The din of the holidays is passed; I can almost feel the house breathe a sigh.  The sun is shining and the only sound I hear is the hum of the clothes dryer, this is a rare moment of peace.  Today is the first Monday of a new year.  I pour my first cup of tea, contemplating which item on my to do list will have the honor of ushering in the work week…none, I decide, I will begin my year by arranging flowers.

 I love being lost in the flowers.  The coolness of the petals, the scent…  I enjoy watching as the arrangement takes shape.  As I work I become aware of my thoughts:

Vary the color and texture to add interest

Vary the length of the stems to add dimension and shape

Create your arrangement in a way that suits your chosen container, the flowers should look like they belong in that container

Leave some space so the flowers can be seen

Add foliage for texture and to fill in any unsightly gaps

Share your bouquet with others

 And then I realize that flower arranging is a lot like writing,

                                                                                                                   and like life.

Happy Hogmanay, otherwise known as New Years Eve; incidentally, today is also the sixth day in the twelve days of Christmas. There is some debate as to the origin of the word hogmanay, some say it derived from the phrase au gui menez which means, “lead to the mistletoe”, others say it began as oge midne or “good morning”. Whatever the origin may be, the meaning is the same as today– many blessings on your new year.

Traditionally this was a day of tidying up loose ends; houses were cleaned, clothes mended and debts were paid. The New Year was to be welcomed as an honored guest not to be marred by “leftovers” from the previous year. For most of us, this level of clearing is not feasible but it does offer us something to ponder.

As we make our resolutions of new attributes to adopt let’s also take a look of what we can release. We can release our distrust of others not like us. We can release our anger at those we feel have hurt us. We can forgive ourselves for not always acting in our own best interest– abuse victims are all too familiar with this particular version of guilt. We can forgive our parents, siblings and spouses for not being perfect.

It’s amazing how much of our energy is tied up with past experiences, energy better spent on what we want to create now.  There is an old chant which says, “Hogmanay Trololay, give us your white bread and none of your gray”.  In other words, partake of what is fresh and discard the old.  So, here’s a toast to new beginnings…and lots of fresh, fluffy bread.

“Thank You” to all my new friends and everyone who has visited me this year.  May you have an absolutely delightful 2010.

As a child,  May Day was one of my favorite holidays.  The making of May Day baskets to hang on the neighbors door and collecting small flowers (aka weeds) for tiny bouquets was great fun.  It seemed perfectly simple to me; on Halloween we asked for candy and on May Day we left flowers. 

As it turns out May Day was actually closely tied to Halloween in the early Celtic and Pagan traditions.  As Samhain, or Halloween, ushered in the Winter; Beltane, or May Day, ushered in the Summer.  Both celebrations were seen as times when the veil between the mortal world and the Otherworld was thin.  Unexplainable happenings could occur and communications with gods and nature spirits were possible.

With the arrival of Summer the focus of these communications were for healthy animals and bountiful crops.  Bonfires were lit to symbolically burn off disease or negative energy.  Celebrations were held in honor of the Goddess as Maiden, bearer of fertility.  The Maiden was married to Lord of the Wood, (Green Man or Jack of the Green), and the Earth was renewed. This marriage has been symbolically portrayed in the stories of King Arthur and his Sacred Marriage to the land and in the legend of Robin Hood who weds the virtuous Maid Marian.

To insure the fertility of this Great Marriage the people assisted with the building of the energy.  Through dancing and drumming they hoped to add strength to the magical union.  Paring up with those to whom they were most attracted, (though not necessarily wed), for long hours of love-making under the trees was another form of symbolic magic.  The celebration of  Life and the indulgence in life’s pleasures was a way of saying “yes” to the Gods.  Yes, we enjoy this life.  Yes, we enjoy the pleasures of this human body.  Yes, we celebrate fertility in all forms. 

Have you read The Secret?  Well, this is where it started.  To put oneself in the energy (the acceptance) of that which one wants to experience.  I wonder how different the world would be today if we had continued the practice of saying “yes” to Life.  How would history have played out if we had not given so much focus to death and war?

Didn’t know it was an art form?  Neither did I.

According to Webster’s the definition of art includes:

  • the principles or methods governing any craft or branch of learning.
  • skill in conducting any activity.

It’s just amazing how many artists we have in the world these days…

I come to this new form of communication with no contrivance.  Instead, I am allowing this space develop as I become inspired.

Today I added two new pages.  One will be for writing prompts,( unfortunately, these do not usually come to me when I am ready to write, they usually come to me when I want to be sleeping).  The other page will be for book reviews, (or movies), which I feel led to share.

So far I have left each page open for comments so don’t be shy.