Now, where did I leave that?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nifty 50

Took an early morning walk with Lola (she's a BIG dog in a medium package; walking Lola and Yeti separately is far easier than trying to make it a threesome).  All the cliches come to mind after the endless rain--lush, Emerald Isle green. Near one house there were waist-high ostrich ferns.  The air was fresh and damp, the perfect olfactory backdrop for sweet and spicy floral scents to linger and tease.  Most of the flowers are still shy and subtle--fading lilacs, lavender and white  Dame's Rocket, pink tulips, honeysuckle in pale yellows, white and dusty pink.  But one garden made me laugh with the sheer audacity of its offerings....some poppy-like flowers, already past their prime (perhaps just worse for wear from all the rain) in brazen orange.  Alarm orange.  Carmen Miranda orange.  They had a flounce to them, flirty if wrinkled prom dresses the morning after the evening's festivities.  It was a lovely walk, and a sense-stirring start to the day.  Next time I'll bring the camera, I promise.
Ever since Monday's personal milestone of--gasp!--turning 50, I've been pondering and poking at what to call this phase of my life.  As a Goddess-loving pagan, three archetypes are ever-present in my consciousness--Maiden, Mother, Crone, of course.  For years now, I've wondered where I fall in this triptych.  The Maiden ship long since sailed.  My kids are grown and on their own; while the Mother doesn't require literal embodiment, and what with the menagerie and gardens, and creative juices flowing, one could make a Mother argument, but it doesn't feel that way anymore.  However, I'm not at Cronehood yet.  Don't know why, since I know plenty of womyn who celebrated Cronings at this age, but nope.
There's alot of work being done around a fourth archetype for exactly this stage in life, betwixt and between, not quite this, not ready for that.  Much of the popular work calls it the 'Queen'. That terminology, 'Queen', 'sovereignty', 'making a royal sceptor' and so forth makes my skin crawl with the dress-up pretension of it.  As one friend put it, makes you think of platform shoes and rhinestones.  Okay, my head hadn't gone there, but it either makes me see dusty, ineffectual, figurehead royalty or men in wigs and evening gowns.  Either way, no thanks.  DEFINITELY not there! 
But the concept of the fourth archetype, one that embraces the creativity and births still happening,  journeys still to be taken, wisdom--limited though it may be--born of age and experience, the strong sense of self, personal empowerment, the standing straight and tall in one's truth....this time of life--Autumn, the waning gibbous moon--perhaps does deserve its own representation, its own honoring.  But what do we call it??? Shaman--because its so clearly and distinctly a place between accepted worlds? Maybe, but that's not quite it. Priestess?  Sometimes perhaps, but each archetype can have its own priestesses. Magician or Empress as aforementioned friend suggested?  The former is too rabbit and white-tipped-wand evoking for me, and Empress, while carrying more oomph than Queen, is far too regal for the likes of this flip-flop wearing non-monarch.  Wisewomon?  I can maybe get behind that one, on a good day, anyway; the rest of the time, not so much; that word carries alot of pressure and expectation.  Certainly, we could forego the label and just 'be', but what do you call it?  Some of this, not quite that; a foot here, another there; burnished by the sea of time but no pushover victim of the waves; miles to go before you sleep? Do you feel a need for a fourth archetype?  Who, what and why?

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Rumor has it that the Rapture is nearly upon us, that on Saturday those meeting some nebulous criteria shall be snatched up in 'the twinkling of an eye' and vanish, reappearing in the Celestial plane (aka Heaven).  Does this happen a la 'Beam me up, Scotty'?, or is it more 'now you see me, now you don't'?  Regardless, I suspect I'm going to be among those left behind to deal with earthquakes, dead bodies, Glenn Beck, Arnold Schwarzenegger and more rain.  I can't help but wonder, arrogantly, what happens on Sunday morning when you wake up and are still here, when you've spent years believing this is the big one, this is when the Ultimate Reward for holy living pays off, and you....wake up on Sunday morning being nuzzled by the dog, needing to pee and looking for coffee.  Are you angry, hurt, confused, figuring someone messed up  the dates?  Do you wonder if you didn't measure up?  Do you figure you still have another shot at it, what with the alleged end-of-the-world scheduled in December of 2012?
And for that matter, what if you wake up Sunday morning and discover the notable absence of some folks, abandoned cars,some locusts, and people wandering down the road, shaking their heads and saying, "Damn....guess I SHOULD have gone to church"?  Will I feel abashed, lonely, a tad less smug in my interpretation of things spiritual?
Well, I figure I'll just be very careful driving on Saturday, and take comfort in knowing that either way, I'll be in good company!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Catching Up

It's been a full, busy time. A previous post mentioned the adage about 'going home again'; what I've discovered is that while sometimes you CAN, it doesn't mean you SHOULD. Sometimes you discover it just isn't home anymore. Some belated self-awareness later, the door is closed gently but firmly behind me.  My spiritual path has taken me out of the festival world.  Forever? I don't know, but for now I'm wallowing in the life we have and are creating, which is pretty time-consuming!
The chicken coop is moving along.  Who would have thought an 8' x 6' one-room structure could take so long? And we've put cart before the horse, or rather, chickens before the coop.  We're the proud semi-owners of seven rescue chickens (well, about two months old); our kind and generous neighbors are providing foster care and housing for them until the coop is ready for habitation.  After hours of research into what breeds I wanted, we've ended up with mystery chickens; we think they're Golden Comets and white Leghorns.  I would have chosen the former, but not the latter. But still, I can't help but long for that August Sunday when we eat our first eggs for breakfast.
Seeds, seeds and more seeds, grape vines, strawberry plants, all await our tender ministrations; there's never enough time!  And we'd rather hang out on the porch bathing in the scent of lilacs and watching hummingbirds, bluebirds and...the orioles!  Yep, Linda had to move from Baltimore to the foothills of the Catskills to see these vivid birds up close and personal.
Linda's anxiously awaiting her bees--5 hives' worth.  They were originally supposed to be picked up this weekend, but weather conditions in the South have caused a steady stream of delays; as of this afternoon, it looks like June 11th before the bees take up residence as neighbors to the chickens.

And Lola!  Lola is a boxer-bulldog-shepherd mix we adopted from the shelter two weeks ago.  She couldn't be sweeter or more loving, which helps make up for the absolute lack of boundaries and rather bratty behavior.  She and Yeti currently occupy a detente frame of mind; we're hoping for playful companionship and friendship eventually.
Several knitting projects are occupying my needles, but I've been lagging.  Some felting ideas are occupying this brain that is itching to get into that medium, but thus far they're real only in my head.  The spinning wheel is languishing, still virginally shiny and untouched, with naught but heated, longing glances passing between us.  I walk by and stroke her silken spokes and whisper "soon, soon". 
My 50th birthday is peeking around the wish?  That the world would stand still for a few weeks and let us catch up with ourselves!