August is turning into a shaggy, unkempt dog of a month. Was there really a summer this year? It’s often crisp and cool on the mountain, some ten degrees cooler than the valley, and never as humid. I enjoyed the ceiling fans for a week or so, but mostly, I reach for the pile of blankets at night. I am eager for September, with even more crisp weather and with the sense of urgency that it brings. September is time to gather in most of the harvest and turn the focus more resolutely inward. I love the inward journey toward the winter solstice. The fiber arts take on a renewed focus for me at this time of year. Weaving guilds begin their annual cycle of meetings. I walk the path of a schoolgirl again, scuffing in the leaves and eating fresh apples. I rediscover warm sweaters and take delight in sitting at the hearth. This is my season.
There was a time I would have celebrated the long weekend with a studio retreat. Even though I live in my studio, I think I want to put some intentions together for the weekend and give myself a break from unpacking.
Just for the weekend, I shall
- put unpacking and routine chores aside
- be offline
- design a simple striped band for market basket handles (1″ wide and 120″ long.)
- dye some linen thread in an indigo vat
- visit Hancock Shaker Village and draw upon the well of simplicity that permeates the old buildings
- eat simply prepared, healthful foods
- take time for reflection and meditation
Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it? I could just do these things, but by setting an intention to do them, I am reminded do all this mindfully and with my full attention. After all, I am ushering in my beloved September.
Life at Buttonwood gets better every day. If I could only figure out what box contains my copy of Barbro Wallin’s Moraband, things would be near perfect. I’m tempted to order a second copy, but I suspect this is supposed to be one of those life lessons in patience. Didn’t I already have this one last year, when the new sheets went missing for months, and were finally discovered in a box of art supplies? Did I not learn enough from that?
On the side of perfection, the woods are full of birds, and I have seen so many young ones out exploring the world. Several mornings, I’ve seen young wild turkeys dutifully lined up behind their mother, exploring the land. This morning, a little robin, his plumage half way between juvenile and adult, was on my lawn.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that sparrows and robins are ordinary or boring. While they may be plentiful, they are also insouciant and fascinating little bundles of feathers.
Turning away from the window, a bit reluctantly on such a nice morning, I am making good progress on the band loom with the curtain tieback. I have a little more than ten inches done, and need forty in total for the borders, since they are used on either side of the central band.
As I expected, I am weaving more efficiently using a Glimåkra band knife with the weft thread wrapped around the handle. I am also becoming more efficient in writing about weaving. I can now click on a icon for a Swedish keyboard and get the additional vowels that are necessary to spell words like väv (weave) and dräll
Each time I meet new people in the community, I feel the ripples of connection spreading around me. Neighbors. Fiber arts community. Earth spirituality. One circle overlays the next as it ripples across the tiny pond.
Last August was very different. I was on my victory lap, still in awe of the circumstances that contrived to drop me here in my beloved hills. Everything was new, and a bit overwhelming. This August, I’m still filled with joy and awe, but I’m also deeply content. A year of bliss has filled in the empty places.
Yesterday, I hemmed a small tablecloth I had woven at Vavstuga in February. I sat on the balcony that overlooks the meadow, nestled deep in it’s shaded recess. This is my favorite spot on weekend mornings. The breeze was such that I caught occasional soft drifts of banjo music from one of the neighbors.
Later in the afternoon I made potato leek soup, slightly more golden than is typical, because I used a rich and flavorful vegetable stock. Of course, I enjoyed using the newly hemmed tablecloth.
Changing a little thing like the curtains on the cabinets can give the space a new look. I think the stripes are fresh and exciting
What’s in the canning jars? Small balls of hand spun yarn, and even some roving that is waiting to be spun. I call it my Strange Fruit.