The Common Riding: Langholm’s Great Day

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This Friday just gone was Langholm's Common Riding. Since I've lived in Eskdale, I've been both fascinated by Langholm Common Riding, and mainly stayed as far away from it as possible -- although I have been, once.It's an odd local custom, involving thousands of people, a couple of hundred horses, and an awful lot of alcohol. And for some Langholmites, it's a bigger day than Christmas.What happens on 'Langholm's Great Day'The Langholm Common Riding is held on the last Friday in July, … [Read more...]

Rites of A Winemaker

My son Noe at Rasa Winery in Walla Walla

Last week I took a driving trip to eastern Washington and northern Idaho. I spent the Sunday after Independence Day with my son down in Walla Walla and visited the winery where he works. Noé is an amazing young man, and not just because I am his mother and therefore biased. I wish that I had record everything he had shared with me as we drove through the fertile Walla Walla valley, walked through the vineyard at Rasa winery, and tasted the wines. He has been working in vineyards and cellars in … [Read more...]

St. John’s Holy Well: east Cork [photos]

and we're off...

Down my lane is a Well.  It's an Old Well, long venerated and hallowed; a place of quiet contemplation and healing.  This Well, now dedicated to St. John, is an eye Well; it's known for its eye cures.  The rounds are held in August, they say to commemorate the beheading of St. John, but we know it was a Lughnasadh Well, don't we.  Think about it:Turas (Patron or Rounds) traditionally done at the end of August (remember, that is the date for Old Lughnasadh - before the calendar cha … [Read more...]

Land Spirits: When Things Go Bump

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I am leaving my little house, and the lane with the standing stone and ring fort.  I won’t be taking autumnal walks under the hazel thicket, or lounging in the arms of the blackthorn grove during winter’s darkest hours.  Instead, I will stroll under the tall heads of pecan and elm because I am returning to the sauntering arms of a Texas sunbeam.  This week I packed my first suitcase and the physicality of the act brought the reality home.  As I retreated to the cozy stone sitting room, to process … [Read more...]

Heading Out for a Festival

Today I am going on a vacation. I'm going to the Gathering For Life On Earth festival, located an hour east of Vancourver, British Columbia, Canada. I am well acquainted with the glories of western Canada, but it's been nearly a decade since I've been to Canada. This festival is on the smaller side, and not so packed with activities that there won't be time to meet new people and new lands.In addition to socializing, I'm excited about the various rituals presents, including two hosted by the … [Read more...]

Distracting you with flowers

Purple rhodedendrons.

I don't have anything of meaning to write about this week. I've been completely distracted by children's birthday parties, meeting new people, my parents visiting, the dark moon, and the explosion of sunshine and flowers here in Olympia.Let me share some of my distraction with you. Here, have some flowers:All of these are taken at the house I rent. Rhododendrons are the Washington state flower. I adore them. In fact, I am pretty sure that if the fey get dressed up … [Read more...]

The body as a place

My Welsh fairy tree, standing in for the World Tree today.

I've been thinking a lot about the body, specifically my body, this week. I haven't been feeling all that great. But it's led me to think about how our bodies are places, too.It took me a long time to realize that I carry my sense of place within me. I don't just mean feeling comfortable in my own skin or feeling like a friend to myself, a self-companion where ever I went, or comfortable in a location. I mean, I carry my Land within me. I think I was in Wales when I realized that I carry … [Read more...]


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