Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

2010, Part 2

There were two important days on the calendar recently:  the July 4 holiday, and June 22, the Summer solstice.  I was only mildly aware of the July 4 holiday, mainly because I was asked by innumerable persons on July 5 what I had done for the holiday, if I'd barbecued, if we'd shot fireworks, if we'd done this or done that.  My reply that I had cut the grass (on a Sunday, no less!) garnered more than one puzzled look, at which I was inordinately pleased.

Summer solstice was celebrated in like manner, but was infinitely more meaningful to me.  The older I get, the more the timeless events that mark the seasons have meaning, while more culturally significant dates grow increasingly irrelevant.  I have noticed, even more this year than in previous years, how I can see the difference in the days after Summer solstice.  The play of light and shadow tells me, more than any date on a calendar, that we are in the second half of the year.  That, and the fact that the plant world is finally slowing down after their three month growth spurt.  Plus, the last broods of mockingbirds and cardinals and bluebirds are pestering their weary parents for just a few more mouthfuls of free food.

Speaking of baby birds, our chicks are growing rather fast, and have become very tame.  A couple of them like nothing better than to perch on our hand.  Well, not my daughter's hand, since she cannot be still more than 8.25 seconds at a time.  But they enjoy her company, nonetheless.  It is incredibly satisfying to have these chickens, even if it has not yet been fiscally wise.  Hopefully they will all grow up fine, and if they do well over the winter, I may add a couple more pairs of hens, of different varieties.  I'd love to have a white-crested black Polish.  Chicken, that is.

The next project:  a rabbit warren.  There is much study to be done on that first, as I have zero experience with coneys.

Meanwhile, the days of summer burn away, and already I spy September 22 on the far horizon...

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Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"