The Joys in this Day

First, upon waking, the quality of the light from an east-facing window, filtered through my curtains.

Second, a strong cup of coffee, mellowed with full fat cream.

Then good company and kinship and a gift of things I would have picked out myself.

The pleasure of a haircut, just the ends off,

The full heat of a summer’s day mingling with the mellowing autumnal light, and the vibrancy of changing foliage,

Dust as harvest resumes after the rains.

A warming wind blowing near dusk on a sacred hill.

A picnic supper in front of a crackling fire, beneath stars, as the waning moon rises.

Stories from Papa about the years before I had memory.

Finally, solitude in the deepening hours of the night when my thoughts are the most realised.

All in all, a good birthday.


Tend to the Task at Hand

When the barley ripens, or the wheat — reap it.

When the zucchini hangs heavy on the vine, pick it and process it. It will generously lend itself to a multitude of preparations – soups, sweets, and simpler dishes too. But eat it. As much as you can while it lasts.

When the clothes closet demands a clearing out of unnecessary articles, answer the call. Sort this from that and give away what is no longer needed – not necessarily to those “less fortunate” whateverthatmeans, but to those who will use it, who might want it. The unwearable may be turned into a shop rag. An old, holey sock may still serve a purpose in soaking up leaked oil at the combine.

When the larder grows lean, provision it. First from your own solar stores, that being the garden and the field. Then, from what you can find near, that produce grown by friends and neighbours to be found at the farmers market. Finally, and when all other avenues are exhausted, the grocery store.

When the body feels out of sorts and full of malaise, work it. Stretch its limbs and strengthen its muscles. Stoop and bend in the garden, walk miles on dirt roads, even run them if you can. Contort yourself on a yoga mat, or better, on grass.

When the body is sore from exertion, soak it in hot butnottoohot water, and salts if they are near to hand. While in the bath, tend to your mind’s worries and your heart’s sorrows. Invite the soul’s help in this, for it will know what is needful if you can listen.

When words rattle around in your head all day, asking to be written down, do so. Write them down. Let them come out and place themselves upon a page, whether by pen or otherwise. Editing and revisions can come later, if they are needed. They may not be needed. Sometimes it comes out just right the first time.

When the new moon rises in Virgo, invisible to the eye, make a list of the tasks at hand. And tend to them