Well Autumn is now upon us, there is no doubt, and while it has taken a little while to adjust, it is not so bad. Admittedly the darker evenings are a touch on the testing side, but this just means I get to bed earlier and awake earlier in the mornings - Ewan and I even managed to catch the tail end of sunrise from Jerbourg one morning last week, lovely to be the only people up and about, watching the fishermen going out to sea.
There is also the decreasing air temperature to consider, I mean you could probably still get sunburned in the midday sun, but going swimming in the sea has been a touch testing. Not that we haven't managed it, admittedly I am far more disciplined than Ewan, but the two of us went in down by Fort Grey yesterday, which was a first for both of us at that part of the Island and a rather lovely experience, just what we needed to clear away the weekend cobwebs! The sea certainly isn't getting any warmer however!
I am certain the blackberries are ripening later than normal this year. Ewan, Val and I went for a long walk out at Pleinmont yesterday afternoon and I was armed with a plastic container to pick lots of blackberries, but many of them weren't ready for picking and indeed many of those that were, did not taste so nice either - lack of rain you see, they are not as juicy as they should be, well not all of them anyway! Still we shared a bowl last night with apples and plums from Val's garden - you have to love Autumn fruits.
I love the crispness of Autumn too and the changing colours of the leaves on the trees, and all the berries everywhere and then all the leaves falling onto the roads, the light is different somehow, clearer, and then the moon is waxing at the moment and it looks pretty cool, I believe it is the full moon later this week so a time to let go of the old, welcome the new (remember can only have new when made space by letting go of old) and re-charge one's crystals in the moonlight.
In the Wicca calendar (known as the wheel of the year, because time is always moving like a wheel) we are now nearing the end of the Pagan year and are gearing up to celebrate the penultimate Sabbat - the Autumn Equinox or Mabon as it is also known. Mabon marks the end of the growing season and the world is getting ready to renew itself and go to sleep for a while.
Traditionally, this is the time of year when we would start to see Corn Dollies. You see when the Harvest was gathered, stalks of the best corn were set aside to be woven into a Corn Dollie and this is where the spirit of the fields would dwell during the Winter, when the land was dormant and at rest. The Corn Dollie would be presented to the landlord who owned many acres of land, and families who lived close by would rent the land from him and grow crops on it.
The Corn Dollie would be accepted and in return a feast would be given. Today, we know this as a harvest festival. Such festivals were held not only to show thanks to the Earth and enjoy her bounty, but as an act of faith that the fields would bloom again. When the fields were plowed for the next Spring's planting, the Corn Dollie would be returned to the Earth.
This kind of thing is fairly huge for me this year. I believe the seed was planted when I lived with my cousin Yo in Devon last year...the whole connection with the movement of nature. Sounds silly I know but it is very easy to be totally disconnected from the subtleties of the changing seasons, focusing on changing fashion and temperatures in offices and houses, but not really appreciating what is going on out there, in the fields and trees, with the birds and the sea. I don't know, I guess I just feel more connected to the macrocosm than I have done in a long time and that makes me feel more alive somehow.
It is great to be back teaching again. I feel so much better than I have done in a long time. I guess a combination of resting, nutrition, homeopathy, dancing, swimming in the sea and changing my own practice so that it is more pranyama, kundalini and indeed restorative based have all helped considerably. Of course it helps to have a focus too and a direction to move in...not that we always know exactly where we are headed, but just to have a vague idea of what kind of life you want to live, rather than simply what you want from life. We'll see.
Talking of dancing, Ewan and I attended one of his friend's birthday meals at La Fregart on Saturday evening (very civilised these days!) and managed to fit in some post meal dancing in Laskas with Alice...you have to love the liberation of dancing, it is all about embracing that goddess within, kind of Tantric really, plus it is incredibly healing...although I was wearing very high heels, which I never normally wear, and there were a few occasions where I felt I was at risk of breaking an ankle, probably better to dance bare foot!
Last week Chris and Ewan were doing some work on Ewan's shed and it was really noisy and dusty around here and not restful in the slightest. Today they are both out of the house and it is wonderful to have peace and quiet to write, potter around and catch up on life! Did I mention the cat? A fluffy black and white cat from next door has adopted us. She (we think she is a she) has been in and out all the time as the boys have had the back door open and we find her sleeping upstairs on the bed or in the lounge. She is really very cheeky and yet I am rather besotted by her - probably because of her cheekiness!