The Celtic New Year begins today, and this is a holy month for me. My other favorite month, I said to a friend this morning. A month of beginnings and endings, of anniversaries and farewells. A month of remembering and honoring those who’ve come before and a time to open the door for those who are starting anew.
Over the past few days I’ve been clearing and sorting in between time I’ve spent getting my latest book into shape to go to print. Taking recyclables to the new store in town that sells everything for $1 and donates to local charities. Giving up and giving back help the clearing process. Changing the way I do things as well as the way I view things. Moved my work site to the window seat in the living room. A local bookstore owner, Lisa, and I were talking about writing, books, and authors. I was telling her of a new book in the works, and she said to me, ” You have to have a dedicated space for your new book…a place where those characters and that story can grow their own wings.” Well those are my words but her gist. I thought about that, and as I’m trying to think of practical ways to keep my characters and settings straight in my mind, I thought this might just be a piece of the answer. So here I sit, getting ready to start with a new story.
Finishing with something is finally within sight. As I began working on Sunday, I wondered if I’d ever get it done. And then, as if I’d been walking on a long, deserted road for hours, I came up over the rise and saw before me, the end of the trail right before me. And then the finishing touches began falling into place. There’s still another phase or two, but the bulk of the creative work is done. Next is planning a marketing campaign and getting myself geared up to launch the new book. I haven’t even done much with my other books, as the real impetus for me is truly, the writing. The creating. Some day I hope to either have a publicist or get motivated. For now, I am content to do what I love, and just keep on doing that. Not time to fret or ponder the hows and wheres. Just time to stay focused on this step, and then the next.
There is an inner student/teacher/deadline cruncher part to me, and that’s the part of myself I summon up when I need to get things done. Surprising how much energy there is in tapping into that part of myself. It’s there when I need it, and fortunately, I can let it rest when I don’t.
November is a time of sweet sorrow for me. Said farewell to my Mother in this month. Got married in this month. Bid my sweetheart farewell on All Saints Day many moons ago. And have lived 71 Novembers with such precious memories of love, laughter, music, dancing, cold spells, thanks givings, holy days and nights, walks along leaf-filed sidewalks, crunching autumn leaves. Jackets, sweaters, first snows and rain storms. Cider and pumpkins, bobbing for apples and first kisses and camping trips. Trying to cook tempura on an open fire in a Big Sur campground…ending up eating pizza and sleeping in a leaky tent. Driving from Monterey to Big Sur for picnics with my daughter and her friends.Watching double and triple rainbows spread out over the valley behind the Ventana store. Hiking on Andrew Molera beach trail, climbing down the sandy dune to the shore below the cliff just past the turn before going into Big Sur. Stopping by fruit stands in Washington getting apples and pears for canning and pies and applesauce. Changes in the colors. Portland magical turning trees light show…all shades of autumn in a single tree, changing from day to day. Looking for my gloves, and the thingie to wipe ice off the windshield. So happy to have a car again.
Remembering what needs to be done before the freezes start. Comparing this year to last or seasons past, and trying to predict the future by looking at how the birds behave or the thickness of the cats’ fur. Looks like some cold ahead.
November is when the wintery things begin. More reading. More candlelight. More indoor time and darkness. A calmer, quieter time which I adore. Music that soothes and fills the senses. Symphonies blasting out on Sundays sending notes and harmonics across the Carmel Valley. Music on the Peninsula was always an intentional thing. Unlike LA which always has music as background and backup and setting the scene, on the Peninsula, it’s only heard when it’s the focus of what is. Playing music and singing with a local singer and her tribe to celebrate John Muir’s Birthday. Going to the performances and jamming with other musicians in barrooms, backrooms, and around campfires and fireplaces and patios. Music for the soul rises up from life experience itself, and we don’t always need to have the drone of music behind us. Music is something I do with intention too. I play when I play. I sing when I sing. I listen when I want to hear a piece or two or when I feel compelled to let it fill my soul. I dance and sing at times when it’s time to pray. Midnight, in the kitchen with my family, when I’ve finished something momentous or rearranged the house or another part of my life. Music, dance, and song are prayers that come out of darkness, silence, and movement that has been hidden and is ready for expression.
Thinking today of a friend who died early in the year. It may be time to open my guitar case and put my fingers to to the strings and frets to do some reminiscing and remembering. November is the month to honor and remember those who have passed and that which is in need of healing and release.
So whatever way we choose to do that, or whenever we find it s time, let it be in ways that bring us back in harmony with ourselves and with one another. I found a lovely thought this morning from St. Theresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart. I have a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart…through some powerful dreams and metaphysical connections, and so I thought it was so perfect that I would be drawn to her words. St. Theresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart of the Carmelite order was profoundly touched by the passage from 1John 4:8, God is Love. She said, “I propose to have no other purpose in all my activities, either interior or exterior, than the motive of Love alone.”
And so it is on this 1st day of November. For Love alone.