Now, where did I leave that?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Peace and Beltane

I haven't posted in awhile. I couldn't...somehow it prattle on while people were suffering and grieving. To those who asked, my son in Boston is fine; he wasn't near the bombing, although several of his staff people missed being there by mere minutes. He was very good about communicating with us immediately. I hope all of your loved ones are safe, and am praying for those who have endured fear and loss and sorrow.

With last night's setting sun, Beltane arrived (for those who follow a secular calendar, anyway. I know lunar Beltane has already passed). For reasons I didn't understand then, even as a child May 1st was one of my most favorite days. I would wake excited, wanting to hug trees, smell flowers and walk in the woods. It was decades before I knew it was Beltane, and that what I felt was the pulse of the Earth, the heartbeat of a bride on her wedding day, the rush of passion's adrenaline at a time when Nature is bursting with love and lust. On assorted Beltanes, I've danced around the Maypole, leapt over small bonfires, walked through the woods, made love, spent the day in serene contemplation. 

Usually I take the day off from work, but this year can't manage the time, so was blessed last evening to have welcomed Beltane filled with a joyful peace. Linda & I had a late dinner out on the porch as the sun was caressing the mountains and the light was turning golden. The quince was bursting with lush red blooms,

seducing bumblebees who were helpless to resist. Lacy dangling flowers swayed like earrings from the maple trees' branches. Peepers and tree frogs and birds sang their courting songs. We talked of small things, falling silent to listen and watch. A bluebird perched atop one of our new bluebird houses, but wasn't ready to commit. The breeze tickled the wind chimes and stroked the virginal white flowers of the old pear trees. It was a perfect moment....but sadly the sun tucked behind the mountains, the emerald grass ceased to glow, and it was time to come in.

This is such an exquisite time of year; is it more so because we know how fleeting it is? Each year I bemoan how quickly Autumn gives way to Winter, but Spring, that moment of trembling breath and perfect promise, leaves so much faster. The hens don't make their way to the coop until nearly 7:30 now. Already the forsythia--Nature's answer to the smiley face--is maturing to a more staid leafy green. The daffodils are like worn out ballerinas, just too tired to go on. There's much to look forward to....our greens and peas are giddily growing before our eyes. 

The Marshall strawberries are thriving

and will be moved to this year's home as soon as the danger of frost is past. We received our other shipment of 200 strawberries, and Linda's elderberries that I gave her for Christmas should be here any day now. And we have our first garlic growing throw the straw! 

We're looking forward to Catskill Native Nursery's Wildflower Festival and Tomatothon, the Country Living Fair, and my Summer Fridays off. But today I'm grateful for that intake of breath, this moment of perfect peace and beauty when we can tell ourselves the world is innocent and untouched, a gentle and loving place to be. 

Wishing all of you simple joy and peace. Blessed Beltane!


Michaele said...

(sigh) You do have a wonderful knack for writing. I love your descriptions and your evening. May Day her consists of two inches of new snow. Different. Very different.

PatsyAnne said...

Your writing is book-worthy. I read it and found myself sitting on your porch steps, listening and watching and, yes, even smelling, the surrounding forest and your dinner. Its so good to have your "back", I look forward to many more trips to your porch steps.

the wild magnolia said...

i love this post.

lighthearted, fun, memories.....a garden delights.

Happy Beltane, Happy May Day.

Jen said...

So nice to hear from you, and catch up. I didn't know your son is in Boston. It was a rough week--I'm glad he's okay, and I understand wanting to be quiet in troubled times.

Happy spring!

xo, Jen

CraveCute said...

Returning to an innocent time would be nice. Being in the garden makes me feel that way... lovely post.

Rain said...

Ashling - beautiful post- thought I was there with you. Living in Maine- I too have been hit hard by Boston Strong- so thankful ur son safe- the country felt it - but 3 hrs away is really backyard. I'm also going to get back posting.
Take care- have a beautiful spring....... Into summer...
Ha- fondly, Rain

Pat Riesenburger said...

Lovely post, as usual, Ashling!

Willow said...

First so glad you ave the peace of knowing your son is well. Ashling this post is so beautiul and expressive. Thanks you so much for sharing such moving thoughts. You have also so beautifully captureded the essence of Beltane's return. I am yearning for the Catskill Mountains in Sprintime, such an afinity I have there always.

Our Neck of the Woods said...

Very beautiful post! I am very glad to hear that your son is doing ok. I bet it has been a really hard time for him and his friends.

I too have always loved this time of year. There is just something about the warmth and growth again after a cold, dead winter. I can feel it in my bones.

Our Neck of the Woods said...

Just wanted to say thank you for the advice on the bees. It's so funny because we just recently had read the same thing and decided to wait on harvesting honey until next spring. I want to make sure they will survive the winter and I've heard people say a big reason why bees die over the winter is starvation. Thanks for the tip!