Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A Vision of Spring

The fifth day of March- and we find ourselves on the doorstep of Spring. The Vernal Equinox is a few weeks away, that moment when day and night are equal in length. Then, the Earth will tilt over onto our side of the hemisphere, and the days will get longer, brighter, and warmer. Nature will wake up from her long winter’s nap, and eggs, milk and fresh vegetables will appear in the farmers markets once more, we’ll hear baby birds up in the trees, and the local zoo’s and gardens will tempt us with visions of baby animals, butterfly exhibits, orchid and tulip shows.

It’s easy to forget the “processes” of nature when you live in a year round climate. Pictures of snow and ice don’t bring home the reality of weather so much as actually experiencing it does, which is why so many of us travel up into the hills at this time for a day in the snow. It’s also a great way to delight the senses and go up for a day of spring- the fresh, cold nippy air, warmed by springs first rays of sunlight, so that it’s still cold in the shade if one gets a little too much exercise hiking up those brilliant green hills. A day of listening to natures chorus of birdsong, frogs ribbeting, hawks and ravens talking over the daily gossip goes a long way to banish the noise of traffic, schoolyards, and emergency sirens of the daily grind the rest of the time.

A few other events happening this month:

Daylight Saving Time happens on Sunday the ninth- don’t forget to set your clocks forward! After doing a little research on the topic, I’m still not convinced it is a good thing as it upsets everyone’s internal clocks so terribly, and it plays havoc with school and business schedules, but apparently it has been done several times throughout our history of civilization- even the Romans had a form of it at one time!

St. Patrick’s Day on the seventeenth- ostensibly to mark the introduction of Christianity to Ireland, but it’s really just an excuse to celebrate the Irish, their food, heritage and culture! Taking a slightly different view on the idea, my focus is more on the old stories of myth and legend, with a menu of old country favorites like Champ, Brown Bread, Vegetable Stew, Oatcakes, Cheddar Cheese and Shortbread.

And lastly, it’s the beginning of Convention season again – ConDor hits this month, on the 21st , and runs the whole weekend long. A Science Fiction and Fantasy themed convention, it’s being held at the Towne and Country resort and convention center again this year. The costume theme this year is the American Revolution, and there is a Friday night English Country dance scheduled!

Hmm…the Faeries seem to be planning something elaborate for this month’s festivities- something involving Wigs, Clover, Clocks and- hey, that’s my copy of Soulless, give that back!

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014: Enter Spring!

Letters from the editor:

March, 2014 has certainly come in like a lion this year! The weekend started with a ferocious rain storm- lots of wind, lashing rain, cloudy skies, dark afternoons- it was wonderful! Coupled with a lovely morning of library book sales, second hand book stores, a light lunch at our favorite organic spot, and a whole afternoon of puttering, cooking, and cleaning, it was a glorious beginning to this last month of winter, the prelude to Spring.

The Vernal Equinox hits around March 20th this year, on a Thursday no less! However, it feels as if Ostara has come early in my part of the world, with warm days, no rain and the flowers, trees and even the birds convinced it’s Spring already! I’ll be glad for the time change this Sunday- Daylight Savings hits this month, and not a moment too soon. It’s also St. Patrick’s Day in a few weeks, so I’ve planned a menu of Irish favorites to share with you.

I’ll be crafting a breath of fresh air this month with some new linens, and the garden will be spruced up after the latest rainstorm, with possibly a few new additions out there as well. A sightseeing trip to an old neighborhood favorite; a bit of an in-depth look at my favorite springtime faeries; and a little redecorating/reorganizing of a few spaces will round out the goings-on in this space, with the month finished out by the next “chapter” in my little story experiment. I am quite enjoying this new format- it’s been flowing along nicely, and I’ve found it a lot easier to sit down and actually write for a change. Thank you for joining me here, at the Magickwyrds Journal- I look forward to your comments, suggestions and opinions!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Cecily’s New Adventure

I thought I would start a new story this year, to try and polish my craft a little. So, here’s a brand new chapter in Cecily’s story- she’s moving to a new village and beginning a new venture with a few new faces around her, and a few surprises in store- I hope you like it!
Moving to a new village
As she sat on the train knitting, trying out an idea for a new kind of bonnet, Cecily took a look around at her new surroundings. Her aunt lived in Thrush-on-the-Hill, out in the countryside, and had asked Cecily to come help with Grandmamma for a season or two. It would be a nice change of scenery, and a great opportunity for an idea she’d had for a while that hadn’t worked out back home in Ambleside. Cecily hadn’t wanted to step on any toes, and there wasn’t a great need for any more soft goods stalls at the Market there, but Aunt Syble said there was only the old Tailor in their Market, with a few traveling Fairs coming through two or three times a year for fancies (or anything nice, truth be told, the tailor only makes a passable skirt, and no dresses at all! and don’t tell anyone I told ye that lass, Grandmamma had whispered last Yule) so Cecily had her hopes up, and a trunk of stock lashed up in the luggage car behind her. It was a nice area, she thought as the train pulled into the station. A day and a night and a morning away from home, the trees were still full of birdsong, and the grasses were still green, but it was up in the hills, with lots of rivulets and streams and a few rushing rivers tucked here and there into the groves of ash and pine and thickets of brush and wildflowers. She wondered if she would find any wild sage, elderberries or lilac bushes near Aunt Syble’s house.
Unpacking- the house
Wilbur stood outside the train depot with a small placard which read, simply “Aunt Sybil”, but Cecily remembered him from her childhood visits to Grandmamma’s house and gave him a big hug, which made him blush and stammer, and fumble the packages and cases so that she took pity on him and went to sit in the front while he finished stowing away her things. When it became apparent the great trunk full of her merchandise wasn’t going to fit anywhere on the already full pony cart, Mr. Steading the depot manager arranged to have it delivered by the milkman that evening (Grandmamma’s house was on the road leading to the dairy farm, so it was no trouble at all ma’am, don’t you worry none ma’am) and off they went to the little house in the village Aunt Sybil had prepared for Cecily’s stay.
It was a little old cottage at the edge of the forest, almost but not quite in the countryside, but still within the village proper. Set next to a tiny stream full of cress, mint and tadpoles it had a wee tiny garden in the front, with a white picket fence around it to keep out the village cats, and a slightly larger swath of green bordered by pinks, and mums, lavender and roses in the back. The stone walkway leading up to the front door was lined with thyme, chamomile, dillweed and chives, and two great oak trees sat at the corners of the place giving off lots of shade and a lovely rustling of leaves in the midmorning breeze. White washed walls, old wooden shutters, and a bristling little thatch roof completed the picture. “It’s lovely Aunt Syble” Cecily breathed in happiness “you spoil me! It’s perfect.” Aunt Syble came down from the steps to give her niece a hug and a kiss. “I’m so glad you like it” she said with a smile. “It’s yours for as long as you stay.” “Won’t the owners be needing it this summer?” Cecily asked with an apprehensive frown. Syble chuckled and grinned. “No, I will not- it’s already booked for a delightful little girl who’s staying in the village indefinitely, for the time being.” Cecily grinned back and laughed at her aunt. “When did you buy it?” Syble gestured to the front door as she answered, and picked up Cecily’s hat box. “I didn’t- I inherited it last winter when the village seamstress passed away- she hadn’t any daughters to carry on the tradition, and knew I had a few relations who might be enticed to stay.” Cecily walked up the three small steps and pushed open the heavy oak front door. She looked a bit thoughtful at her aunt’s words as she passed by her, but then her brow cleared in amazement as she got inside. “But it’s…it’s bigger on the inside!” she exclaimed with pleased surprise. And promptly dropped her bags and ran back outside and turned round to view the house again. Syble and Wilbur grinned at each other, then Syble gestured for Wilbur to take his load upstairs while she placed the hatbox on a nearby table. Cecily came back inside a little more sedately and turned round in a circle as she took in her first view of the “little” cottage.