Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Very Special Equinox

Equinox, the time of most balance between day and night, light and dark, happens at 11:09 PM--the very moment I write this sentence tonight.  And the Harvest full moon, brightest of the year, comes at 5:17 tomorrow morning.  A very special conjunction, a time of powerful balance between, as my dear friend Deborah Knighton Tallerico puts it, Yin and Yang, Masculine and Feminine Energies, reminding us "of the importance of balance and harmony in our lives."

The Chinese have long known how to celebrate this amazing Harvest moon.  And according to this link about the Chinese mid-Autumn moon-festival (scroll down to the poets at the bottom) it was the poets who made the festival so popular.  That's a mission I can get into--writing poems to encourage an Autumn moonwatching tradition.

Happy equinox, everyone--and though, as Susun Weed points out, pure balance would not be a living condition, may you savor its brief visit!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mint Tea, Wine, & a Splash of Inspiration

Slowly I am absorbing Susun Weed's lesson that the plants around us in abundance are offering themselves for our use.  For example, after thinking of mint as "invasive" for years and trying to contain it through violent wastefulness, instead I took her advice and started to consume it frequently, matching the pace at which it offers itself.  It's easy to tear or cut off the tops to use the leaves, and the flowers that the bees love grow right back out of the shorter stems. Wonderful!  And what a great lesson and practice, to gather, in the proportion in which they are given, the other gifts of life, including poetic inspiration.

There's still time to enjoy my favorite new drink: sun mint tea  . . .  pick and tear up a handful of mint leaves and soak in a jar of water in the sun for a while (I put plastic wrap on top to keep the bees out).  Even a few leaves and an hour or two makes water taste magnificent, a drink at once sweet, simple, and sophisticated, loved by both kids and adults---like drinking the sun.

Which reminds me of a quote from Galileo, of all people, that someone told me today at a wonderful harvest feast, a grape harvesting and potluck extravaganza held at Maine Coast Vineyards, our friends' local winery:  "Wine is sunshine held together by water and alcohol." There was a lot of sunshine going around this wonderful harvest celebration, kids playing everywhere, generations mixing, work and relaxation--community grounded in food and the earth.