joe Linus aka One-Legged Heart


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Say Goodbye to Winter

Greetings Worthy One:

When I was building the garden back in the ‘90’s I had some enthusiastic young helpers that wanted to know the "why" of every little thing.  Sometimes it was all I could do to keep up with them, building the garden path day-by-day to accept their next steps taken.

Winters here in Marin are comparatively subtle events and can easily  slip away  unnoticed on a sunny day. But to give my young helpers something to think about, I devised a ritual called “Say Goodbye to Winter” which was a more or less  formal  acknowledgement of the season’s demise  with  a  wee bit of fire brightness thrown in for effect. That “Say Goodbye to Winter Day” is today, February 23rd.

Now, one helper was a bit of a scientist and regarded this ritual at arm’s length.  She gingerly dropped the twigs that she’d gathered  into the fire pit one by one, saying “Goodbye, Winter,”  very matter-of-factly.  Our other helper saw this occasion as a cause for elaborate incantations and celebration, dancing round the firepit, chanting “Winter! Winter! Say goodbye!”  She dropped an armload of fallen branches onto the flames and ran off to get another batch, as the fire jumped up menacingly licking four feet into the air, (taller than my two  helpers).

Rituals aside, this fire was getting too large too fast, and I prudently put a lid over it quickly smothering the flames down into smoke and ash, so as not to burn the house down.

“Hey!” my helper cried out. “I’m not finished saying goodbye to Winter yet!”  She stood there with her twigs in hand glaring expectantly, until I re-opened the lid and brought a tiny flame back from the embers.  Then she dropped her twigs in all at once,  and  spat on the fire a few times for good luck.  Stepping back, she  bowed solemnly  and said “Okay!” I closed the lid.

I feel like that today. Not quite ready to say goodbye to Winter yet.  I put another log upon the fire. There is still work to be done, be it Winter or Spring.

Peace/ Sincerely, joe Linus aka One-Legged Heart/ Song Without End/ February 23rd 2016.