Enchanted September Morning

WP_000077

I didn’t have to look at the calendar to know what day it was. I could feel it. The first day of September.

The Griffin chair on my stoop has become my favorite spot to sit with a cup or chalice and allow Nature to touch me. Screened by a wrought iron trellis of spent clematis blooms, I can be slightly veiled from the wild ones who stop by the feeders or sip from throats of flowers too tenacious to wither in the cool flow of morning air.

Alvin and Rocky scurry near my bare feet that are dusted by the hem of my long black skirt. Heedless of the fact that Chipmunks and Ground Squirrels are the sort who greet each other politely, but don’t make dates to ‘do lunch’,  they are willing to share the table I set before them. A mason jar sits along side my chair so that when my guests come to visit, a quick pop of the lid is all it takes to scatter the treasure of the mix of nuts, seeds and bits of dried fruit. Alvin’s cheeks are bulging with his cache of the loot to the point that he appears to be smiling at me…in fact, I know that he is.

Rocky looks dry and fluffy again after his near drowning incident. It was in this very spot that I sat one evening enjoying the last piece of cranberry orange cheesecake that my daughter had made for my birthday. Suddenly, Alvin and Rocky came darting from beneath my limelight hydrangeas and jumped up onto the ledge of the pond. This game of tag ended badly when Rocky ran too close to the edge and toppled in. He struggled to climb out on a Lilly pad, but he was too panic stricken and heavy with water to lift himself high enough. I grabbed my empty plate and placed it beneath his sodden little body and lifted him to safety.  His pride was as dampened as he was. Hiding behind a fern, he began to lick his fur in an attempt to avoid the evidence of this embarrassing and frightening event. He has all but forgotten it now…or hopes that any witnesses have.

I inhale deeply of air on the edge of Autumn and instinctively wrap my invisible cloak around my shoulders. A secret vow between me and the Great Mother seals my pledge to frequent this spot daily, even if for a just few minutes. In fact, I know I will have to or go mad from the desire to do so should I be tempted to allow the clang of mundane life with its screeching wheels and shrill alarms to interfere. The bliss of this experience and resulting euphoria will surely have me ‘jonsing’ for this fix…not the ‘fix’ from drugs that slaughter the mind and rip wide the spirit…but a true ‘fix’. A fix for stress, a fix for fatigue, a fix for anything that might ail me.

So, how long before the sky reflects the hues of turning leaves? Each one the colorful, karmic chameleon of the Trees, beginning with a shy, light blush that soon gives way to a bold, shimmery, show girl shade of raging scarlet. Country roads will tie it all up in black winding ribbons that beg to be unraveled by convertible, rag top down days. Nothing is as glorious as zoom, zooming down the back roads in my husband’s little red sports car, my black chiffon scarf whipping wildly behind me.

The ending of Summer is the beginning of the best that is yet to come. At least it is for me. No fan of heat and humidity, the time I spend out doors is short lived until the temperature dips below 80 or I can find an expanse of shade. The quickening of my heart and stirring of my spirit opens my senses shamelessly. I sniff the breeze and the scents of damp soil, moss and mushrooms intoxicate me. Everything feels deep and cavernous with many places to explore.

Mabon rites will mark the first day of Fall and Samhain on October 31st will be the last of the Harvest holidays. Traditions will be kept and new ones created, for every experience has the potential to be remembered and celebrated. As does this one, right here, right now.

Shhhhhh

Your yard is speaking. Is it screaming, “MOW ME” or “WEEDS, WEEDS, WEEDS”? How you respond can make the difference between the Magickal and the mundane.

I can remember living in apartments when my yard consisted of a four by four-foot balcony or the stretch of side-walk from my front door to the parking lot. At one time, we lived in a side by side duplex and actually had a yard. I’d sit out there for hours and think of all the ways I’d change it and make it ‘my’ space had it really been mine. I got to plant my own flowers as well as maintain what the landlords had put in, but it was not the same as envisioning and designing and finally breathing life into something personal and beautiful.

Manifesting is a glorious thing!!! I have a yard of my own. Every year, starting in January when a thick batting of glistening white snow still covers my yard and my perennials lay beneath it, brittle, crystalline blossoms and stems, it begins…I clear the library shelves of gardening books and whoop for joy when my seed catalogs begin to arrive. Out comes my sketch pad and lists are made.

Lawn is so overrated. It’s not good for the environment and unless you grow native species, the up keep is futile when the heat and humidity and lack of rain turns it into something brown that crunches beneath your feet. Grass shouldn’t ‘crunch’. Going barefoot becomes a ballet on razor blades. But, it provides me with the bliss of replacing it with beds and borders of colorful blooms.

Native grasses are considered ‘weeds’ but I allow as many of them as I can to invade my lawn until the neighborhood association gets militant on my green ass. When the lawn is a sea of brown, what springs eternally emerald? My ‘weeds’. Besides, if what I wanted in a yard was a pristine, manicured expanse of lawn, I’d go live at the golf course.

The wildlife is also welcomed with no regard as to what they may destroy. I put wire fences around my flower beds when the Rabbits gnaw my investment to stubs and put out extra ‘critter chow’ in their dishes. After all, what lays beyond my open door is their home. I am simply allowed to share it with them.

Bird feeders, as well, are open to the public. Discriminating against Birds who ‘eat too much’ would be like getting turned away at the buffet because of your size. So, ok…I have combination Bird/Squirrel feeders. The show those little gray acrobats put on never fails to bring a dopey grin to my face. Chase them away? Not in this yard.

My Ground Squirrels and Chipmunks march their new families out with pride. The babies find their way beneath the feeders and become furry Roombas, vacuuming up what spills. Soon they catch on too and join their parents in following the lady in the big, showy hat with the peanuts in her pocket (that would be me). They shove the nuts in their cheeks until they’re so full they can’t even close their mouths.

So, how do I view this paradise of my own making? A place that requires hours of toil and trouble or is this sacred space? I always know when I’ve crossed that line. My flowers sadly hang their heads, and even the fountain in the pond no longer splashes a happy song.

When it becomes ‘work’ instead of a privilege, it’s time to remember the woman who longed for a yard of her own. Once the proper mindset is achieved and the joy of creation and the pride of ownership take over and reclaim this Magickal Space, it all transforms.

Everything is bathed in a golden, rosy glow. I have things growing that defy any explanation as to how they even got there. I have a Mullein that appeared from the ethers and is the size of something you’d expect to see at Findhorn. My Yucca is huge and has three towering spires of white blossoms. Three is a Magickal number in the Craft.

It’s like an international airport out there. Birds and furry little beings coming and going through out the day, all with their own agendas, busily eating, creating new homes or just playing.

The fountain in the pond plays a merry tune as Dragonflies perch on water plants, their gossamer wings reflecting the light like pave’ jewels. Butterflies provide an aerial show and a Humming Bird zips past my head so close that the wind from its wings stirs my hair.

At night, the light show begins as strings of little white bulbs pop on and solar stems change color. Fireflies flicker until the whole thing looks like someone above is showering it all with silver glitter. My husband calls it my ‘Rivendell’.

Sometimes a fire is made in the ‘cauldron’ and a new gourmet s’more is invented. Orange flavored dark chocolate on a chocolate graham cracker, the marshmallow toasted to the perfect golden hue. Mmmm. Pistachio studded milk chocolate and a chocolate flavored marshmallow smacked between two Walker shortbread rounds…oh yeah.

Listen to your yard. Look at it with Magickal eyes and you will truly be seeing it for the first time. It will respond, love for love. It’s not a ‘chore’ to take care of it, it’s an honor. Name your Trees as I did and hug them once in a while. If you’re really concerned about being watched, a cloak of invisibility spell will preserve your dignity. Unless, you do as I do and toss it to the wind. Dance in the sprinkler, knowing that Faeries will join you. Laugh hysterically…it’s required.

Even if your yard is a balcony and your paths are concrete, put a flower in a fanciful container and call it a garden. Flowers love complements so tell her she’s beautiful every day. Toss some seeds in a pot and you can grow a salad. A basil plant will keep you in pesto all Summer long.

Well, I should stop or this book will never fit on the shelf. Besides, a corner of the Woodland Garden wants a make-over and the Cardinal is calling my name. I can’t wait to get out there and tend to my very Magickal Space. This is joy.

This is home, theirs and mine. Flora and Fauna. This is our “Enchanted”.

I hope you enjoy seeing the pictures as much as I enjoy sharing them.