* Am I the only one who woke up this morning and said, “Oh, thank the Goddess it’s over!”???
From a bit before Samhein until, well, today, the overculture shoves Xmas down our throats faster, faster, faster, more, more, more! As I’ve noted before, I’m happy to celebrate, alongside my religious holiday of Yule, the secular Winter Holiday that occurs in America at this time of year and that involves giving gifts, seeing family and friends, sending and reading cards from far-flung acquaintances, enjoying Winter, lighting the darkness, and, hopefully, sharing our bounty with those who could use some help. (“My” homeless vet got socks, a knitted hat, aspirin, vitamins, some gift certificates to McDonalds (which is what he wants), and a box of apples, tangerines, and homemade cookies.) I like the Messiah, my brightly decorated neighborhood, and seeing G/Son open the presents that I got for him.
But by December 26th, I’m completely ready to be done with the whole hot mess.
How about you?
* Michael Twitty, the culinary historian who has been doing so much amazing work documenting the contributions of African slaves to America’s cuisine, wrote THE definitive letter from an African American cook to Paula Deen. He’s now done the same as a gay man, writing about the whole Duck Dynasty mess. This year, one of my most prized Yule gifts was a Mr. Pearl calendar — autographed! If I can’t buy the GreenMan an autographed Michael Twitty calendar next year, I’m going to know the reason why. And a cookbook, the year after that. Michael, I am looking at you.
And, SOMEONE, for the love of the Goddess, get Mr. Pearl and Mr. Twitty together over a meal and film it. I will buy the DVD. Both of these artists celebrate a sense of place that makes them really important to today’s South.
* Twitty’s posts on Kwanza will make you want to celebrate it, too, or you should head to the hospital and ask them to check if you have a pulse;
Nia means we think with the end in mind and plant, sow, tend, and reap knowing to what ends our purposes serve. It means planning, having a vision, building up our selves, our homes, our communities and our nation within a nation one plan, one decision and one thought at a time.
* You should read Echidne. Every day.
* Like clockwork, on the day after Xmas, the seed catalogs begin to show up. Today, at the office, I got two of my favorites. Burpee’s was the only seed company I knew when I first came to this Bit of Earth and began, tentatively and falteringly, to garden. And I still go there every year for black petunias, marigolds that will grow all year long, and one or two “new” things to try. (This year, Mrs. Mars sunflowers are a likely buy.) And, Baker Creek is, IMHO, the most wonderful seed catalog in the world. I could (and, between now and Beltane, will) read it every day.
* Medus Coils has ALL THE GOOD LINKS.
* My Circle was discussing this over the weekend. If you’ve gotten into the practice of choosing a Word of the Year, or if you’d like to give this practice a try, Christine Kane has a great worksheet for you to use. I do this every year; and I create pictures to go along with the questions in the worksheet. That product goes into my journal for an at-least-weekly check. I also make a screensaver, that I create as a magical practice, to help me to get a clear picture of what my Word of the Year will look like.
You can just select a Word of the Year, or you can select a Word of the Year and then set goals and objectives that go with that Word. Or you can set goals and objectives and then select a Word of the Year to go with them. Or, you can just go free-form, like my brilliant friend, E.
It’s all, as Ms. Kane says, about Intention, Awareness, and Clarity. What could be more magical than that?
This year, my word is “self-possessed.” What’s yours?
* And, here’s this, for Seamus Heaney, because that which is remembered, lives. I love “He used English, from the North.”
Picture found here.