Since this is the last day of November, I thought I should put up a post I wrote at the beginning of the month.
Today, I am grateful for the chance of rain,
for this beautiful Autumn day, and for all
the wood we are gathering for this winter’s warmth.
We saw an Abert’s, or tassel eared squirrel in the woods today. Just this morning, we had lamented the fact that we had not seen one of those fluffy black and white beings for about 3 years.They used to be plentiful, and seen often.
About an hour later, 18 turkeys crossed our path. They were hens and poults. Turkeys have been known to be a message to honor the Earth Mother; a symbol of all the blessings with which She gifts us. Turkey asks us to use these gifts in sustainable and generous ways.
At the top of our hill, Mattie, our dog, chased a jack rabbit, which is also rarely seen here. They encourage us to know how to go from stillness to great speed, and knowing when each is needed. I know sometimes I can be still for too long, as well as being too on the go at times. They remind me of fertility, and starting new things. They also remind me to be aware of the moon, and how her cycle is effecting our lives during any given month.
This morning, I heard the strangest sound. Mattie and I went out to sense the morning, around 5:00, and something started barking at us. My first thought was dog, but the tone quality was more like an owl. Then it made weird cat noises, so I thought bobcat, or small lion. I even thought it sounded somewhat fox-like a couple of times. Sure enough, it started hooting – but not a regular call at all. “Weeerr! Bark, hoot!” Then 6 hoots in a row. Great Horned Owls usually say, “hoot hoot….hoot hoot hoot.” This owl again called, “Bark, bark, weeerr, hoot hoot,” and was answered by a very small “weeerr” up valley. I enjoyed that conversation. It is courting time for them, so the barker was probably showing off its protective strength and creativity.
Last month it was the flamulated owls and the screech owls making themselves heard, and the pygmy owls during the warm summer evenings.
Owls have been associated with magic, wisdom and night vision. They are a symbol of the feminine and the moon. In some cultures, they have meant death, but for me they are about death, rebirth and transformation. It also reminds me to be aware and mindful of the darkness, both internally and outdoors. We need to embrace our dark side. Only then can it come out of hiding to let us know what needs healing.
It rained this afternoon. The moisture makes all the colors and smells exaggerated. One Ponderosa pine had such a deep vanilla fragrance, I found myself hugging and sniffing it until I came away feeling somewhat intoxicated. There is a certain energy that rain brings, that changes the atmosphere both outside of me and inside. I just felt so good and grateful.
Today the cool winds tell me it is time to say good-bye to all the summer critters, and get ready for the changing season. I am always reluctant to let the fall go. Fortunately, this year it is letting me down easy.
There is snow on the mountain top at the head of our canyon, and I am feeling more accepting of it, especially now that we have cut some wood. It is time now to go inward, to reflect and to hibernate in a way. This year, I also feel that I am letting go of the Autumn of my life, as I venture into the winter years – my early elder years.
While enjoying the last of the warm temperatures, and taking pictures of the fall colored reflections in the creek, the sun was in such a position to highlight the water with brilliant, dancing sparkle. It radiated the indentations made by the water striders’ feet just enough to make each foot of each bug a reflection of light. It was so bright, that the striders were invisible, so all I could see were little points of light headed upstream, leaving V trails behind them.
I do hope we have a good snow pack this year. The beavers that came after the big rain event in July, have been working so hard, and have created another beautiful wetland. I try not to be too attached, but for the last three years, we had no wetland, no beavers and no creek because of drought. I will be writing about our beavers over the past years, and our relationships with them. They will be in the category of animal stories. I hope we get enough snow to see them through until the summer rains come. I know that the best way for me to pray or to visualize that, is to be thankful for what is, and to believe that it can be and IS how it was again, even though evidence has shown otherwise.