September 2014

in the rhythm


How I value each comment (and like) that you made in response to my last post! So many of us are seeing and aching and wondering what to do and it was a wonderful relief to be able to have my words…my feelings…received so.


Since then, my senses have been heightened, more open than ever to directions and possibilities to take. I am feeling more anger, too, and am not yet sure if that is a good thing or not.


At Wisteria & Sunshine, we are reading Wise Child, by Monica Furlong. I have read it many, many times before. It is one of those beloved books that is both an escape and an example of how to live. And what I am noticing in its pages this time around may serve me better than anger, I am thinking…


“Maeve is wicked, isn’t she? I said at last. I was thinking not just of the wax doll but of the sad, ragged children I had seen stumbling under the weight of the tree trunk.

Juniper shrugged. “That’s not a word I like to use,” she replied. “She does not live in the rhythm, however-she uses her power for her own advantage, and that is always a pity because it does great harm.”



“Sorcerers, you mean?”

“That sort of person. It doesn’t matter what you call them. Once you start controlling other people, whatever your motive, you become a sort of sorcerer. Those people are not on the side of life, Wise Child, but they are powerful.”



“You mean–a witch?”

“That’s just a vulgar word for it that can mean all kinds of things.. The word we use is doran.” Juniper went on to explain that the word doran came from our Gaelic word dorus, an entrance or way in (the English have a word very like it). It was someone who had found a way in to seeing or perceiving.

“Seeing or perceiving what?”

Juniper hesitated. “The energy,” she said at last. “The pattern.”


I did not know what she meant, but I knew what interested me.

“Am I a doran then?” I asked breathlessly.

“You could be,” she said. “You may be one day if various things work out that way.”


“So what does a doran do, then?”

“Some of us do healing things, like me and my herbs. Some of us sing, or write poetry or make beautiful things. Some don’t do anything at all. they often stay in one place, and they just know.”

Know? Know what?”

“How things are,” said Juniper mysteriously.

-Monica Furlong



This reading, “sorcerers” and others wielding their power means something very different to me than the literal meaning of Wise Child’s world that it has always meant before. I’ve called certain corporations and politicians “wicked” in my despair at times. Would it be more helpful to think of them as just people living outside of the Rhythm?

As is often the case lately, I don’t know.

Always more questions than answers, it seems.


But I feel heartened to continue on in all the ways that I have found to open those doors…

…weave myself in amongst the pattern…

…try to stay on the side of Life…

Just Know.


Ha! But even as I type that, I know that never feels enough at this moment in time. I am glad that in addition to the small ways which are the heart of my Doing, there will be people marching in our nation’s capital this weekend. And tho’ I am not a marcher, not yet anyway, I did create this place the day after my last post. There is not much there at the moment, but I have hopes that when I can devote some more time to it…and other people join in…it may be useful as we continue to figure out what it means to live in the rhythm


“My soul is in the trees
It’s in the sap that fills the wood
It’s in the rings that tell her age
It’s in the smoke that marks the days
It’s in the fire in my heart
It’s in the embers in the soot
It’s in the place I put the ash
It’s in the soil
It’s in the grass
It’s in the mouths of all the herd
It’s in the beetles and the birds
It’s in the feathers that I found one morning lying on the ground
It’s hallelujah, aye and oh
It’s where I’ve been and where I go
It’s in the people that I meet
It’s kneeling silent at their feet
It’s ever dutifully yours
It stems my pride
And opens doors”

Johnny Flynn


summer mosaic


A few evenings ago, on the first of September actually, I spent a pleasurable hour choosing these photos and creating this mosaic. It was to be my “hello September, good-bye to summer” mosaic. I was just going to post the mosaic, no words. But I didn’t get to the uploading of the photo that evening and went to bed early instead.

The next morning, as I was getting dressed, I heard a plane fly overhead, much louder and lower than the occasional one we usually hear. When the roar of it came back again in a few minutes, I ran to the window and looked out to see a bright yellow crop-duster swooping low over the field next to the field next to us. Doug was outside by this time, watching in surprise as the plane circled round and round, roaring low over the trees at the edge of our land, dumping its load of chemicals on the soybeans growing next door.

All plans for our usual summer breakfast on the porch gone, I closed our windows and hoped, tho’ I knew it was illogical, that the plane wouldn’t be doing the field that borders our land on the north, the field you can see behind me in the photo of the yellow mullein flowers. We are somewhat used to the huge, insect-like chemical sprayers rumbling over the fields next to us now and then through the growing season. We close our windows for awhile, think of all the connections it brings up to so many serious and troubling issues…and then we put it to the back of our minds again.

But this big yellow mosquito, looking undeniabley attractive against the bright blue sky, it was something new. And it brought everything front and center again. And as the plane shifted its course and began to buzz over our house, and as I watched the field that lies right next to ours receive its chemical rain, and as I saw the drift of spray mist over our hedgerow and hay-way drive, the tears began to fall.

Just that morning, I had posted these pictures at Wisteria & Sunshine and couldn’t help but compare all that is represented in the photos of my ancestors farming with what we have experienced a hundred years later in this very rural county that we are privileged to call home. In more than twenty years, I’ve never seen the farmer who rents that land walk upon it. I don’t know who he is. I don’t know if he would care to know how we feel about what happens on the land next door…in the rest of our county…our country…the world.

But I do care, and deeply. I just don’t know what to do with all of the feelings, beyond the small ways we’ve always used. I wish I would get more angry than sad, that might help.

I just don’t know.

So the mosaic went unshared. Because I knew I couldn’t just post it now…with its idyllic-looking photos. Those photos are true and real, in one sense, but they don’t always tell the whole story. That noble, beautiful mullein that I embraced in June, was a burned, brown stalk come July when the field it bordered was sprayed with weed-killer after the spring grain was harvested and before the gmo-soybeans were planted. The organic rose spritzer that I sipped as the sun went down on our little terrace was accompanied by the sound of the kitty litter plant three miles away whose drying drums grumble across the miles with their loads of mined clay. And I can never watch the sun set there anymore without wondering when the trees that have made western view for all of these years will be next on the logging list as the woods all around us get leveled.

Another reason I didn’t post was because I knew that I would now need to accompany those photos with words…the words above…and I worried what a reader whose family farms conventionally might say in response. Or someone who disagrees with me about gmos. Even tho’ I am not an ignorant romantic about land issues. I’ve been paying attention to them for decades now. I do understand how agriculture has arrived at this place and why so many farms work this way. I do. But I Feel these issues lately, I don’t Think them so much. And I don’t want arguments or debates, to be honest. In between the tears, I did cry out to my husband “This is messed up! I don’t know what this is, growing gmo crops on chemically-drenched land for factory-raised animals, but it’s not farming!”. And that is what I feel…and it is what I know.

Yet I still wasn’t ready to say it here. But then I read Melissa’s post (belatedly…our rural internet is another issue!) and opened up this blogging window and began writing. I am “blogging fresh” today. With apologies to anyone I might offend, but not for what I feel or believe. There are other ways we could be farming and growing and living. I want us to figure out how to get on with those ways. I want more of us to do more than love and appreciate the land and nature. I want us to fight for her and protect her…pay attention and make connections…seek understanding and solutions…

But now I am going to just click “publish”, without editing, and go and hang out the wash…where I will look out upon a mosaic of land…weedy and wild, tidy and toxic, untouched and tamed…with a mosaic of feelings inside me.