Beltane 2018

Beltane                                                                                         Mountain Moon

cernunnosEarth has come round the sun again to the second half of the Celtic year, marked by Beltane or Mayday, the start of the growing season. I’m going to try something new this Beltane and introduce at least a half year’s emphasis, a theme of sorts. Mountains. Yes, I’m working on Jennie’s Dead and the sumi-e and qabbalah, but I want to extend the mountain moon’s influence to Samain, to Summer’s End, six months away. On that day, the Celtic New Year, I’ll reassess.

Beltane is the day when the horned god, Cernunnos, and the Maiden aspect of the triple goddess consummate their sacred marriage which fertilizes mother earth and gives energy to plant and animal life for the season of sun and warmth. The spring ephemerals lance their way toward the sun daffodils, grape hyacinths, bitter-root, crocus among others. The color palette shifts from grays and whites and browns to wild purples, vibrant yellows, subtle whites, deep blues. Buds come on the trees. Animal babies begin their perilous lives here in the mountains. This is the true easter, the moment of resurrection. Celebrate, celebrate, dance to the music.

beltane_2017On this day a market week would commence among the ancient Celts, one where handfast marriages could be performed, women would leap over fires to enhance fertility, cattle would be driven between bonfires to ward off disease and young couples would go into the fields and imitate the marriage of Cernunnos and the Maid, adding their magic to that of the god and the goddess.

I want to take into myself that energy, the fecund moment that Beltane offers us, and use it to enhance my appreciation of our mountain home as the earth blossoms forth with food and flowers, new life of all kinds.

T’ao Ch’ien


Ninth Day, Ninth Month

T’ao Ch’ien, (365-427 A.C.E.)

scholars in a landscape, 16th centurySlowly autumn comes to an end.

Painfully cold a dawn wind thicks the dew.

Grass round here will not be green again,

Trees and leaves are already suffering.

The clear air is drained and purified

And the high white sky’s a mystery.

Nothing’s left of the cicada’s sound.

Flying geese break the heavens’ silence.

The Myriad Creatures rise and return.

How can life and death not be hard?

From the beginning all things have to die.

Thinking of it can bruise the heart.

What can I do to lighten my thoughts?

Solace myself drinking the last of this wine.

Who understands the next thousand years?

Let’s just make this morning last forever.

translator, 2000 A. S. Kline

A Splendid Result

Beltane                                                                          Mountain Moon

Glacier alley, the Chilean fjords

Glacier alley, the Chilean fjords

Kate got two good reports yesterday. Her surgeon, David Schneider, said, “If we see this kind of progress at this point, you’re going to have a splendid result.” He looked at the x-ray and also said, “You had such great cortical thickness. I was surprised by that.” He says the nicest things. Later in the day, at p.t., her physical therapist said she has great range of motion. All of this underscores the effort she’s putting in at home and augurs for a return to quilting and sewing with a pain-free right shoulder.

sparkyI’m having a bit of a pinch me moment. I contacted an electrician to install a fan in the bedroom. He not only called me back; he said he could be here today. Well. O.K. He’s the ex-son in law of Herme and the only one Herme would consider selling his business to. Herme did some work for us a couple of years ago and was great. I believe I’ve found an electrician I can count on.

Made shepherd’s pie last night. A straight forward and tasty recipe.