Category Archives: Bardic Circle & the Arts

Woods

Oak logs will warm you well
That are old and dry.
Logs of pine will sweetly smell,
But the sparks will fly.

Birch logs will burn too fast,
Chestnut scarce at all:
Hawthorn logs are good to last–
Cut them in the fall.

Holly logs will burn like wax,
You may burn them green;
Elm logs like smoldering flax,
No flame to be seen.

Beech logs for winter time,
Yew logs as well;
Green elder logs it is a crime
For any man to sell.

Pear logs and apple logs,
They will scent your room;
Cherry logs across the dogs
Smell like flower of broom.

Ash logs, smooth and grey,
Burn them green or old,
Buy up all that come your way,
Worth their weight in gold.

–Traditional Verse

February, a new spring

The early kiss
dewdrops on the grass
enliving the buds– soon there will be cherries
the fullness of the ewes
and the feathered gatherings on the branches
cacophany of new life
figs forming on the vine
and the emergence of crocus

6 more weeks?
Perhaps in the eastland blanketed by snow
The ancestral well frozen solid
The ever southern matching white owls
But not here
Not now
as children play stick ball in shorts
and adults worriedly wonder what this new earth brings
 
Our seasonal celebrations are rooted in the tradiitons of the past… What agrarian societies celebrated during certain times of the year in Europe and the near east. However, we also celebrate these festivals as and during the seasons we see in nature.
 
As a child, I would often hear the joke about "flood, mud, fire and earthquake" as the 4 seasons for the South Bay, however, we did have seasonal patterns and could track when we could finally stop wearing a sweater, when there would be ice on the windshield, etc. Not the Celtic seasons experienced in pre-Industrial England, but we definately had our own wheel of the year.
 
I personally do not have much history or tie to the Southeast,however, my partner grew up here, and said that the N. Georgia mountains he knew were not like this. When he was little, there was snow every winter (not a ton, but a few inches) and frequent icing. There were leafy summers so much so that people would come here to visit from NY, and there is a gastateparks.org iPhone leafwatch app. Springs are full of green pollen and summers stickey and oppressive.
 
In the 7 years I have been here, spring begins in January, and the cherries start blooming (since the cherryblossem festival is a Very Important Festival in the city ehre I grew up, I know how terribly early this is). Summer starts in the end of April and ends late October. We sometimes get a blizzard, we see lots of tornadoes, and much instablility.
 
How do we honour the seasons, the predictability, when we live in a state of flux and there really is none left?