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.

8 comments:

Stacked Librarian said...

A ha! So you were hoarding all of that cobalt glass with a purpose were you? I say we can all use a little luck, and well done you!
I think that a bottle tree is featured prominently in the children's book Because of Winn-Dixie. I'll double check and let you know.

Akin said...

I've read some of those studies about how the full moon doesn’t really affect the wackiness level on the streets... and, I’ve also worked on the streets during full moons... and I’m afraid I have to disagree with the learned scholars. I have encountered some weird crap during full moons, and made some crazy arrests...

Mockingbird said...

Based on my own research, I'd have to say that even the lovely and telepathic Spooky goes a little woolly during the full moon (beware all bunnies!), so I'm skeptical of the whole "no, nothing there to see, citizens - move along" approach of the scholars.

amnbdad said...

You know I think the key sentence in this post was "...I do think...". Yes you do, and that's why it's so darn fascinating talking to you or reading your blogs. See ya Thursday, I hope.

Lissa said...

Back in my UNCG days you may remember that I volunteered in the ER on the graveyard shift. Now thats a supersticious bunch of people (and they loved me because for whatever reason noone ever died on my shift....wouldn't it be nice if at least one of the doctors or nurses could say that! but it did lead to my getting sent home with all the high risk kittens to foster years later when I became a shelter volunteer and yes, my record still stands even with the kitties but thats a different story for a different day. My point, rambling though it may be....is that full moon nights were special in the er. Thats when we got the really exciting stuff.... we had a regular stop by whose organs were a mirror image of what they should be and she was most often blue, there was the guy who while assembling is new baby's crib managed to get one of the springs inserted all the way through his arm and jutting out through the other side,,,,, I don't know what statistics are but in my experience hospital ers resemble tv ERs on the full moons.

powermom said...

Love the blog... no, I haven't dropped off the planet though I could use a bottle tree to keep my luck and sanity, level these days. I miss your witty banter. Communion went well, though as always, there is a story about communion and the ER- several stitches later...all are well- On another note, 5 more weeks or so til d-day. I am ready to reach the floor again. The book sounds as though it is moving well- call or email soon.

Elizabeth said...

I admire your gardening ambitions!
And I'm adding linking your blog on mine.

Mockingbird said...

Thanks, everybody! I'm liking this whole blogging thing - it's like getting Post-It quick notes from friends near and far! And I've even been uncovered by a few "voices from the past" - hi, Lissa! And Powermom, I think about you every day. In the good way. New post coming!