Thursday, May 3, 2007
The Wheel Keeps Turning
This week, two things occurred that, taken in conjunction, got me to thinking. First, May Day arrived. It's a rather weird day - the Soviets used it as an occasion to parade heavy weaponry throughout city streets, while attorneys briefly acknowledge it as "Law Day" and try to celebrate the contributions lawyers have made to our society. (Keep your snickers to yourself - yeah, yeah, there are plenty of jokes, but I believe that law can be one of the highest callings a person can receive. Of course, I was on the other line when the call came, but that's another post altogether.) Anyway - back to May Day. To the Celts, it was Beltane and signified the start of the summer season. To me, it means it's time to go grub in the dirt and plant things. Second, we had a full moon. Always a time of "hmmmm," regardless of the studies that say that, statistically speaking, nothing that much off the tracks actually happens during the full moon.
As to the grubbing in the dirt, this year, I'm trying straw bale gardening - a little one, just big enough for a few tomatoes, a couple of peppers, and maybe a cuke or two. I've already learned a good deal - including that four bales of straw will fit into a Ford Escort, but you need a pitchfork to clean the car afterward. No one with allergies should ride with me for a few more days, I guess.
Once I had that done, I started looking around and one thing led to another (as it so often does). I ran across the idea of a "bottle tree" a few years back and I finally decided to create one - that's the picture at the top of this post. A bottle tree is a Deep South tradition - usually it's cobalt-blue glass, but I've seen other colors as well. It may just be a coincidence, but the Mediterranean "evil eyes" that are said to ward off evil also feature cobalt blue. Anyway, the idea is that the bottle tree shields the property and residents from the effects of bad spirits and the protective effect is increased if every bottle is attached to the tree with a prayer. I went with nine bottles - a significant number, as nine is three threes, and three is a number that has all manner of mystical associations. Therefore, nine trebles the effect.
Is it true, or mere superstition? Maybe just the power of suggestion? Who knows? But I do think it's pretty, which is good enough for me most days. And in the unsettled days in which we live, I'll take the occasional rabbit's foot as well. Figuratively speaking, that is.