Notes to My Younger Self

two adult women beside each other
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Here I sit, about a month give or take before my next birthday. It doesn’t end with a five or a zero, but it is significant for an astrological reason. It’s the end of my Saturn return 

What is a Saturn return? Astronomically, Saturn takes about 28 years to complete an orbit around the sun. Astrologically, it returns to the sign where it resided when you were born and sits there for a couple of years. Saturn has to do with all things involved with being an adult. It has to do with taking responsibility for your life choices while forgiving yourself for past failures and mistakes. And death, not necessarily your own, but that of people you’ve cared about, and what no longer serves you. 

In the throes of my first one, I completed my master’s degree, had a “normal” job. My father and maternal grandma went on to the next life within six months of each other. I realized that the job wasn’t right for me, and began living an artist’s life. 

As I wrap up my second one, there are many regrets that I wish that I could rectify. Not Oakley and Orion, never ever. Before them. I wish I could advise my younger self about boundaries (it is OK to say no to positions in groups; it is OK to leave circumstances that sap your soul). Your dreams are yours. Do not change them to appease and placate others.  I wish I could tell her that the relationship advice in magazines like “Cosmopolitan” is not healthy and actually is pretty detrimental. Career wise, it is OK to have an honorable job that supports you, even if it’s not what you were expected to do by your parents and other influences. And that the tremendous pressure about attending church, especially the one she went to in order to appease her family, is not about grace and salvation as much as money and controlling women. That she is her own best authority on her body and to listen to it, and listen to it well, especially in matters of what truly nourishes her and the size her genes dictates. Most of all, it is fine to be single, and if the guy in question does anything to cause discomfort, it is OK to take off in the other direction. 

And now I look to the future. The adulting has to do with accepting and preparing for my next return by making sure I have a will and related paperwork in order and managing finances to secure my later years. 

Once done, it’s time to create and play.

And develop a new set of dreams. 

 

 

 

There’s Always That One Storm….

Image courtesy of https://thegraphicsfairy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Fall-Landscape-GraphicsFairy.jpg

Thunder followed by rain pattering against the window woke me up at 5:30. I closed the windows and dozed for an hour or so, listening to Oakley snore from the comfort of his new bed.

In any other time, I would have been picking him up after sleepover camp at Ms. Lanette’s. Hubby and I should have been at Ren Faire yesterday, but fates and COVID-19 said otherwise.

It is what it is. And what it is in this case is The Storm. The storm that marks the transition to cooler fall weather. It’s usually the week after Labor Day, sometimes the holiday weekend itself. It sounds different, slower, as if taking its time to give the earth a good soaking.

We’ve had two of these storms announcing fall’s arrival (even if it’s astronomically the 21st or 22nd of September) when Hubby and I have been at Ren Faire. Usually, it starts raining late afternoon as we debate if we want to see another act, go to the book store, or start heading home. When that happens, we usually bid a fond seasonal farewell to Bristol and head home.

One arrived mid-afternoon. We squeezed into a pottery shop next to the stage where the band we’d planned to see was scheduled to perform. No matter. The band squeezed in with us and did their set and some more to boot.

When the storm tapered off, we walked the rain slicked lanes through the last sprinkles to do a bit more shopping, see maybe one last act before we parted for the season. Too wet to sit anyplace, so we stopped at another pottery shop before heading home. I found soup bowls and salad plates, substantial weight, dark green with a design inspired by pine boughs and cones.

Those became my go-to for cool weather meals and pasta dishes year round. When I pull them out of the cupboard, I revisit that day, how the wind played the music for the leaves’ dance, how the band put a little something extra into their performance, and laughing at myself trying to navigate the muddy streets in my Birkenstocks.

And I smile, remembering.

Welcoming September

autumn forest near calm clear pond
Photo by Mat Reding on Pexels.com

After an interminable string of hot, humid days, the weather gently cracked Monday night. Off and on showers and light silvery storms popped up yesterday to open the first day of meteorological autumn.

Astronomical autumn doesn’t start until the 21st or 22nd. That’s fine. My head and heart have already switched into fall mode way ahead of the curve. The transition starts when the very first faint tinges of gold and scarlet rim the edges of the leaves and the acorns begin to drop. Then a bare handful of leaves in full fall colors drift to the ground on the soft wind. Next come the geese honking their way into flocks, just a couple here and there, gradually  increasing in numbers as they find their places in the V-shaped formation gliding across the sky.

And then noticing that the lights need to go on earlier, and a little earlier the next night, and stay on a little later the next morning.

As the days grow shorter, this not-so-young woman’s fancy turns to thoughts of comfort food. Two recipes I want to try this fall are risotto–I’ve never made it but have wanted to do so–and  two new soups. One is Finnish salmon soup which kind of resembles chowder; the other is plokkfisker, a potato and fish dish from Iceland that looks like chowder on steroids. I will report on the results.

Books are a necessity any time of year, but more so in the months where a person needs to gather by the hearth. I started rereading The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley over the weekend. Ms. Bradley retold the Arthurian legends from the point of view of the female characters.  It weighs in at over 700 pages and a couple of pounds, but worth the time and (physical) effort. In addition, I have a couple of cookbooks requested for my birthday next month, Mimi Thorrisson’s newest, Old World Italian, and The Nordic Cookbook by Magnus Nilsson. I’ll review them after I play with them.

In the mean time, there are preparations to be made. Blankets? Check. Go through the pantry and freezer to inventory what we have and what we need? Check. Get outside and enjoy it while we can before the really cold weather sets in? Check.

Bring it. I’m ready.