Tag Archives: solstice

Solstice Silkworms

On this solstice, I think of Nature and the natural world. I think of the passing of time, our place on this planet and the global environment. The sun is not standing still, nor is time.  Recent days have seemed very, very long and dark- even at a time when light lingers. I let the change flow over me knowing it WILL change. All things change.

I am watching the silkworms change every day. They are my daily reminder.

I am sorry to report that this weekend’s workshop titled Moth to Cloth at the JANM has been cancelled due to low enrollment.  I’m a bit sad about this as I was really looking forward to it.  I guess the topic was a little esoteric for the venue. I feel like I’m taking it a little personally though.  Everyone wants indigo and shibori workshops.  The August offering there is already sold out with a waiting list now.  So for now, my 500 silkworms and I will just carry on…marking time.

‘Tis the Season- Solstice

Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come ’round right.

I was reminded of this song (by Joseph Brackett in 1848) when I was on Facebook this morning and Maura posted some photos of Christmas making at a mental hospital in Calcutta, India.  They were making holiday cheer from colored paper- the paper chains being my personal favorite. They were sharing some sweet treats and gifts thanks in part to Mustard Seeds Kolkata.  The photos immediately gave rise to the first line of that song. (Judy Collins has a nice version of it here.)

I post this today as we turn the corner on the shortest day of the year to see the days grow longer. Thankfully, for there is much to be done ahead of us.  Simplicity might just be one of the answers don’t you think?  In that simplicity perhaps we can become freer, turning, turning and in the end, delight in the coming ’round right.

I think Joseph Bracket was onto something here.  Of course we are all familiar with the Aaron Copland version of this in Appalachian Spring.  Another favorite. And speaking of Spring….

It seems a good day to plant another kind of seed.  A sweet friend gifted me some of her native California milkweed seeds. (thanks Colleen!).  Meanwhile, outside in the garden I think the last monarchs are finishing their meals and heading for their transformations.

A seed is like an idea- it needs planting and nourishing, sunlight, warmth, and sometimes protection. I will never forget my visit to Luther Burbank’s historical home in Santa Rosa. I posted about it here in December of 2012 and have gone back to this post many times. Take special note of his “seed vault”.

Luther Burbank's seed vault

Luther Burbank’s seed vault

As we move into the coming year, I think there will be some need for “seed protectors” in our communities. I wonder what you want to protect? A few things come to my mind…

Life, health, and human dignity are a few of the things that come immediately to my mind.  This will take a community of protectors.

On a personal level, I want to protect wonder, compassion, beauty, love and peace.

I will find these things in small corners.  They will be found in the piercing of a needle through cloth with hand dyed thread. I will find them in the tip of a brush where it meets with paper.  I will always find them in the small and large details of Nature where ever I am. I will find them in the people I surround myself with, the actions I take, the words I hear, write and speak.
I will find wonder, compassion, beauty, love and peace -and protect it.
Yes, I will.

Happy Solstice!


blue solstice-and then some

around here we don’t get a white christmas (unless you count the freak hail storm last week that left some places in long beach looking like it snowed) but out back in the garden the stately ginko is showering us with its bounty of golden leaves.

the fan shaped leaves are the perfect and beautiful mulch that i look forward to replenishing the veggie patch and keeping the weeds down in the pathways. it’s such a happy color- that golden ginko leaf. standing under the tree when the leaves are this color i swear i can feel the energy that color gives off. i think it could ward off the deepest depression-just being near it. this year the leaves hung on longer than usual and are only dropping now.

took a trip to the the beach with bella one morning last week to clear my mind and think some things through. that ever-changing edge where sea meets shore is also a healing place for me and bella is getting used to playing nice with others there. i think she’s beginning to feel the same way about the beach, finally! in the beginning she wanted to run up and terrorize some of the other dogs…

while there i gathered a few trinkets and wondered…a few words came so i wrote them down~

and then i’ve finally had a few moments to thread a needle and take a few stitches. oddly, i tucked this project into my bag that beach morning with bella- not really knowing why but wouldn’t you know it, the car broke down on the way back and i had time to stitch a bit while waiting for the tow truck. bella doesn’t take well to getting into cars with strangers so we had a nice long walk home-a little over an hour away.

a few more sessions with the needle and thread and this is what it all led to- an indigo stocking to celebrate the winter solstice. moons and stars, sea and sky. things bright and shiny that catch the eye and things that fall from the sky or wash ashore. if you order it by tomorrow morning you should receive it by the 22nd. and as these things are, there is only one. (i should mention that the front side base is a bit of boro from japan-likely a refurbed futon cover made from bits of this and that)

i had a little decorating ceremony under the ginko before bringing it in and putting it in the shop– in case someone is in need of a last minute something.