September 20, 2003

Happy Harvest, everyone!!  I know you already heard that from me on August 1st, but this is the time of the second harvest.  August 1st is when we start (figuratively, of course, since harvest is very climate and geographically dictated and well, we had to have a standard) bringing in the harvest that we have tended out in the fields.  The Autumn Equinox represents the time when we go out to get the second harvest, which is the "boon," the nuts, berries, fruits and such that would have grown in the wild with or without our help (think blackberries, for instance).  In the old days, by this time there was already a good bit of the garden foods for the village or clan harvested and preserved, so they were pretty well assured that they would make it through the winter provided the harvest was bountiful.  They had spent the summer working and tending the crops they planted in the spring and now they knew if they were likely to make it through the cold months to come.  They were blessed by this second, supplemental harvest and it was seen as a divine gift to reward their efforts in the field with an even greater return.  Because of the first harvest being in storage by now (or a good deal of it), this was a time of great thanksgiving.  The best parts of the harvest so far were put together into a great feast to celebrate the success of their efforts in the fields, as well as the extra food coming to them from divine sources.  Later in the year, as the world began the freeze, the men would go out into the cold woods and fields to hunt for meat to carry the sustenance even further.  All good cycle of life stuff. 

This is a wonderful time to focus on the things you want to change in your life and to get good visualization of how you want your life to be.  Even for those who do not follow the cycles of the Earth and nature, this is a time when through collective consciousness and connectivity to the well-worn paths our ancestors walked before us, this is usually a time of change when new lives are born.  The seeds planted in the spring will be ready to manifest into harvest and often we are thrust into life changes we didn't expect (except by the voices inside us that we should be listening to more closely).  As we get closer to the harvest's end at Halloween, we begin to move into the time of death, when letting go of the things that no longer serve us becomes the focus.  The parts of our lives that are dying away and would hold us back from our greatest possible future tend to get moved aside and many, many people are presented with the opportunity to enact great change in their lives.  They can take or leave that opportunity usually (sometimes, you aren't given a choice and are simply told to keep your hands and feet inside the car at all times and hang on).  Usually, such abrupt means (as in, without your consent) don't come along unless you've been ignoring the subtle nudges you've been getting for a while in your subconscious.  So basically, between now and October 31st, stay alert for opportunities for change in your life.  They are part of your harvest and will take you to a really good place.

Of course, this is also a wonderful time to get very clear about the value people, things and situations hold in your life.  It's hard to be objective sometimes when you are so used to living a certain way and having specific people in your life.  It's not usually too often that we voluntarily do an inventory and carefully consider the impact the people around us have on our life.  How can we change that if it's not a good impact?  Can we adjust the empowerment they have been given (by us) to affect our life in a negative way?  Can we change the way we react to their negative impact?  Are the positive things about them worth the negative issues we experience as a result?  Things like homes (the neighborhood), jobs and even our relationship with ourselves should be examined as well.  Around this time of year especially (although I really, really try to be aware at all times), I will make a physical list of all of the things for which I am thankful.  There was a time when I could only come up with 9-10 things in my life and that was getting as basic as "I'm thankful for my children.  I'm thankful for having shelter.  I'm thankful for a working car..."  That was also including thanks for each of my friends individually, if that tells you how isolated I was back then.  Now, I know when I do this tonight (in preparation for tomorrow), I will fill pages and pages.  I'm grateful for THAT as well!!  One of the things for which I am most grateful is this online community that has gathered around Eye on Soaps.  When my partner, Karen, (who, due to time constraints, had to stop working on the site) and I started EOS, we never imagined it would become the wonderful place it is now.  It's like living in a gigantic house full of interesting people to visit.  I've met so many incredible people and dear friends through the Nonsoapy (which was named that odious name because I started mentioning my "real life" in my soap column and about half the people wrote in to say, "Hey, chick, who cares?  Keep it to the soaps!" and about half said, "Hey, you never told us what happened with..."  Hence, the "NONsoapy" column was born.  When that happened, I had no idea that I would end up (on most days) enjoying writing the nonsoapy stuff more than the soap columns and that *I* would feel the catharsis of letting all that out and now, I really miss it on the days that real life keeps me from writing.  Thanks to YOU all for being there! 

Another aspect of that careful inventory of this time of year is taking the time to let the people that you love and who have a positive impact on your life know how important they are to you.  I did that last night and despite a bit of nervousness about it, I'm so glad I did.  There is a wonderful woman who acted as my surrogate mother during some really hard times when Paul would leave and go and leave and go.  She was a mother figure to both of us and we loved her very much.  After we divorced, my friend, Peggy's life changed enormously as well.  Her husband of many years died while they were moving to another state and she found herself displaced and widowed and financially crippled in a matter of minutes.  She made her way through that as I went through my own life changes and both of us... well, changed.  Our lives went in different directions and we lost contact except for a quick visit a few years ago when I was pregnant with Nathan.  She did get to meet Eric and deem him acceptable and I got to meet her new husband and give him the nod.  After that, we hadn't been much in contact.  I was nervous about contacting her.  What if the distancing had been deliberate on her part?  What if I had offended her in some grievous way?  I have withstood amazing challenges in my life and the Diva in me can handle about anyone's attitudes, but wow.  Was I strong enough to face the anger or hurt or disappointment of a person who'd been more of a mom to me than my own mother?  The one who helped me put the best polish on my Tarot card reading skills and my astrology skills and my life skills??  *whew!*  It made me breathless to think about it.  I felt small and mousey and afraid.  I meditated on it and felt a swell of love wash over me.  No.  It was only time and happenstance that had moved us apart.  It was time.  I dialed her number, still a little shaky.  My own mother had died just this January 31st.  Could I stand it if one of her children answered and told me she had died as well?  Her husband answered, asked who was calling and when he told her, I heard her squeal of delight in the background.  Oh, I could feel it.  It was on.  We talked for a good long time, exchanged e-mail addresses and I hurried to send out pictures of the family to her.  It was lovely and it felt so good to have made that connection, despite initial fears and reclaim that relationship.  It also felt good, after so many, many times of calling and saying, "Peggy, what do I do??  I feel so lost!" to be able to call and tell her how really, really good things are now and not NEED any comforting or saving.  I could just talk to her and enjoy her presence and cry a little from the joy of having her in my life again.

Really, really good stuff.

So look at the little baby tugging away at the bluebell at the top of this page (I'll wait, go on, scroll up ~ playing on hold music while you go).  That's me, baby.  Today (you won't hear this often, so put down your drink, swallow, sit down and brace yourself), I'm going to take this house by the balls (by the bluebells?) and give it the cleaning of a lifetime.  I got some really good sleep last night (yes, it's on the thank you list) and I feel just so good today.  It's almost 9am and Eric is sleeping in late (after 12 days straight of working long hours), so I'm going to make some coffee in the percolator for him to have when he gets up and then I'm going to (after making the coffee, not after he gets up, which won't likely be for a couple of hours) start cleaning like mad.  I'm even going to clean the garage when he gets up (which is pre-arranged with him, so that's a done deal).  The thing is that the garage is SO bad that even when my house is clean and laundry is done, I can never feel that my work is finished because I know that horrible garage is just one door away.  After I go through it today and throw out a LOT of stuff (we're having the big garbage pick up on the 24th in our neighborhood) and organize the rest (got my tape!  got my sharpies!  got my hammer and nails and I can hang a LOT on the walls!) and get it all nice, when I do have laundry done and house clean, I can go to bed with a sense of completion.  Work is done.  You don't think the garage can be that bad?  Oh honey, don't kid yourself.  If we don't have a place for something, it gets thrown on the pile in the garage and the door gets closed.  You could not walk from one end of my garage to the other, much less drive a car into it.

See?  Told you.  Scary, huh?  If I'm not back by Tuesday, you guys come in and get me, OK?  By tonight, it will ALL be done!!!  Garage AND house.  (Don't talk to me about laundry yet.  I've still got about 5-6 loads to go but the rest is clean and in drawers or closets!)

This doesn't happen often, but when it does, I'm a fool to not take advantage of it.  So think of that little nekkid bebbe as me harnessing this house by the bluebells and showing it who's boss.


(See you next week.  Send liquor and candy!)


(PS:  Happy Harvest!  I'm thankful for you!)  (Oh, and just because that little nekkid bebbe is doing sit ups on the bar below doesn't mean... well, don't get any ideas.  I'm on doing crunches just yet.  For now, the house)