Magnolia’s Journal Entry:
(almost the) Last week of Summer,
The air this morning was a cool kiss goodbye from Summer. She’s packing away her green trimmings, folding up warm afternoons, and making room for Autumn. The path is already dusted in golden leaves. This year’s last fawns have lost their spots and the red berries of the Spice Bush and Jack-in-the-Pulpits are the showiest blossoms in the forest.
I have devoted myself entirely to the Society of Moss and Lace. Despite the distance between us, I feel close to Ironroot when I am creating for the Great Mother Rebellion. I can almost feel his breath against my cheek as Juni and I bend our heads over bead work and his laughter is in the whirring of the sewing machine. Knowing my love and I are joined in the same task makes his absence more tolerable.
Juni and I spent a whole day yesterday wrapping up parcels to go beyond the Santooshkan Border and into the lands of the Purblind. I wonder if our magical packages will be drunk up by the thirst of the civil lands. Our enchanted labors will take root, and like weeds in a fallow pasture, the tiny seed of magic will sprout in the willing minds of the Purblind. We pondered the destination of our enchanted articles and hoped they would bind the fate of their new owners to Santooshka and the Still Water Way.
Greystone was the first to see Thimble Sip and Betsy paddling upstream. He ran down to the sandy bank, waving his arms, and hollering, with Azalea quick on his heels. Bedecked with packages, Juni and I carefully maneuvered to the water’s edge. By the time we made it to the shore, Betsy the spiny soft shell turtle had lumbered onto the sand. Her long snout nosed at some vegetation in Azalea’s hand, and Greystone had climbed on top of the great shell to better speak with the small wild haired gnome.
Thimble Sip‘s palanquin was tied to the giant turtle’s shell with thin lengths of braided pond grasses. By way of wooden wheels and leather straps, his peddling turns a small paddle at the rear of the turtle, churning the murky waters, and propelling the creature-craft forward. Betsy and Thimble Sip are the quickest way upstream, and the best conveyance to Honey Bower’s cottage. Thimble Sip, always kind, agreed to take our goods upstream for one of Azalea’s kisses and a joke from Greystone.
The Still Water Almanac (the last but most used pages of the Grimoire) decrees that today is for “pruning to discourage growth”. All week Azalea and Greystone caught saw-nosed pixies down by Beaver’s Dam. Funny little fae, they fall fast asleep when they are trapped inside a bell jar. Because the creatures are hatched in the heart wood of Ancient Oaks, they are stubbornly tenacious and known through out the wood for their hunger. If you place an open jar against a tree limb they will munch their way through in little time. Juniper and I finished all the fruit tree trimming, and there were even a few left over , so I managed to cut back a little more bramble to expand the garden.
Juni and I have been so busy with the Society that I have been in the vegetable garden only in the early mornings. It is so peaceful among the buzzing of bees and dewy leaves. I spend most of my time harvesting produce. The mulch we put down has done a good job of keeping the weeds out. The last of the squash is swollen on the vine and the toms and peps are in their radiant climax. Ironweed, tucked between the beds, smells sweet and is the current beauty of the patch.
In the late afternoons we have been cleaning, sorting, storing, and canning our bountiful fruits. We have begun to set aside the best to be served on Mabon. It is true, that I love all the spokes of the wheel, but Autumn equinox is my favorite!
We expect several of the wood’s inhabitants to attend. Many travel across Santooshka with small wains to exchange bumper crops. I am looking forward to the cranberries from the Bog. The heady smell of the bonfire smoke mingles with the crushed leaves beneath our feet as we dance around the fire. It is a reminder that Winter will be riding Autumn’s coat tails. It is comforting to know we have full pantries and a well stacked wood house.
Mabon is almost a week away, and by then our enchanted packages should have made it to the Western Enclave of the Silicon Elves. They are well versed in the Purblind Ways, and have secret plans to distribute The Society of Moss and Lace magicked goods. It will be our first true act in the rebellion, and the beginning to a journey we can not yet imagine!
Excerpt from the Still Water Grimoire:
How to save Tomato Seeds:
- Gently scrape the innards of the best tomatoes into a glass jar.
- Cover jar in cheese cloth and mark the variety
- leave out in the sun until a white scum is on the top
- Skim the top and then rinse the seeds in water
- All the good seeds will fall to the bottom
- Place wet seeds on cloth until dry
- Store in a dark dry place until next spring