I’ve been in hermit mode here — doing intuitive sessions, taking walks, exercising, cooking myself on the BioMat and completing an astonishing breadth and depth of studies before I shift my focus to fiction writing on November 1. With Samhain on October 31st traditionally celebrated as the Celtic New Year, it somehow feels appropriate to return to fiction after what became an 8-year hiatus. Synchronously, it’s also the start of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), which I might do again this year — not to finish a novel in that time, but to tap into the collective discipline of word counts and new writing habits.
Today’s misty morning captures my overall mood the past couple months:
With David still finishing up things in Goshen during the week, I usually have the days and nights to myself from early Monday morning until Friday evening. Initially, I filled that time with setting up the new garden, but a neck “injury” aka kundalini adjustment aka cosmic realignment took me out of that habitual physical hard work. My neck feels fine now, but the intensity of “stop me in my tracks” pain when trying to do more gardening forced me into extensive BioMat time, pondering the shift back to fiction.
I ended up with quite the curriculum presenting itself, and I’ve felt like a graduate student with most of my time focused on reading, research and integration, all of which will inform this next phase. I had grown accustomed to alone time in Goshen, but I never felt alone, because the yard was such a buzz of pollinator, bird and squirrel activity. Also, the constant train horns and influx of factory workers across the street reminded me that despite any magical boundaries, civilization was never far away.
By contrast, our new house and lot create the illusion and experience of seclusion. If I don’t walk to a nearby store or restaurant, I can go an entire week without encountering anyone in person. Cars drive by, but the trees shield my view of that, even when sitting on the garden bench. I thought I’d be taking the bus downtown more often while David’s gone, but my neck made that less appealing until I settled into and committed to a new routine. Through the gifts of that process, I eventually recognized that this liminal time has opened to prepare the way for the new. Barring some kind of dedicated silent retreat, I will likely never have this set of circumstances and opportunities again. The courses of study revealed themselves, and I feel both inner and outer shifts as a result of this entire process.
We did, however, have an interesting visit this weekend from the original CPL (crazy plant lady) of our yard. She rang the doorbell on her way home from church on Sunday so that she could tell us how pleased she was every time she drives by the yard. She was literally giddy with joy to have a gardener not only continue her legacy but add to it. We invited her inside to show her some of the upgrades, which received her enthusiastic seal of approval. Then we showed her the backyard, where this clematis finally began to bloom after waiting all summer:
She told us varieties of trees and special upgrades she had given the house and gave us the inside scoop on even more reasons to love our new home. She’s a cute little old lady, but feisty! David and I agreed we’re glad to be on her good side, as she had very little use for the people she sold to and from whom we bought out house. She had watched in dismay as those owners had hacked away her holly and neglected the weeping cherries. She’s thrilled to see flowers and veggies growing in the fabric pots and might come by to pick up some yellow irises this fall, since they need division. We returned a decorative stepping stone she had dearly missed for a year and a half, and promised to invite her over again. Fun times! She’s like a Faery Tale character! Best to stay on her good side … but we are very Faery friendly here.
We got the lowdown on the shed, and I told her about how the neighbors’ cat has adopted our yard for groundhog patrol. She seemed impressed, as she had never seen a cat in this yard before. Interestingly, after a one day, two pop out appearance of Kalamazoo Kal, I had asked the cat to keep a closer watch on the shed. I’ve since seen the kitty go into the Kal’s hidey hole and patrol the general area. On Sunday, I noticed that someone had placed a block of wood right in the way of the hole, and I asked David if he had done that. Nope! Then today, I saw that it’s turned to make access even more cumbersome:
Good kitty! This morning, I could smell that the cat had laid claim to this area, scenting it just enough to have groundhogs keep their distance. Mostly, the cat just naps near the back door, hanging out with me while I read on the BioMat, but it continues to amaze me just what a great job s/he does with the groundhog patrol.
Another odd ball thing about this yard with its faery godmother previous owner and the non-resident, no-name-given cat familiar is the osage orange:
Just look at that lumpy, warty, lime green fruit and tell me it doesn’t remind you of something from the Brothers Grimm?! I half expect the shed to turn into a candy covered cottage whenever one of these bizarre orbs drops through the evergreens. Our neighbor had warned us about the enormous thorns on the osage orange trees behind our property. We don’t have any on our property, but she said her one of the five inch thorns had pierced all the way through her husband’s sneakers when he was cleaning up the ones in their yard.
So there you have it — magical studies in a misty land filled with solitude, surrounded by thorny trees of strange fruit, with occasional visits from a faery godmother who still protects this land, a cat familiar who’s not my cat, and as the veil parts on the weekends … my true love. I almost don’t even need to write fiction, eh?