Happy Day! I had grand plans of starting a blog with a big launch and lots of confetti and celebrations, but actually, I find I have lots to say and I'm not sharing it because I don't have energy for confetti and I want my celebration energy to go to the Equinox. So here it is! A blog post!
The Autumnal Equinox is the exact moment when the Earth tilts away from the Sun and we begin to have less day light than darkness. In the Northern Hemisphere this happens between September 20 and 22 each year - like all the solar holy days, falls on a different day each year. In 2020 we will celebrate on Tuesday September 22. Honestly, my family rarely celebrates ON the day the big alignment happens in the sky. I think the energy is there in the week before and the week after and quite frankly I think less stress and a happy celebration is more important than the exact hour of alignment.
We have been in the city for three years now, but I am still learning how to celebrate here. When living in Alaska we would celebrate by eating Salmon or Moose, garden veggies and a desert made of berries we gathered. For us, Autumnal Equinox (or Mabon) has been about honoring the animals who's life we consume, the farmers who's labor nourishes us and the sweet gift of berries from the Boreal Forest. We take this time of balance between day and night to assess balance in our own lives and and as the trees are letting go of their leaves, we let go of what is no longer serving us. This takes courage. Going into the dark time takes courage, so we also tell stories of bravery and often of fighting and befriending dragons.
It is hard for me, but I am trying to let go of extravagance. I do everything big! I want it all to be pretty. I want it all to be grand. I need celebrations, but also my mundane life feels so full that sometimes (lots of times) celebrations seem like more stress than I can handle. I'm learning to simplify and honor the day while leaving room for life to keep lifing (yes, that is a verb). This year we are planning a "feast" but really all that word means is eating with intention. We will have a veggie soup with herbs from the planters outside out house and tomatoes from our sister's garden along with dragon bread. We will finish our dinner with apple cake made from apples we gathered in Maguson Park. Most of our veggies will come from the store (and that is o-flippin'-kay) and our dragon bread will look to the untrained eye like a blob of bread a 12 year old shaped (and that is super o-flippin'-kay). If you want to take a ton of time to make dragon bread its super fun but I'm pretty sure if you don't want to take a ton of time to make it is is also super fun. I add rosemary, garlic and sometimes parmesan cheese to my favorite bread recipe and then rather than fill a loaf pan after it rises, I shape a dragon.
When I am being Super Mom I read to my kids before bed. We are reading Jurassic park but as we get nearer to the Equinox I have been throwing some picture books in. The thing is, they love them still! At 15 and 12 they may not bring me the books and ask to be read to, but they will listen along to the stories they listened to when they were younger. I'll link our favorites below for you.
With kids in public school (which doesn't slow down for holy days) and me with deadlines and work at the yarn shop every day life feels full. Carving our space for celebration can feel overwhelming. There have been years when we have had our whole celebration consist of someone saying "oh, its Equinox!" While some years will be that way, I can ensure more years of feasting and intension by simplifying. The trees are letting go their leaves and I am letting go my expectations that every feast day will be dramatic and fancy or that launching a blog must include fanfare and build up. I can take 10 minutes to read a story at night. I can make some soup and let the 12 year old shape bread. Apple cake is seriously like 10 minutes of hands on time to stir up. I can up and publish a blog post without making a big fat deal of it. I got this. It will even be grand.
Until next time
p.s. The books we are reading (aside from our chapter book, Jurassic Park) are books that honor the animals we eat, the changing of the seasons, or the courage we must draw upon to move into Dark Time of the year. The books we are reading this week are listed below.
The Hungry Giant of the Tundra retold by Teri Sloat
Brambly Hedge Autumn Story by Jill Barklem
A Caribou Journey by Debbie S. Miller
Swimmer by Shelly Gill (not shown in the photo cause its under someone's bed- we think... we were just reading it...)
The Big Caribou Herd by Burce Hiscock
Child of Faerie, Child of Earth by Jane Yolen (THE BESTEST BOOK EVER THAT EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE)
Merlin and the Dragons by Jane Yolen
Ignis by Gina Wilson
Dragon by Jody Bergsma (also not in the pic cause it escaped with Swimmer- remember, I what I was saying about lifing?)
And Yari has placed a hold at the library on Dragon Rider by Cornila Funke