Sunday, September 22, 2013

autumn equinox 2013

Every year since we have moved to west cork the children and I celebrate the end of summer and the beginning of autumn on the autumn equinox. There is a wonderful post written here with some great information and ideas about the equinox, do check it out! 
When we first moved here, we were very lucky to find a wonderful equinox celebration organised at Pairc a Tobair; an ecology project run by 2 Sisters of Mercy nuns.
 The project is set on the edge of a beautiful little town about 45mins from us. We park the car at the gates and walk up the slope to where the sisters live.
 They live here in this little wooden house. They live off the food they grow on their land and live kindly and gently on the earth. They run organic allotments and also gardening courses for people living locally and are the most gentle, welcoming people. They live as if the whole world is God and they live with respect, love and kindness for the whole earth.
 Each year they welcome us with open hearts and arms into their community to give thanks for the summer growth and the bountiful harvest and to reflect on the change of seasons.
 A bonfire burns in the fire pit waiting for us to gather around it.
 Each year we are led in simple songs and dances, written by the sisters or friends of theirs or learnt from Native American tribes.
 This year I was asked to read a poem, it was very special to me being able to offer my thanks and love by participating in this way.
 The kids played around, pretending to be gorillas, but joined in the dances and songs and listened quietly to my reading.
The ceremonies were brief this year. In years past we have watched the sun go down on the surrounding hills in silence or to the music of a flute, but this year we were shrouded in mist and darkness fell gently with no passing of the sun.

 After the ceremony we shared a feast of home made, locally produced food. This year we brought tomatoes and cucumber salads from the garden, coleslaw made from veggies we had grown and that had been gifted to us and an apple cake with organic apples from the farmers market, sweetened with honey and molasses (which Rebe thought were made of mole's asses he he!)

The kids busily helped keep the fire lit by gathering sticks and minding it very carefully.
There was play and chat and meeting people, old friends and new. It was lovely and we stayed until it was dark when we headed back down the hill to the car by torch light.
We love this celebration, it is always the one of the highlights of our year. (this is when we went in 2011 and 2010) In the evening after the kids were in bed a good friend and I shared a glass of wine and reflected on what this year has looked like for us, how much we have grown, how much we have harvested and we both found that our hearts were full of the bounty of being alive on this earth as who we are at this moment.


  1. Hi Laura
    This is a truly special occasion. How blessed you are to be part of this each autumn equinox. How interesting the two nuns are. I would so love to meet such special people. God bless them both. Love to you and your children and wishing you many blessings as the seasons roll on.

  2. Удивительно теплое описание одного дня жизни! Как будто провела его рядом с вами! Счастья Вам и здоровья вашим деткам!

  3. What a beautiful special place to celebrate the equinox!
    Wishing you a wonderful season ahead!
    With love,