Saturday, September 25, 2010

Autumn Equinox

Well we just had the loveliest equinox celebration!

I have been making more of an attempt, the last couple of years, to really mark and live in the seasons of the year (something not always that easy when it just mostly rains all the time)! But we never really marked the beginning of autumn before, it always just sort of crept over us. The start of school was a definite signal of the end of summer, the air is crisp and the leaves are changing colour. But I was delighted when I saw this poster in town a few weeks ago...The Ecology Project itself is something I'd not heard of before, it is an earth community started and run by some nuns of the Sisters of Mercy where the focus is learning to live with compassionate harmony with all of creation. They run courses on growing organic vegetables and they have woodland, fields and organic garden plots on their beautiful site. The whole place itself over looks a lovely bay, so I was excited to go.
When I rang to make sure if it was OK to bring the kids, they said to bring some food to share. So yesterday morning, while Rebe was at school, Benny and I made a Dutch Apple Cake with some more apples our kind neighbour gave us...
I burnt it a little round the edges but it was still good!
After dinner (leaving Andy at home with Joshua) we drove the half hour or so to Rosscarberry where we parked the car at the entrance to the project. I put Benny in my new Ergo sling (love love! it arrived in the morning) and the kids and I hiked up the trail to where we came across about 20 people standing around a campfire. One of them was reading a lovely piece of poetry so we quietly listened in.
After that we joined in a dance around the fire. We did it to some recorded music and there were steps that represented the four elements of earth, fire, water and air (Andy would've hated it!) then we watched as the sun set while another of the group played the flute...

It was so beautiful and I felt I had a really lovely opportunity to give thanks for having such a great summer.

After that we all sang a song together, we were given the words on a piece of paper and we were accompanied by a guitar player...
Welcome to the harvest
Welcome to the dance
We have all come together
Together we give thanks
Give thanks and remember
the beauty we've been shown
All the love that's in the harvest Welcome Home
After a few moments contemplation that even the kids enjoyed listening to the fire crackle, we shared the food we brought...
tea being cooked over the fire and there was also a huge pot of vegetable stew from all the harvested veggies from the gardens here.

It was so lovely, we chatted and mingled sharing food and a lot of love for the land. Rebe made a lovely friend, a lady in her 50's, to whom we've been invited to visit. When we had eaten our full and drank our hot, sweet tea, I put Benny back in the sling and Rebe held hands with her new friend and we followed a trail of little lights all the way back down the hill in the darkness to the car. The children and I sang twinkle, twinkle little star all the way home with the moon shining and lighting our way.
It was a truly magical experience and I hope we can join in this ritual every year!
Happy Autumn all!


  1. This sounds so lovely, Laura- such a wonderful way to mark the beginning of Fall! And the ecology project sounds amazing as well! Do they have other activities/events you can do with the children?
    Happy Fall!

  2. I'm not sure if they have other things on during the year, I must get in touch with them and find out. Happy Autumn to you too x