Friday, October 23, 2009

All Souls Night and All Saints Day

"Make a wish"

Halloween is an appropriate time to reflect on little black cats. Tiger Tim is the tabby who walks alone, but Merry follows me around like a shadow. For variety she anticipates my moves and gets there first. After her first year spent in a shelter, this little house presents a maze of possibilities. Black as Kohinoor's India Ink, she settles herself in the darkest patterned areas of carpet, behind a curtain, on an unlit section of the stairs or in corners I hadn't even noticed before. Only a blink of her green eyes shows that she is there. Yesterday she was just inside the bedroom closet - where, oh horrors, I stepped on her soft paw before I could see her. (St. Gertrude of Nivelles is the patron saint of cats.)

In Scottish tradition black cats are considered good luck. (St. Andrew, patron saint of Scotland) After a run of nuisance problems I could wonder about that, but good things are happening too. I have an art show coming up in November. Last weekend I made the hour's drive north to visit the gallery again. (Saint Christopher, patron saint of travellers) It is a scenic trip away from the highways and up past the Niagara escarpment, through farming country and small towns.

Arriving in Eden Mills we crossed the bridge and there it was, the In a Heartbeat Gallery. (Who is the patron saint of artists? I had thought St Luke, whose portrait of the Madonna was the template for women in medieval art. It seems there are three more: Angelico, Catherine of Bologna, and Saint Michael the Archangel. A learned friend says that Saint Michael is also the patron saint of fairies.)

"In a Heartbeat" is currently featuring the work of sculptor Jamie Brick. Avril's latest article for Faerie Magazine was about Jamie and his highly imaginative work. (St. Claud, patron saint of sculptors)

In a Heartbeat is a lovely gallery with an almost fairy tale quality. The wood-burning stove is welcoming on these cooler days and the big sofa beckons you to sit down and enjoy the art. We looked over the paintings I had brought and discussed dates and lead-up preparations. After concluding our business we took a little walk up the road to see the mill pond and the eponymous mill wheel of Eden Mills. It was quiet this day, but in September Eden Mills is bustling with the annual writer's festival . (Saint Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers)

Then home again under steel-blue skies, passing by fields remembered in Thanksgiving hymns , "Come ye Thankful People Come", "We Plough the Fields and Scatter". (Saint Isidore the farmer, patron saint of farmers and labourers)

I have my voice back and I can join in the hymns again, with enthusiasm if not talent. (Saint Cecilia, patron saint of music, and St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes) Why the list of saints? Halloween is an enjoyable diversion, but the day after is the prize, All Saints Day.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rose Hips and Autumn Days

The last rose of summer may have danced away, but in fairy kitchens the magic continues. A handful of plump and glossy rose hips, collected in the summer and lined up in a row on the windowsill, led to "Rose Hip Kitchens", one of our Illustrated Fairy Gazette contributors.

The rose hips are over now
but berries are still on the

milkweed floss is floating over the fields

and along the ravines the leaves are turning gold. I haven't been up to the woods in months, too busy between work and then surgery, but Tippy and I are back to a full walking schedule again. Some of my favourite trees were cut down this summer, they must have been in the way of Parks Improvement projects - widened paths or old tree maintenance.

My very favourite tree escaped.
A remnant from the cottage-country years before urban planning reduced the green space, it is the last of the apple trees along this particular green corridor.

It beckons young climbers and there are several doors and windows, suitable for fairy comings and goings.

Closer to home geese scattered as we came near another tree, except for these greedy two. Who knew that Canada Geese eat green apples?

(The rare four legged Canada Goose, a species not unlike Hugh Lofting's pushmi-pullyu)

More about Hugh Lofting in another post.I grew up with Dr. Dolittle, Jip the dog and company, and better book company can not be had!

Speaking of Jip the dog - time for another walk.
Best wishes all

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dancing to Willow's Ball

Rose Peace, the Last Rose of Summer, is dancing her way to Willow Manor Ball, taking a route Down by the Sally Gardens (on little snow white feet). Her dance card is almost full, but she still needs a partner for "Let's Have a Ceilidh" - perhaps Davy Nick Nack will be there......