Tuesday, January 31, 2012
If a Man
does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because
he hears a different drummer.
Let him step to the music he hears,
however measured or far away.
- Thoreau -
I have always believed that one’s spiritual walk should be a personal one. And although beliefs could be similar there is that personal aspect that makes each one unique. It is not no one man’s responsibility or capability to tell another what is right or what is wrong when it comes to his search for “his” path. I know that this is hard for some to accept as through time we have been told that there is a specific path that must be walked in order to get to the “correct” destination. I have always found this somewhat ironic as there seems to be so many “correct” paths.
In each one of us there is the ability to seek for ourselves. If that desire to find is true, then all will come in its own time and in its own way. There will be times when the manners that our questions are answered may not meld with that of others. We may find ourselves being led to walk down a road that some may find questionable. Yet if we trust ourselves and “our” god, then we will be led where it is that we should go. The lessons throughout life are not the same for everyone. What one may learn on a clear flowered path others may need a rocky incline to achieve.
May you find the path you are to follow and may you have the courage to continue your journey when and if it leads you in ways that others may feel incorrect. Remember that although we may be in the company of many, in reality we are really alone.
Monday, January 30, 2012
Being a lover of trees it is no surprise that I take great fondness in Ent lore. For those of you who may not know what an Ent is…. An Ent is a race in Tolkien’s Trilogy “Lord of the Rings”. They were the shepherds of the forest and themselves resembled giant trees. Although they did so in a very slow manner, they were able to travel and converse when the need or desire arose. They were an ancient race, if not one of the first. They were first woken by the Elves it is said and slowly taught to speak and help the Elves themselves learn their language.
The best known Ent is probably Tree Beard. He of course was the keeper of Merry and Pippin for a time during the movie version of the “war of the Ring”. Although if by chance you read the book, you will also know of Quickbeam or Bregalad as he was sometimes called. He as a younger Ent. Definitely not as mature as the others. It was his job to guard over the Rowan groves. His name “Quickbeam” is another word for Rowan or Mountain Ash. Being younger he was not always as patient as the older Ents. His second name “Bregalad” means hastiness, something that an Ent is not usually associated with. It was Quickbeam who first wanted to attack Saruman and Isengard. He had seen first hand the destruction of many of the rowan groves in which he was entrusted.
Although from a book thought fiction, I can not help but wonder what the trees of today must think. It was said that as time continued, the Ents themselves began to slow and take less of a part in the world. This decision helped them to become more “treeish”. They did not travel as much and thus found a suitable place to stay for long periods of time. When this was done in many cases, they would take root and remain, thus becoming more as a tree then an Ent. Still I am sure that they kept their slow sense of observance. Watching the world as it traveled by in time. The acts of nature as well as man was surely part of their daily show. I have always found that trees hold a sense of deepness to them, especially the trees that seem to have been for years and years. What must they have seen. What secrets they could tell. I often go among the trees and just listen. They hold so much inside… they have so much to tell and so few who will listen. Like the tale of Ents it is not a task that can move quickly. It is one of patience and quietness. Yet if one gives the time and a willful ear, who knows what one may hear.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
The simplest toy,
one which even they youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent.
– Sam Levenson-
Most of you know there is nothing I love more than bragging about my grandkids. They have brought more joy to me than I can even begin to describe. I am amazed at times at the ability they have to bring a smile to my face so quickly and many times they don’t have to do a thing to make it happen.
My oldest grandson started kindergarten this last year. He was terribly excited about it. His birthday was in late September and they were a bit concerned at first as to whether he would be old enough and/or mature enough to go. At first they decided to wait till next year. Yet at the advice of his pre-K teacher they enrolled him a bit later in the semester.
Yesterday was his 100th day at school. It is tradition for them to dress up as an “older” person on this day. Needless to say he ate it up. He reminds me of my own little Benjamin Buttons. The later picture is him imitating a grumpy old man chasing ornery young'uns off of his yard.
From the day he was born this little man has brought nothing but smiles to me. His nature is warm and his charisma even warmer. I swear he could melt the north pole with his smile. Yes, I know I am partial yet even if he was not my grandson, I think I would feel the same. I think as I progress in life the one thing I will always be thankful for is the gift of grandkids and the youth they seem to give to me. A magic elixir I think it is. If only I could bottle it and put it to market. But then all you grandparents out there know exactly what I am talking about and exactly where you can get some.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
I look at the title of this post and I can not help but laugh. Productivity has not been one of my strong suits over the last year. No good reason, or at least none that I can honestly put my finger on. I only know that it was as if I was in limbo. I had the desire. Yet when it came time to exert that desire something inside of me just fizzled and nothing occurred. Although at times I can over think things, this is something that I have promised myself to just accept and move on from. The lull seemed to be felt my many and I was not singled out alone it seems. Finally I seem to have come out from under the wet blanket that covered me and once again I feel that surge to create and produce something…. anything.
I have once again started to dabble in my writings. I have had several ideas as of late and have started to once again put them to pen and paper. Of course I will share them with all of you when they are in a more presentable manner.
I have also been craving to create in a crafty manner again. I have even reopened my Esty shop and am bound and determined to start posting items once again. From my hand made willow runes to embroidery sachets, home grown potpourri, and so much more; soon my shop should be up and running at full steam. When it is in a more presentable state I will post the link on my blog, just in case you would like to check it out.
The out of doors has also been calling me. The sweltering heat of last summer threw so many things out of whack and the usual time I spent outside was greatly reduced. I am also eager for this to change as it will inspire me in all my areas of creation. Nature has a way of doing that. Last night we received a welcomed rain and already I can see the life peek through. Spring is not far away and newness will be everywhere.
I guess sometimes we do just need to sit and be still. Sit and listen to the hushed voices around us and what they may be saying. It is so easy at times to get caught up in all the noise and clamor that we lose site of what the true goal may be. I am looking forward to the spring cleaning of my life as this new year transpires. I have a feeling that it is going to be an interesting one indeed.
Monday, January 23, 2012
For those of you who have followed my blog for a time you will remember previous post surrounding Celtic Tree Lore. This is an area which is very dear to my heart as the willows which surround my home as well as the wee (which is not so wee anymore) oak which I nurtured from a twig have all help to show me the wonderful relationship that one can have with such creatures if they allow themselves to be open. I have had much comment and question in regards to these post. Therefore I am going to bring them back and try and probe a bit deeper than before into their attributes as well as the magic that each of them can give to us.
With today being Chinese New Year as well as the beginning of the year of the Dragon, it seems only fitting that we start off with the Rowan tree. January 21st, was the beginning of the Tree Month of Rowan. Associated with the dragon, the Rowan tree is a symbol of protection and defense. Believing that Rowan could ward off evil spirits the Celts often used it on a daily basis. During the festivities of Beltane, garlands of Rowan would be fashioned and tied with string which had been dyed red using the Rowan berry. These garlands were then put on livestock as well as the animals stalls to ward off evil. One might even see a cow with springs of rowan hanging from her tail held only by the brightly red strings.
Rowan trees intentionally were planted in churchyards to protect and watch over the spirits of the dead. As the body was being carried to the churchyard for burial, it would be sat beneath a Rowan during any stops needing to be made. This insured that the soul which had departed would not be taunted by any evil before it was finally laid to rest.
Bracelets made of rowan berries were worn by the women as a means of protection. As well as cross necklaces fashioned from rowan wood. Such wooden crosses were also often placed at the head of a newborn’s cradle as a means of protection. It was believed that a child who was born with exceptional beauty or charm was often sought out by the fairy folk. The Rowan was believed to keep the fairy from doing such mischief.
Many believe that Rowan has the power to protect one from the mischief of fairies. As this may be true, the Rowan is also a tree which is most loved and cherished by the wee folk. It is believed that anyone found harming a Rowan runs the risk of bringing upon themselves the wrath of the fairies. It is through the method of grave illness that the fairies are said to get their revenge. However I do not believe that anyone should harm any tree for no reason. There is an old Irish legend called the Forest of Dooros. It was said that the fairies which lived in this forest loved the Rowan tree. Even more so they loved to partake of the Rowan berry. Nothing seemed to bring them more delight. As they ventured from fairyland to mortal land they would bring the berry as nourishment. Yet on one occasion one of the berries brought from fairyland fell to the ground without them knowing . From this berry grew a great Rowan tree. The berries which it bore tasted sweeter than honey itself. It was said that if one ate just one it would render then drunk. If one ate two berries they would live for a hundred years. If they continued and ate three berries they would become as if they were thirty years old again, and thus stay that way for a hundred years. They fairies knew that their magic needed protection. They asked a great giant named Sharvan to watch over the tree for them. Sharvan had a keen liking for the human kind, especially at meal time. This being the case, very few who have ventured forth to partake of this treat have ever been heard of again.
The Rowan tree is one of great power and much depth. If you find yourself blessed to be a part of a Rowans life, do not take it lightly. They bring with themselves great ability, as well as greater understanding of that which most do not know.
Friday, January 20, 2012
What is it about warmer weather that seems to put a sense of urgency in one to want to clean. Possibly a feeling of waking up from a hibernation of winter’s sleep and a deep need to tidy the place up a bit? I have no idea. But this year it seems to have bitten me a bit early.
And this is is not just the usual spring cleaning. It is the need to clean all those far back hidden corners and cabinets that you never seem to get to. Tossing old out of date items and laying new paper down. When finished, you are surprised at all the room you now have. You may even find some things that you completely forgot about.
I have levolor blinds in many rooms of my home and cleaning them has always been a pain in the butt for me. I avoid doing it simply because I had never found an adequate manner to clean them sufficiently. Well forget that dilemma. I found a wonderful steamer tool that works wonderfully. My daughter told me about the wonderful steam mop, something that I feel like now I could never live without. So I figured maybe… just maybe. Needless to say, I have been running around like a banshee (with her hair up and an apron on) cleaning all the blinds throughout the house. If you have never tried this, I highly recommend you get one. The dust can be terrible here at times and it is the biggest thing I seem to fight with. Yet this portable steamer by Shark with all its attachments works wonders. The steam not only cleans but sanitizes as well. Great for allergies.
In a way spring cleaning is a great thing. It allows you to cleanse your house of old unwanted items and dirt that is lingering. I think that clutterness can be a contributor to one feeling down. When something is fresh and clean one can not help but feel better. The warmer weather here has also been a wonderful treat as it has allowed me to have my doors open and allow fresh air in the house. It is a bit odd to be able to do such a thing in the middle of January but believe me I am not complaining. I am just enjoying the blessing while it is here.
Likewise it is good to spring clean ourselves. This last year has left many including myself heavy with many things unexplained. I have talked with so many who have felt this feeling and I am hoping that this surge in myself to “clean” will likewise flow over to a bit of house cleaning on me. Yet today I am cleaning windows, tossing items I no longer need and making my home feel a little more alive. Maybe it’s just the surge of energy I get after “that time of the month” . Even so I am glad to take it.
Enjoy the day and may you likewise have a splash of freshness tossed your way. Blessings