May Day and Magnolias

Last night on our walk, there was a gentle rain. It fell so delicately, it was like a cleansing mist. It was dusk, and the last vestiges of light defined the gentle blush of the new magnolia blossoms in front of the Catholic Church around the corner.


Beginnings – Beltane

Beltane was one of four Gaelic seasonal festivals: Samhain (~1 November), Imbolc (~1 February), Beltane (~1 May) and Lughnasadh (~1 August). Beltane marked the beginning of the pastoral summer season, when livestock were driven out to the summer pastures. Rituals were held at that time to protect them from harm, both natural and supernatural, and this mainly involved the “symbolic use of fire”. There were also rituals to protect crops, dairy products and people, and to encourage growth. The sí (often described as ‘the spirits’ or ‘the fairies’) were thought to be especially active at Beltane (as at Samhain) and the goal of many Beltane rituals was to appease the sí. Beltaine was a “spring time festival of optimism” during which “fertility ritual again was important, perhaps connecting with the waxing power of the sun“.


Finding myself today surrounded by the scent of magnolias, as they are all about to bloom. They are May flowers, and have always reminded me of my GrandmaD. As Irish and I came back onto our street, and we were just turning the corner, the Normal School came looming up across the street – and all of a sudden I felt her.

So today I’m cleaning, and I put a few drops of this lovely Magnolia Fragrance Oil in my bottle of homemade cleaner.

Multi-purpose seasonally scented cleaning spray.
RECIPE: 1 TBSP regular dish soap, fill container with water to just before top (750ml – 1L spray bottle), 3-4 drops fragrance or Essential Oil of choice. I also use this concoction for my jet mop too.

Earlier I was busy taking out my piled up recycling stuff, and ran into my upstairs neighbour; who was just coming back from walking his dog Ruby. He stopped to ask me which of the raised beds I wanted to take. WootWoot, a fellow gardener. I’m so excited. He seems to know a thing or two himself, so that will be a nice opportunity to get to know my neighbours better. I SUCK at social interaction. So gardening loosens me up, and gives me something to focus on – rather than being so self-conscious.

IMG_0065Grandma loved gardening, well, vegetable gardening. She just seemed to have no interest in gardening for design, but rather to dine upon. For her, the garden was her grocery store. She canned, and baked, and I recall many sweet smells drifting out from her kitchen. GrandmaD was all about the practical, the purposeful.

So I suppose this springs theme just may in fact be to become more purposeful – to direct my energies towards those activities that bring about my wants. I want friends, I want happiness, I want to feel joy as much as possible. I want to worship the sun, and be delighted by the beauty of shadows. I want to have dirty fingernails, and wear a big grin.

IMG_20140430_200733-001This is going to be a year filled with good things, and new people, and finally basking in the glow of realizing the dream of having a wee little pad in this neighbourhood. For almost 30 years I have imagined myself here, in this place, doing just what I am doing, and what I intend to do.

I’ll have herbs and hostas, ferns and fennel, sage and thyme. I might even have a tomato, or two. I’m thinking a pair of big ol’Roma’s to make some red sauce with.

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