counting by moons

Soon it will be Lammas, here at the edge of the world. The apple-falling time, the avocado time. I've celebrated it for many years, but am less inclined to do so this turn around. The festivals of long-ago people, who celebrated for reasons inapplicable to my own life, are lovely to keep but really have little meaning to me here in the south, centuries later. Even my ideas about the psychological journey through seasons don't feel right any more. I'm older, messier; I understand that a woman's path is not cyclical, but instead a meandering and a digging, with her rests as important as her steps, and her pockets weighed with memories, thorns, and love.

I want to celebrate Life in the small and deep, the ordinary day. There is an Imbolc every morning, a Litha every noon; there is a Mabon with every breath, if that's what you're going through.

And I try to notice the seasonal changes as they slowly weave together a wild, freckled, knot-heavy tale. In our sub-tropical country, there is no real summer, only a long hot that sometimes breaks apart into desperate storm. There is barely a month of autumn. But if you forget those names, you can watch a rhythm of change that whispers something deeper - the gathering, the soaking, the dry, the sloughing, the deep breath, the joyous rising and stretching, the gathering again. You can hear the different songs of the small birds and cicadas. You know what the sea will wash up for you.

Counting time by the moons is now my calendar. With each, I have a basket of memory and experience, of story and dreaming, of hope, and of worry about the breaking of old nature's rhythms by climate change. Doing it this way, I am able to deepen my experience of time and of Life, and keep it relevant to this place I find myself. This wild, dark-hearted, bright-limned, strange and enchanted land of the edge of the world.

Here is someone else who feels the same way.
The wonderful Dawn Klinge has published her first book!
This story about a bee is utterly beautiful.
Artwork today by Karen Davis.


  1. i have often thought that if i lived in the southern hemisphere, i would be celebrating the wheel of the year very differently! i have wondered if perhaps the indigenous cultures might have something to offer in terms of insight into how to approach the divinity of the natural world there? or at the least, whether a close observation of the weather, the creatures, the green folk of one's area might not be a better guide to seasonal celebrations than one's imported folkways. yet those folkways are so dear, and dearly won in their persistence too..."flipping the wheel" seems somewhat helpful, yet not entirely satisfactory either...i think that your feeling into the moons is very sensible, in all meanings of the word. in the end, with climate change and all the drift from ancient rhythms, we all will find ourselves best aligned by digging deeper into our place, paying real attention to the world around us...

  2. "I want to celebrate Life in the small and deep, the ordinary day." Beautifully put - I heartily concur.

  3. This is gorgeous Sarah. Utterly beautiful. & also very resonant for me in California too. Our seasons line up a little bit more with the wheel of the year, and I definitely use it as a touchstone, but I find myself increasingly weaving in more and more of my own sense of what the seasons mean HERE, trying to really listen for the names they would call themselves. Thank you for sharing this so poetically. xx S

  4. spent many years spinning the Medicine Wheel (I was born in Oklahoma but moved to Australia in 1969) to apply it to living here in the Land of Oz then one day I realized it didn't matter where I stood on the planet my feet are on the earth (South) my head is in the clouds looking to the stars moon and sun (North) the sun rises in the East along with my hopes for each day and sets in the West to incubate the dreams si I let it all go to dance with the moon and honour the spirts of place on the Solstices and Equinoxes

  5. Thank you all for your replies. I wish I had time to answer each of you personally, but please do know that I've read all your words and am carrying them with me today.