|Sending off the Equinox blessings|
This weekend at home, the days are the same length as the nights and if I were at home I would celebrate this time of year with two very dear friends. This year I am celebrating in Africa! So I have set aside some time to think about the Equinox and what it might mean to me here in Africa - a very strange feeling!!
It's very strange being in Rwanda at this time because there is no such thing as spring - or emerging from the cold, dark days of winter. The seasons are all the same here, and I miss the changing nature of the landscape that is home. Daylength is the same all year round. It's predictable. I wake up each morning with the sun shining through my window, I dress, have breakfast and go to work for 7am. when I leave work at 5pm, I come home, have tea and go to bed - sometimes by 7.30pm. The day is ended and it's pretty much the same for all my neighbours - but during the day - such activity! Everywhere, from dawn people (mainly women) are cultivating the land. Nearly every patch of earth is required to feed this nation of 10 million people. Beans, cabbages, carrots, maize, casava and rice grow in all the strangest places. Goats, cows, chickens and turkeys roam the paths between the houses and on the way to work, outside the court of justice, next door to the District Office, in the grounds of the Rwanda Revenue Authority - everywhere the business of providing food for a hungry people!
hot, humid, sticky - a storm is brewing, the warm wind blows and the rain begins – thunder rolls in from the distant heavens, lightening strikes again and again providing a magnificent light show in the darkened skies. The leaves of the banana trees are being bashed furiously by the wind, and the rain is lashing down on the roof, making it impossible to hear the conversation of friends.
The red fertile hard packed earth turns wet and muddy, making it possible to pull up the carrots, to till over the land and to plant new seeds.
The smell of charcoal stoves cooking the home grown food. Trees being chopped down to make the charcoal, smouldering heaps on the hillsides.
Vital rainfall, loosening the earth, feeding the seeds. Water for drinking, children carrying water to families. Water flooding down roads and drains and mountain tracks, taking the land with it. Taking away the medium of sustenance.
A balance of need and want
A balance of wet and dry
A balance of heat and cold.
A balance within and without.
the time of year to re- balance our lives
to clean out the cobwebs
to refresh our souls
‘The key to who we are is our soul.’
'Praise to you who charms away my fears by never abandoning me on my path.
You hold back the branches for me and make my way clear.
You catch me when I stumble
and show me the wonders of your creation.
Praise to you.'
With lots of love and being with you in spirit and in my heart. And, as always, thanks to Tess for prompting my thoughts (Tess Ward ‘The Celtic Wheel’ O Books 2007)