The Witch of This Place


I went out tonight, after the board meeting, under the waning Moon, and sank into the hot tub.   I never do that without acknowledging my Swedish ancestors.

And there’s this tension, isn’t there, between those old Swedes (Go on!  Roll in the snow and then jump back into the wood-warmed water!  It’s what we’ve done for centuries!) and my more recent Southern forebears (Stay in the warm water!  That cold stuff comes down here from up North.  You don’t know where it’s been!)

Tonight, the Southerners won out, but they certainly don’t do every night.

Every morning, the sun is up a bit earlier and, every evening, the sun stays just a little bit longer.   And every morning, I take my cup of warm coffee, cradle it between my bony, old, cold hands, and watch the sun come up in the East.

I am the Witch of this place.  Dear Magical MidAtlantic, I belong, in Delta Rae’s words, to all of your mysteries.

This has all been so much fun.

Picture found here.

Words for Wednesday

Wind in the willows and the Piper at the Gates of Dawn.


So here in the Magical MidAtlantic, we’ve been snowed in since Friday.  I’ve been trying to use the time to be consciously grateful and, of course, privileged old woman that I am, there’s quite a lot for which I ought to be grateful.

I’m in the middle of writing a tricky brief and — and here’s one of the things for which I’m grateful — I’m able to work on it at home.  No time wasted commuting  (although I am missing the drive along my beloved Potomac).  No interruptions.  Plenty of time to get up, do my daily practice, hit the treadmill, stretch, and throw in a load of laundry while I search for the next three lines.

I don’t pretend that producing legal prose is nearly as creative as, for example, writing poetry, designing gardens, or dancing.  But the short video above reminds me of the way that I want to approach, especially, these difficult briefs:

[T]he hardest part is not freaking out when I’m in pain.  . . .   The end of the day is kind of this crazy culmination of the excitement and of the pressure all at once for the show and — everything in this art form — I feel like it’s a balance and without having the pressure I don’t know that there would be excitement because so much of what we do is about sharing.  [B]ecause it’s such a high stakes kind of situation, I know I will look back feeling like I lived my life to the fullest.  I don’t want to not try because I’m afraid.

I doubt many lawyers would admit this, but writing a difficult brief can be painful and, indeed, the most difficult part is to not freak out when you’re in the middle of that pain.  (I remember a chant that I learned years ago from Jean Houston at Omega:  “Don’t forget to breathe.  It’s the most important part.”)  The statement that the ballerinas make in the video:

Because it’s such a high stakes kind of situation, I know that I will look back feeling like I lived my life to the fullest.  I don’t want to not try because I’m afraid,

probably captures everything I’ve learned over decades of producing legal prose for pay.  And it reminds me of some of my favorite lines from the Mary Oliver poem that I’ve put into my will to have read at my funeral:

When it’s over, I want to say, “All of my life

I was a bride married to amazement.

I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.”

When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder

if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,

or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.


“I don’t want to not try because I’m afraid.”  I think if I ever got a tattoo, that would be a good one for me.

What’s yours?


Blessed Burns Night

Sunday Ballet Blogging

Blizzard PotPourri


  •  A mere six years ago, we lived, here in the Magical MidAtlantic, through a blizzard that was reported to be a once-every-700-hundred-years event.  This afternoon, the next one started.  I’m an old woman who lives alone and these storms can be scary for me.  I’ve learned how to prepare.  Obviously, I have a pantry of canned foods and other necessities such as toilet paper, bottled water, deicer.  I fill my prescriptions as far ahead as my insurance will allow.  I charge every device I have (in case of power outages) and I bring some firewood indoors.  I have a generator to run the major appliances (fridge, internet, sump pumps, etc.).  And, for the love of the Goddess, if you’re about to be snowed in, take out your trash.  That gets tricky when there’s several feet of snow on the ground.  I spent a good (and cold!) quarter of an hour this morning making sure that all of my trash and all of the “stuff” left over from a recent renovation were carted outside to the trash cans.
  • I am, luckily, a serious introvert, and, so, spending time alone is actually rather nice for me, although, after the 12 days I spent housebound in 2010, I was pretty ready to get out of the house and commune with other carbon-based humans.
  • I do magic every day of the year to keep me in touch with the Powers, and Spirits, and Beings of this Place.  And when the bad storms come, I ramp that up and ask for protection.  The power of a storm, unleashed directly above, is a GREAT and VERY POWERFUL time to do magic.  Harness some of that energy.  Use it.
  • Limit as much as possible, your use of electricity.  Electricity warms a very large number of homes and businesses and the power grid is going to be strained.  Heavy snow can bring down power lines and it can take the miracle workers who keep our grid intact a lot of time and trouble to fix things.  If you see them, say thanks and offer them some coffee, hot tea, or a chance to use the bathroom.  Ditto for the folks who run snow plows, direct traffic, staff the all-night 7-11.
  •    I find that it helps me to have a plan, a set of goals that I want to accomplish for the duration of the emergency.  If a storm is one of the few times that you can slow down and recharge, then plan to do that.  Put on warm socks, brew some tea, curl up with a good book, a fun movie, or a game of Parcheesi, or Uno (G/Son’s favorite), or ma jong (I’m going to learn to play the real thing before I’m done.)  Sign up for and complete a MOOC.  Buy your seeds for this Spring.  Start and finish a knitting project.  Do yoga AND walk on the treadmill every day.  Organize photos into an album.  Start doing a daily practice and plan to continue even once the snow is gone.
  • If you can, do something to help the homeless, for whom this kind of weather isn’t the mere inconvenience it is for most of us.  For them, this can be life threatening.  If you can buy a package of cheap athletic socks, keep them in your car and hand out a pair to every homeless person you pass.  Knit simple caps while you watch tv or Netflix and hand those out.  Send some money.  Write some letters.  Program your area’s homeless hotline into your cell phone so that you can easily call them if you see someone in distress.
  • May you be safe.  May your be warm.  May you be dry.

Picture found here.

Practical Magic



I’d like to make a personal request.  If you are not registered to vote where you live, please do not let Imbolc come and go without getting registered.


Picture found here.