Friday, September 23, 2011

Mabon 2011

Yesterday was the autumn equinox; when the days of daylight and darkness are equal. It is the traditional final day of the harvest, so in that spirit the kids and I went into the garden to harvest the final gifts our garden (and Andy's hard work) has given us this year. We picked the last few little tomatoes, still green and hard. We will riped them on the window sill.

We also collected the last calendula blooms for making into salve over the winter. Rebe really got into the spirit of harvesting and it became a wonderful game (surely that's all it is anyway?). She found a few flowers, 3 black currants and then resorted to grasses (being corn and wheat and straw in her game).

Joa joined in bringing random leaves ripped up :-)

Benny is starting to feel a bit better, but I decided we still needed an easy morning. We skipped playgroup and rolled up our sleeves and made a huge batch of tattie scones (potato cakes for the non-Scottish of you).

To make tattie scones is really easy . All you need is left over mash potato, add plain flour until it is like a dough and not too sticky to roll out. We also added in extra salt and pepper and some fresh parsley. Roll out to about 5mm thickness and either cut with a knife or if you're making it with kids (or just like doing so) use shape cutters then fry on a hot griddle/ pan with margarine or butter. Eat hot or cold and in a Scottish accent :-)

We made this pile of tattie scones and another apple cake as our offering to the Autumn Equinox celebration we have been waiting all year to go to...

We went to this last year and it was one of the highlights of my year, as it was again this year. Pairc a Tobain is such a magical place. Please do read more about this amazing place here

As soon as you walk through the gate you enter a peace, a reverence for all life around us. There is such a magic to the evening. It is a celebration of the fullness of life, a gratitude to the world, God and nature. Each person at the celebration brings something to the circle. There was music, and poetry. Singing together songs old and new. We watched the sun set and gave thanks for the sunlight and the life it has given us all. We danced old and sacred dances around the fire, the steps representative of the turning earth, fire, waves, air and the opposites of night and day.

We are so welcomed there, although not part of the community the rest of the year, we are welcomed with open arms and drawn into the work of the celebration. The children were asked to help hand out song sheets and forks and silks for the dance. They were truly drawn into the celebration. The magic and the reverence for the evening was so clear to them and you could see it in their little faces and when they would skip over to me and hug my legs looking up with pleasure flushed in their cheeks.

When we had sang and danced our gratitude to the earth and it's bounty we shared in a feast together. Vegetable soup reaped from the gardens and cooked over the fire, fresh soda bread, tattie scones (only a little bit dropped on the floor), quiche and then cake and cake and cake. We drank hot tea and chatted as the dark gathered around us. The children spotted stars and Benny who made a complete recovery while we were there (judging by how much he ate and how happy he was) sang Twinkle, Twinkle at the top of his voice.

After we had eaten our fill and the kids had a chance to play in the dark whilst I talked quietly with some other guests, we set off the Chinese lantern that we had brought. My mum had sent it to us for our Angel Day but as it had been so wet we couldn't use it then. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful celebration.

I sent my thanks with it, deeply feeling my gratitude for the growth I have experienced this summer. I have learnt so much and am full of so much information. In return for my thanks I received my message: I must also stop gathering/harvesting now. Like a wee field mouse I need to take all the information I have amassed over the summer and store it away. I need to put down books and stop researching online. I have grown so much I need to take these winter months to stop and stand still and assimilate what I have learnt. After all it will be useless doing all this learning if I don't spend the time to absorb, understand and internalise all I have learnt. Autumn needs to be a time for my head to slow down again, to re-read only, to think slowly and re-think. To knit and sew old and tested patterns, to cook familiar recipes. To s-l-o-w down and just be.

Happy Autumn to you all :-)


  1. love your last paragraph. going to take it as advice for myself :-)

  2. Beautiful Laura. xxx
    There is nothing like a warm tattie scone dripping with butter - or on a roll with lorne sausage ;)

  3. Dear Laura, this is so beautiful! I so appreciate your end paragraph, where you say you need to stop gathering. I want to hear more about it! Love to you~

  4. What a beautiful way to celebrate this new season! Autumn offers us such great gifts. I too loved the last paragraph. Blessings to you all!

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