Friday, July 24, 2009


To me Summer is the most important season of the four we get on the Wheel of the Year and this has been a bit of a wash out so far for real summer weather. Below average temps and lots of rain and heavy clouds. Some of the plants are affected and not doing as well as they should be and yet some others seem to moving way ahead of where they are normally this time of the year.

This morning I found a huge grouping of mushrooms that sprang up overnight, as mushrooms

tend to do. But I find the sudden appearances of mushrooms like to be a portent of coming

Autumn... sigh, not already. So I turn to Patricia Monaghan's "Seasons of the Witch" to gain

a little inspiration about summer, because it certainly isn't happening outside my window lately.


Let us go out in the garden to understand. ( Ok, let me grab my umbrella)
Look, everything is full, fleshed out. A few months ago, plants stood small and separate in the brown earth. Now leaves press, rows crowd, into each other. Summer is a season that seems but a moment. Everything seems to happen at once. Everything seems on the verge: Peaches redden, corn tassels. Tomatoes fill the air with acidity, roses with heady spice. The sun is high and hot, the days long and ripe. {I'm not getting any of that here.... the sun is hidden, the tomatoes may just rot on the drenched floodded plants before they even ripen and roses.. well just forget it.}
This is the season of urgency. There is never enough time. Everything must be done now. This is the season of too muchness: too many blackberries, too much zucchini, too many tomatoes. It is a time of dense sensuality. The air is syrupy on humid nights as peaches poach on the stove and steaming glass jars wait. The air is cool on the porch where breezes sway the vines as a stately full moon rises. It is the season of gifts: potlucks and fairs, baskets of overripe fruit, extra produce brought to friends' homes.
Nature is in a splendor of excess. Even the gardener's villains are excessive: the starling flock taunting from the apricot tree, the myriad crawling pests, the slugs creeping through evening's col. The weather, too, is excessive. This is the time of violent winds that tear apart the harvest. Of sheeting rain that shreds and drowns. Of drought and failure: corn desiccated on the stalks, soil blowing in fierce grit winds.
Summer is bountiful. Summer is extreme. Earth is not kind nor gentle, save on those pale nights when even the sky holds still for a moment and, through the hush of a sleeping world, the heartbeat of time is heard.
So, too, for women, the summer of life. She is in her prime, full of energy. Life is endless, endlessly crowded. It draws her here, there, here, with new desires and demands. Every sunrise is an opportunity, every noon a driving compulsion, every sunset a dawn into night's possibilities. She is full and brash and busy. She takes and discards lovers; she produces children and art; she creates a self and a home. She is exhilarated by her power, exhausted by possibility. She says yes to everything, everything grows and burgeons from her energy, she is a forcefield of affirmation.
But this is also the time of losses so huge they seem to stretch to the horizon: parents gone, children in pain, the world convulsed with war. Tornadoes of feeling sweep through her, this woman in summer years. Sometimes she feels a vast hunger, an enormous yearning, as though her soul can never be sated. Sometimes she feels as though beauty is a thin membrane stretched over pain. In the midst of excess, she feels wrenching want, for there is never enough: enough time, enough tears, enough love.
Summer comes to women more than once. It opens, a wave of green energy, driving us to productiveness and passion. Summer can explode upon a woman at any time, whenever the force of life rages through her, whenever life's ache opens her eyes to the magic and beauty in each moment.
The magic of the summer rests in transformation: seed into fruit, embryo into child, idea into reality. Daily the magic occurs, so fast we fail to see it. But within this flux of transformation, there are moments of perfect stillness: a hawk pivots perfectly in a tight sky circle, a star glows a single second before falling. Inside those moments, power lives. Power that is beyond the normal magic of growth and death. In these moments, time can reverse itself, all forms may change, all directions flow into their opposite. This is the secret of witches and initiates: to recognize these moments and falling into the vast space behind them, becoming timeless and free. Go into the garden for understanding. Let power flow through you. Touch yourself. Touch each other. Transformation rests within you and among you. You are always transforming yourself. Just watch. Just watch.
She writes beautiful words doesn't she!!

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