Mother autumn is officially here, and much of what we have worked so hard for is now ripening or almost ready.
We harvested the last of the elderberries…
Well, maybe Chicken Little did 😉 She stands beneath us just waiting for a tasty morsel to fall!
We’ve also been spending time in the apple orchard. Well… it’s sort of a bunch of apple trees in a tangle of overgrown weeds. But I have a beautiful vision… I can just imagine clearing it all out and having it ready for next spring, when I can walk amongst the fragrant blossoms- maybe a bench for reading? and see my kiddos hanging from the trees. We haven’t ventured over to that side of our property very much, and it is in dire need of tender loving care. I think we could really make it a beautiful and fruitful place. I counted almost two dozen apples trees, and many of them have withered a bit with neglect. But some are still in great shape, like these…
It is slow going, clearing the land out- but what meaningful work on these beautiful autumn days. My boys love to help.
We are slowly making progress. Cedar Ring Papa has promised this is the year he will buy a small cider press. I can only imagine how wonderful it will be to make our own cider, hard cider, and cider vinegar. And in the meantime, we are getting ready for applesauce and dried apples. The ones which aren’t fit for eating make nice treats for the deer.
This little apple found a cozy new home! Good thing the nest was empty.
Oh, I love autumn. The skies are unbelievably full– their beauty palpable… beyond our house, up our hill you arrive in God’s country- no people to be seen, and it feels like being on top of the world- can’t you almost touch the sky if you reach your hand up?
In the wind, goldenrod nods its leafy bough heads, “Yes yes, autumn is here.” When my six year old saw this amazing violet sky the other evening as dusk wandered along, he said “Mama, the whole world is changing. I think something very important is going to happen.” Ah yes, I think that is exactly how autumn makes me feel.
The asters grow almost as tall as me.
Michaelmas is nearly here! I’ve got our candle ready to unveil next week, what a surprise for the children when we light it for that first dinner when the hours of darkness surpass the hours of daylight in length… and every night following until at last, near spring the light returns to overtake darkness. These beautiful beeswax pillar candles from Big Dipper Waxworks are made here in the US by some wonderful bee lovers. They smell incredible- of honey- and have a 90 hour burn time, meaning if we keep our candle lit for half an hour each night, it should last a whole 6 months and see us through the long winter.
Here comes the dragon…
His long, spiked tongue and his breath, curls of fire…
His wings spread, his tail curled…
Brave Saint Michael is my guide
As free and fearless forth I ride
With courage of St. George of old
I dare to fight fierce dragons bold!
Michaelmas has great meaning, but I think what stands out to me this year in my meditations is the idea of holding onto my vision, not allowing the “dragon” to steal, kill, or destroy the inspiration and beauty in my dreams and goals, even when realities seem to overshadow or dull them. These dreams and goals are my little lights, sparkling inside and helping me move forward, even if just in baby steps. “Without vision, the people perish”. It is the pictures, plans, and visons we hold that shape the steps we take… or don’t take, if we let them fade away. Hold onto your visions, mamas… dream big for your world, your family, yourself. And so we light the night.