother-from-another-mother.
She raised us all.
Her sudden death was stupefying. Doris
She was life force itself and
this whole  community was from her heart.
From her I learned womanhood-
mother, artist, sister,
breadwinner, hostess, kindness,
visionary, sustainer, crone.
Her eyes were the brightness of the sun and moon combined, and her smile was direct from the heart.
Summer and love go hand in hand.
Through the field & flowers and to the stream.
We turn our faces towards the sun,
and feel ourselves grow, heliotropic
with these endless days and large moons.
moon     It started the last week of school, we were preparing for Clearwater festival art & camping, finishing art nature projects and classes, launching the website and new businesses, getting ready for our anniversary and solstice and jumping on construction and repairs on our place. Fortunately, long days let you cram it all in. Real life keeps you real.
fish banner
Driving rain and driving distances and many people gathering in many places.
3 druid guys
Notes written just after our MidSummer Solstice ritual:
everything all at once is summer.
connections and reconnections summer.
leaves hang still and dark and green summer.
old friends, growing children
home & technology
invisible deck made visible
keeping up with the lists
flowers endlessly bloom
all the roses, smiling daisys, giant wisteria, valerian and mallow and sweet clover. The last peonies harvested for sacrifice before the rains took them all.
last peoniesgarden in bloom iris in the woods milkweed stargazers
many colors
Cycles of seasons-
the days of oppressive heat here and by Yule this extended abundance of life and light
will be only in our hearts and memory.

the week started with exhaustion and love,
naps and slack,
a normal rain storm after days of deluge ones.
the garden grows on its own with makeshift and handwoven fences.
Daylight is at 5am and it is dark well after 9pm.

Even with or maybe because of these long days, time is fleeting and fragile. 7pm feels like the afternoon and summer vacation hours apply.
Each day of that week was full of endings and beginnings and reassembling.
Friends and family and plans and changing plans.

When we started this (family, grove, home)we had many plans and they’ve changed slightly or subtly or completely or not at all-
interrelationship of time and space.
Massive cleaning in slow motion, friends making dinner together, eating before ritual, fire set in the circle near the house, near the new deck, home.
gathered on the deck We made our wreaths of grapes and flowers
during the extended pre-ritual family-style summer gathering party-like filled with smiles.
Bryan's wreath
We started and it was day
and we ended and it was night.
I cannot find the words to describe the power of connections and the love of friends.
Or maybe it is the power of friends and the love of connections.
Or maybe it is the power of love and the connections of friends.
Or maybe all of the above.

Bryan’s long-time druid buddy, grove member from his old grove and kindred spirit of art and performance, the father of his god-daughter and his true friend was visiting from the West Coast and came with his family for Solstice. Uncle Bill.friendship
Katrina & Eric, country-style neighbors who each met Bryan separately, came with flowers and food and leaving their daughter sick at home. As friend-family and grove-family, Katrina easily helps organize and assemble
and readies food and things.
Kevin arrived, as I knew he would, now having celebrated 3 years of Solstices with us. He found us through a listing of our grove on an English druid site.
And finally, long time brother M and soul-sister B arrived. Transplants from the old days, who each found their way up here and through me have become friends with each other.
Flowers for offerings, flowers in our hair, flowers surrounding us
swaying in gentle breezes.
pre-rit finished, instruments out for use, everyone sitting, fire stoked, sacrifice set,
we begin.
         the stick with bells and the gong,
our call to ritual

Children of great friends, children of cool Druids,
gather and wait for adults to gather
and play thumb pianos setting the tone for and holding space during ritual.
             children & thumb pianos2 children & thumb pianos3 children & thumb pianos1

Offering milk and grahams crackers to the directions, welcoming in new energies, the moon, old friends and the other side of the year.
graham cracker offering
the Eastmilk to the North at the wellhead
Beer for our Earth Mother and our sacred tree and herbs for our fire and resonant sound for our magical well.
pouring into the wellthe bucket, filled from the waterfall earlier (hoping to get some fish), filled our well pot with a slowly extended pour like more and more clowns from out of a small car into our well.
standing tree
Bill led a tree meditation with the sounds of rustling leaves and bird calls.
We are still and strong and vertical and alive like the trees.
circling round the fire with bowls of flower petals for each of the kindreds.
Each person offering praise and prayers and poems and even tears.
Sparky herbs from Yule lighting and flaring-
sparky good health for us all
boy offering his wreath
girl offering silence
everyone offering gratitude and love
Katrina shared Tom Bombadil’s song, transcribed by her daughter,
and placed and replaced around the circle, 
using the echo-mic for amplification.
song  “Hop along, my little friends, up the Withywindle!
Tom's going on ahead candles for to kindle. Down west sinks the Sun: soon you will be groping.
When the night-shadows fall, then the door will open,
Out of the window-panes light will twinkle yellow.
Fear no alder black! Heed no hoary willow!
Fear neither root nor bough!
Tom goes on before you.
Hey now! merry dol!
We'll be waiting for you!”
-J.R.R. Tolkien
spirit in the night
  Night grew blue and deep,
the fire blazed with final sacrifice,
spirits shining in flame and smokesolstice fire solstice fire solstice fire solstice fire solstice fire solstice fire solstice fire IMG_5526 solstice fire solstice fire solstice fire  darkness and the fire reading the smoke omens
watching in stillness  

figure face flame dragon 

Our Omens
  runes from the ancestors: Gibor- the gift or giver or giving, that whole reciprocal relationship
from the spirits of nature & place: Jera or harvest or a year’s cycle or a duration of a contract
from the Gods & Goddesses: Laguz or the Lake, drawing up the waters from below, the vitality from within the earth
for the season: Wunjo or Joy or the company of good friends

Our Ogham
from the ancestors: Black Thorn- no choice
from the spirits of nature & place: Reed- might mean actual medicine but has to do with flexibility and a low broad base
from the Gods & Goddesses: Holly- the vitality and the fire, the life force
for the season: the Apple Tree- the joy of the afterlife and also love
The Virtues from the ancestors: Fertility
from the spirits: Hospitality
from the Gods & Goddesses: Wisdom
for the season: Moderation
giving thanks  for spirit  in our hearts
Now we have had almost 2 weeks of 90+° weather and no rain for more than a week.
we had hoped to dry out but not with so much dehydration.
Air conditioning or fans offer the only coolness, the only means of rest, we have little appetite and dreams return.
Clearing and washing down and airing out.

The garden begins to yield harvest,
farms in the valley have corn and tomatoes.
Up here the lilies and roses are almost done, daisys now fade as the suzys take over,
phlox and elecampane start their high summer blossom and the hibiscus, pitcher plant and rose of sharon will have flowers shortly.
I know the leaves will turn sooner than I expect, and these unbearably hot days, even now noticeably shorter, will grow cold and brief 
in this cycle of the year.
wishbone divination