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October 27, 2012

Pumpkin Drama

By Maryanna Gabriel
Here where I live, festivals seem to have become a community signature.  Take Halloween for instance. The type of thing demonstrated in the enclosed exhibits are typical as I drive. One has to admire the island spirit which tends to go right off the rails with haunted houses, fireworks, bonfires and kids out just generally enjoying themselves. I am not sure if I still have the entire Australian contingent following this blog but they do not do anything like this (they
are enjoying summer now by the way). Nor do they in England. There it is Guy Fawkes day. The Halloween tradition is unique to our land mass. This year some friends and I are honouring  the Day Of The Dead, originally a Spanish tradition. Ones who have passed over are paid respect - homage and remembering is offered with food they liked to eat and bringing out their possessions and to this end I tend to gravitate when it comes to it for it makes much more sense to me than this culture’s fascination with the blood-sucking, scary stuff. The mists are arising across the hills herein and rain beats down on water laden cedars as the days grow shorter and the ghosties roam the gloaming. Whooooo.

October 20, 2012

Darkening Tunnel Of October

By Maryanna Gabriel

Then there are the nibblers. You know the kind I mean. The nibbles of the $1.50 at your bank account, or the sales tax off your purchase, the phone calls of solicitation with no care to you, and those that nibble away at your energy, the succubus of spirit. It has been a slow dawning realization that the teenagers parking consistently across the street are nibbling at the wifi signal. The ants come marching, bats in the belfry, rats in the rafters....then there is the garden. “You have a bunny.” The man beside me indicated the rapidly disappearing hindquarters of a rabbit. Suddenly the rows of lettuce and beets in the garden that have not changed their minute stature since August made sense. “I’ll have to cover them,” I muttered to my friend trying not to clench my jaw. Recently I commiserated with a neighbour. We had both experienced a porch raid. My calla lilies were casually crunched through like celery sticks but the chrysanthemum was spat out onto the deck with a pah patooey. Making good of a bad thing, I picked the flower up and brought it into the house where it decorated a vase. Yesterday I was thinking, at least the front deck is safe, as I placed a purchased box there with the intention of planting parsley. Relaxing by the fire last night I drifted off into a peaceful sleep only to awaken
to a loud clunking. There it was. Remarkably, hooves clattered up the six steep stairs to the aforementioned deck . "It’s too early for Rudolph,” I thought to myself and very wide awake now I was determined not to make this a good experience for my visitor. I flung open the door with a bang. It was just a youngling. Mr. Piranha clattered away. “And don’t come back,” came my strangled cry to the retreating deer. To quote Des Kennedy, as we “tumble down the darkening tunnel of October”, beware the nibblers and that which goes bump in the night. T’is the time of the great pumpkin. Time to take measure and tighten the watch.

October 13, 2012

Things Are Looking Up

By Maryanna Gabriel

Maybe by process of elimination the culling has been absolute. Have you ever been really giving, fair minded, contributed generously, and been instrumental for the positive on many levels only to be given a poke for it in a rude way with demands for even more? It happens I know because it has happened to me. You are probably thinking I did something to incur it. It is not like that. It is a fact that some folk are just bad mannered, they can’t help it apparently, and moreover need to transfer their own personal discomfort onto others. Generally this is not a truthful process I have noticed and people will actually come to believe all kinds of blarney. You’d think they would just say thank you and put their head in the sand until the fit of pique passes. That’s not how it generally goes. This lot thinks kind people are weak. Au contraire. Lately I have noticed this has stopped after a particularly long and extended run. Maybe it is the stars, maybe it is the end of the Mayan Calendar as we know it, or maybe it is a shift in the wind. It makes such a difference having good people around, like a reprieve just in the nick. The froggies are also really happy, there is much croaking, as the rain pours on the roof and the wind buffets the eaves. I can feel the roots around me quivering with gratitude as the tree tops sway. Things are definitely looking up.

“I’ve been looking the landscape over,
And it is covered with four leaved clover.” .
Cole Porter

October 8, 2012

Returning To One’s Roots

By Maryanna Gabriel

Connecting to where we all watched each other grow up, to where our bones and blood grew and thrived, where the contour of a mountain and the remembered shape of a face morphed by time has been a most welcome process. I have been honoured to return to a source where kindness and consideration thrive. It has been most welcome. Blessings are many in watching the breaching of salmon, the splash of seals, the sparkle of light on the ocean, the colours of sea and sky, the friendly and happy laughter of old friends and friendships formed anew. It has been just plain fun. Much gratitude for this the pumpkin time upon us.