Almost Mabon

Autumn in the Shenandoah Valley

You can see it in the slant light of late afternoon. I felt it the other day when I was suddenly surrounded by floating golden leaves. I find it in the local deer, now bolder about coming up near the road as they pack on all the winter fat that they can manage. You can tell because people are pulling dead squash plants and finished tomato stalks out of the community garden and sneaking in broccoli, cabbage, winter kale.

It’s almost Mabon. Feast of the harvest. We’ve come to the point on the Wheel of the Year when it’s time to gather in, take stock, figure out how we’re going to get through leaner times. Here, in a time of plague, that entire process is taking on an even greater significance. Are you ready if the supply chain breaks down again?

We’re Witches and a Witch’s job is to turn the Wheel and round and round the Wheel must turn. COVID and all, this is a joyous task and we need to focus, perhaps even more BECAUSE of COVID, on what we’ve planted, nourished, cared for, made, and harvested over the past year.

I’m celebrating my strength. I’ve lived on my own, alone, with almost zero actual human contact, for more than six months. (I only came close to breaking once — when my cell phone AND my internet went down — but a friend lent me a charger and Son Zoomed me back into sanity. Well, as much sanity as is normal for me.) I’m celebrating my little community garden plot and the amazing amount of veg I’ve managed to get from it. (I’m still getting lettuce, jalapeños, fish peppers, radishes, spinach, swiss chard, and deep purple petunias!) I’m celebrating the grassroots group that I’ve helped to build here in a red-but-going-purple bit of the Commonwealth. We’ve grown to be bigger than we ever thought, have written thousands of postcards, made hundreds of phone calls, written lots of letters to the editor of the local paper, Zoomed with several candidates, run Zoom training sessions on how to fill out absentee ballots, set up a website, built a texting platform, organized street captains, and raised tens of thousands of dollars. (Gloria Steinem said that serious opposition signals success and, oh baby, are the local Republicans making clear that we’re successful. Also, you can keep knocking down our signs and I can keep hexing you. I’ve been at this longer than all ya’ll.) And, I’m celebrating the political magic that I do, the daily walks I take, my growing relationship with this particular bit of Earth, and ways that I’ve found to stay in touch long-distance with G/Son.

I find that this year, I’m really looking forward to cooler weather and the chance to shelter in. Maybe it’s because that will help me to not feel quite as bad about being in lockdown. What I know is that, once the election’s over and our grassroots group takes a several-month break (but not too long; this is Virginia and we love voters so much that we have an election every year), once the cold weather shuts down the garden, once it’s time to sit by the fire, drink tea, and read — I’ll be ready. Even if I can’t range too far, I’m looking forward to drives through the Blue Ridge’s famous Fall leaves, to seeing haystacks spring up on neighboring farms, to driving past apple orchards heavy with fruit. I’m looking forward to the cold morning air and the call of Canada geese when I step out onto the porch with my morning coffee.

What are you celebrating in your own life as we move to Mabon? What are you looking forward to?

Picture found here: https://blackburn-inn.com/blog/best-time-to-visit-shenandoah-national-park-for-fall-colors/

5 responses to “Almost Mabon

  1. Corn came in last week – enough for eating, freezing, and sharing with my neighbor. Squash and root veggies have a little more time before the frost. I’ll mask up and go to the fruit stand soon for two cartons of jonagolds for canning. Looking forward to a short road trip on Mabon to where the pioneers planted so many different apples along an old railroad. I like to go apple tasting and pick some crab apples for apple butter. And the volunteer planting on public lands that was halted last spring is back on this week with pandemic precautions. That’s such a great way to connect with good people and the land.

  2. I’m celebrating the fact that I and my beloved wife are alive and safe after we lost our home and everything else (except a car and a few essentials) in one of the conflagrations that are burning up areas of the far west. Fortunately we are in the hands of Goddess and have been blessed with relatives and others who have taken us under their wing – I feel bad for those who are so much less fortunate than we are.

  3. I’m celebrating my health – this time 12 months ago I was in ICU recovering from major abdominal surgery. I have a new normal that I am learning to accept but I am still here, still standing. I thank the Goddess for watching over me during a difficult time and I am asking Her to bless all the healthcare staff involved in my care – (everyone from the kindest possible expert surgeon to the the cleaner who I discovered loved opera and kept me cheerful) .

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