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A Monday meander: After the first frost

Still hanging in there.

He had many strange sights to keep him cheerful or to make him sad. I asked him had he ever seen the faeries, and got the reply, ‘Am I not annoyed with them?’ I asked too if he had ever seen the banshee. ‘I have seen it,’ he said, ‘down there by the water, batting the river with its hands.’

~ W. B. Yeats, The Celtic Twilight: Faerie and Folklore

A returning.

A few nights ago, in the wee hours that fall sometime in the middle of sleep, the wind howled and screeched like a banshee.  Only once.  It was a chilling kind of sound and my first thought after it startled me awake was, “Who died?”  The immediate answer was, “Everyone.”  There is some truth to that.  It happens to everyone, every being.  We all return, wherever that returning leads.

The petals resembled flames in the shade of the garden.

Too much myth and folklore for me, perhaps.  But it was an eerie sound and so unusual that the wind would screech once and then settle back to night-silence.  This morning it felt more like a signal.  We had our first hard frost over the weekend and it shows in the gardens.  Gale force winds are here today, ripping the leaves from the trees.  Winter is on the way.

I have no idea what these are or where they came from. A visitor to the garden must have brought them in. They are sheltered by the zinnias who saved them from the frost.

During my early morning walk I felt this profound gratitude for the autumn I was privileged to witness this year.  A thought that came up and I wanted to push away was that maybe Mother Earth/Nature was showing us what we will be losing if we continue on the path we are currently on.  Then again, perhaps it was just another lovely autumn, a blaze of glory as the season moves past the mid-point and closer to winter.

A reminder: the people in power don’t need conferences, treaties or agreements to start taking real climate action. They can start today. When enough people come together then change will come and we can achieve almost anything. So instead of looking for hope – start creating it.

~ Greta Thunberg

In the autumn of her life.

 In Irish and Scottish mythology, the Cailleach is the divine hag, the Old Woman of the World, the creator-goddess of the land.  Gaelic mythology has no story which specifically explains the creation of the universe, but the old stories of the Cailleach explain the formation of the land.  She is the geotectonic power of the land itself, who gives shape to the Earth throughout all its ages.  Stories tell of how she constructed enormous mounds, megaliths, and towers in a single night.  Like the natural world over which she presides, she renews herself constantly: each year in spring, or every hundred years, by bathing in a certain body of water, depending on the story.

… She is a wilderness spirit who protects wild animals; she is a seasonal deity too, the elemental power of storms and of winter.

~ Sharon Blackie, If Women Rose Rooted

The Cailleach came to mind with the keening of the wind.  That is no surprise.  I’ve been hearing about her in the Mandala Magic course and she is present in the book I’m currently reading, Sharon Blackie’s If Women Rose Rooted.  I also thought about the Cailleach as we watched a movie over the weekend: Bless Me, Ultima.  Have you seen it?  After watching it I thought that I would like to be able to age in such a way as to have some kind of wisdom to impart.  The chapter I’m currently reading in Sharon Blackie’s book is about elderhood and the wisdom we can acquire if we do the work we need to do and allow ourselves to mature.  I think I’m in agreement with Stephen Jenkinson when it comes to our current culture.  We have a lot of old  people but very few elders.

The beauty of aging naturally.

The Mandala Magic: Alignment program is coming to an end.  Or did come to an end at Samhain.  I have to work on the last two modules and I’ll have finished it.  Julie will be opening registration for the next round sometime this month.  In case you might be interested or at least want to check it out, her website is here and the Mandala Magic information is here.  I highly recommend it, especially if you have an interest in mandalas or art journaling.  I learned a lot about both throughout the Wheel of the Year we just completed.  I also learned a great deal about myself.

Aging in community. I love the beautiful messiness of this image.

I reckon that’s enough from me on this beautiful, blustery fall day.  Thank you so much for dropping by and going on another meander with me.  Let’s meet out at the dock for sunset this evening.  The view is better from the Point but I’ve been enjoying the sunsets from the dock lately.  Today’s sunset is scheduled for 4:50 PM.  I usually go about twenty minutes early and stay about five or ten minutes after.  The trees block the view of the actual sunset but if there is color to be seen, it usually rises above and into the clouds.  It’s chilly and windy.  Layers, hat, and gloves are probably a good idea.

Please be safe and be well.

Star light. (Sunlight on sweet gum leaves.)

A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy:  1,911)  The many sounds and songs of the wind.  1,912)  Learning to taste the light.  1,913)  A hike in Pocomoke River State Park over the weekend, exploring trails we’ve never hiked before.  1,914)  Finding beaver dams and swamp and all sorts of things on our hike.  1,915)  Freshly baked bread and soup for supper on a chilly evening.

If you could feel this light on your skin, what would it feel like to you?


Robin is... too many things to list, but here is a start: an artist and writer; a photographer and saunterer; a daughter and sister and granddaughter; a friend, a partner, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother; a gardener, a great and imaginative cook, and the creator of wonderful sandwiches.

29 thoughts on “A Monday meander: After the first frost

  1. This was gorgeous from beginning to end, Robin. Did you mean Stephen Jenkinson? I saw him with Orphan Wisdom. It was the most interesting show my friend and I ever attended…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bless Me, Ultima is one of my favorite novels. I first read it in college as part of my Chicano Lit class in 1976. I have read it about once a year since then. The movie is a good adaptation but the novel is excellent in comparison. I highly recommend the novel.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such a beautiful post, Robin. I wonder what it was you heard? That sends my imagination into overtime. 😀
    I know as Frank said that there will be a rebirth, but I also hate to see this glorious autumn end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Merril. 🙂 I wonder, too. It was a chilling sound. We have sika deer out this way (I’m told — I’ve seen them at Assateague but never here on the ranch) and they make a sort of banshee sound, but it didn’t sound quite like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have not felt so much like an Elder as I have this year. It seems so many people (and pets) are passing into the next adventure, and I and those like me are the new elders. I don’t think I want to be the elder. As summer has fallen away and now fall is almost over, a sort of lost feeling is overtaking me. My aunt is ill with perhaps a life ending disease. My dog is near the end, though she may surprise me, my band director is very very ill. Friends parents are dying at an alarming rate. Even people my age are dying. I feel very unsettled.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry, Dawn. Hugs and love to you. I’m not sure I want to be the elder, either, given what that can mean. My father, who turned 90 this year, talks a lot about what it’s like to be left behind (as he sees it). His friends have all died, he has one sibling left, and well, you get the idea.


      1. Yes, I have wondered what it would be like if you were the last of your generation in your family. I think about Caroline Kennedy sometimes, both parents and only brother gone. I think your dad probably feels similarly. I remember my grandmother when she was in her 90s talking about all the friends gone. I think the hardest for me would be the loss of siblings. Bruce has lost three of his, there were five total, and just the oldest (who is in his 80s) and he, the baby are left.


    1. Thank you so much, Lynn. 🙂 Yes, I believe that to be true. I keep dreaming of a bear. Perhaps that’s what she is, a form of the “wilderness spirit.”


      1. I get the feeling she’s her parent’s puppet. Most young people I know are quite vocal on climate issues. As you say many aren’t. We’re not a perfect species us humans 🙂


  5. A lot in this post. As always. Your description of the wind raised the hairs on the back of my neck. Having been raised as a Catholic, I am steeped in lore and myth. Bred in the bone, so to speak. I have not seen “Bless me, Ultima,” but it is available through interlibrary loan, and I’ve requested it. Thanks for the recommendation. Looking forward to seeing it. Also, really, really liked the opening quotation from Yeats.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I see Bless Me Ultima is available on Prime Video, so will definitely check it out. Sometimes I feel like a wise elder, and sometimes a little baby that doesn’t know anything, and often everywhere in between!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’d completely forgotten about the sunset watching… I’ve been living in the wrong reality for too long again, it’s lovely remembering things for the first time again with a smile… I’ll bring my hat and gloves… See you at the dock. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So glad you could join us, Sallyann. 🙂 I think we’ve all been living in the wrong reality for too long. I keep hoping we’ll switch back over to the right one. 😀


  8. Thanks for mentioning the movie; I hope to watch it soon. The trailer looked good. I love your photos of the flowers aging naturally and in community, reflecting my mood lately. May we all share a little wisdom as we grow older.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You know, as one year ends, it’s easy for my thoughts to stray to death and dying. Not in a morbid sort of way, but just more curiosity over what the next adventure will bring. Too many of my former classmates have passed on at young ages, I think, and nobody seems to want to be the “last man standing.” Such gorgeous photos, Robin, especially the one toward the end of the leaves. And I’m fascinated by the Celtic myths!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Debbie. 🙂 My thoughts tend in that direction near the end of the year, too. It seems a natural progression as we watch nature take its course. Celtic myths fascinate me, too.

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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