I can’t believe September is already more than half over. Time flies when you’re having fun. Or, working hard!
September has blessed us with beautiful weather, though definitely cooler. Some years we get lucky in September, and get an Indian summer with the continuation of warm days…an illusion, perhaps, that summer can last forever. Not so this year. I still have a bunch of green tomatoes in the garden, the small plum and cherry varieties, that I hope to let ripen on the vine. Hubby snacks on them like candy and they’re great sliced on pizzas. They taste so much better when they vine ripen, I am hoping we can eke out another week or two before the nite temps start getting too low. The weather man warned of a possible dip into the 30’s this week, but the vines fared ok, so far. But it is definitely getting darker much earlier. This week was the last week of outdoor agility for the pups. The practices were from 6 to 7 pm; it was very very dusky by 7 pm! It’s 7:20 pm right now, and full dark. We’ll be practicing inside now, til winter’s end.
Gone are those seemingly endless summer days and long evenings. Waning too, is the easy sense of optimism and confidence that seemed to coincide with summer’s growing season. My husband’s sales, so strong and solid since the spring, took a dip last week. There is every good reason to believe that this is a temporary “blip in the curve”; past years patterns have been good sales thru December, with January and February being the “dead” months we really need to prepare in advance for. That’s been really hard to do, since we’ve been playing catch up with the aftermath of his layoff, and we have his mom as someone additionally dependent on us now. This summer was the first time it seemed possible to actually save some money, despite everything. Last week’s “speed bump”, coinciding with the cooler temps and loss of light, made me acutely feel the inexorable turn of the wheel toward the darker half of the year.
And yet, as I looked up at this perfect cerulean blue sky at lunch time today, I was reminded of the spectacular goodness that comes to us New Englanders at this time of year. September skies can be ever so perfect. Maybe it’s that incremental decrease in temperature that brings on that brilliant blue. There’s a few trees in the neighborhood who’ve begun sporting red leaves, a teasing hint of the show to come. And some of my mums are beginning to bloom. In spite of the darkness to come, our Mother blesses us.
So tonite I am trying to figure out how to celebrate Mabon. Mabon represents the second harvest. Very logical to me as a gardener; there are summer crops (Lammas) and fall crops – those plants that require the full length of the growing season, like my favorite, butternut squash. The first frost is in our near future; although I like to leave things in the ground or on the vine for the longest time possible, very soon I will need to pick and pull and store. But there are other meanings underlying this sabbatt for me this year. Mabon is the equinox, and is a time of balancing. The length of day equals the length of night; at this time, what areas in my life can I bring into a more appropriate balance, so that I will be best equipped to meet the challenging months to come?
I stumbled across a suggestion for a Mabon celebration ritual online tonite, very simple, very apropos to where I am now. It entails picking an apple, and slicing it horizontally. When you do this, you will see a perfect star shaped arrangement of the seeds in the center, a natural pentacle. With one half of the apple, I will be reflecting on the positive aspects of this past growing season, things that grew well, objectives we accomplished, areas where we made progress, regained ground from our previous losses. After I reflect on these things, I will eat one half of the apple, to internalize those successes for the future.
Then, I will reflect on those things that did not progress or come to fruition, or reflected a stumbling block. I will confer the energies of those things onto that half of the apple, and I intend on burying that half of the apple far into my compost pile, so the energies of the earth can transform those negative energies into something more fruitful for the next growing season.
I practice as a solitary; I have the house and the yard to myself this Saturday as the rest of the family will be working. May the deities bless my planned ritual, and may my family experience Mabon blessings when they return home. So mote it be.