Tomorrow is the 31st October and many Australians are preparing for Halloween, preparing to dress ghoulishly and to go 'trick or treating' but in Australia the great wheel of the seasons has turned to spring, the start of summer and the season of heat, light and fire and Saturday is Beltane - the festival of fire - summer, fertility and renewal, not that of autumn and endings.
The loss of understanding of seasonal festivities to commercialism is sad and depressing. If we lose our understanding of the seasons and the great turning of the wheel of the year, we lose our sense of the natural world in which we live.
So tomorrow, we will be celebrating Beltane, with fire, candles and champagne cocktails and a house warming - we will celebrate the god and goddess's great marriage, welcoming new growth, fertility, love and light into our house and our lives.
Why not do the same?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
'I rode my bike, I'm free today', to misquote Old Man Luedecke.
Today is National Ride to Work Day, a day to celebrate sustainability and getting to work under your own steam by bike. I ride my bike a lot, particularly for any distance under 5 kilometres because that's the distance we most drive in our cars and its also the distance easiest to cycle in the same amount of time, well almost.
I don't work on Wednesday, well not at my day job, Wednesday is for study, my celebrant business, Blue Mountains Celebrations, and breaking up the commuting week into Sydney. So I caught the train up to Katoomba, met a twitter friend for brunch, did some food shopping and cycled home, through sleet, rain, fierce winds and finally sunshine. It was a terrific ride, I was well protected by my rain gear and it was blissful riding in the elements as opposed to out of them in a car.
You know your alive when the wind whips your face and you breath comes hard as you climb a hill. Cycling is as close to heaven as it gets for me, yes, I curse the hills at times and the weather, but to get someplace with your legs and bike wheels, its a perfect human/machine interface.
So, get on your bike, discover the joys of riding someplace under your own steam, when you get there you can feast on cake and hot chocolate because you've earned it.