Saturday, June 23, 2012

Book Cover, Dedication page, and Wheel of Year Illustrations

The time of gathering has begun!

Ah Mid-Summer! The world is a riot of colors against a backdrop of summer greens and sky blue.

Here in northern Delaware’s Brandywine Valley, it means brilliant orange Tiger Lilies brightening roadsides, blackberries ripening, the perfume of honeysuckle, yellow squash blossoms, and loads of sugar snap peas, greens, and herbs for the dinner table.  

The days have become hot and humid; filled with growth and green.  Around here, the saying goes that the corn should be “knee high by the Fourth of July,”  but this year early June’s warm days and ample rainfall will make the corn crop waist high, or even shoulder high by the time we’re watching fireworks.  

The summer solstice radiates vital energy.  The sun’s power has waxed to its fullness.  But even as the “Oak King bows down to the ground,” and nights are  gradually lengthening, the summer continues its rhythm of growth and ripening,

The compost bin is full and cooking.  As I turn it and inhale its unmistakable “aroma,” I remind myself that it too will help the land--providing fertile soil for next year’s crops.

Pea seeds planted on St. Patrick’s Day have twined up their wire fencing. Delicate tendrils shot up along with a riot of white pea blossoms which ripened into sugar-snaps for our table.

I’ll miss our cooler season crops now that 90 plus degree days have arrived.  This year we’ve planted more herbs and the spearmint, especially, has been a delightful addition to ice tea and --that coolest hot day cocktail—Mojitos.
As the temperature rises, and people and lettuce wilt in the heat, most living things crave its opposing element—water.

This summer solstice, while the temperature soared towards 100 degrees, we clambered into “The Breadbox” (our unairconditioned 15 passenger van) and took a trip to Cape Henlopen State Park on the Delaware shore. Earth, air, fire and water met at the ocean edge creating the perfect combination of refreshing shore to land breeze, firm sand, warmed waves, and brilliant sunlight. 

As much as I love cumulus clouds drifting above a sun-warmed seascape ,  I’m grateful for seasonal balance.

Like a high tide, the sun has reached and receded from its most northern point in the sky and (minute by minute each day) our part of the earth begins to receive some relief in the form of night's healing  darkness.

It also means that we are in the home stretch with Solstice Moon Solstice Sun’s layout! As soon as Ellen finishes getting the copy looking the way it should, we’ll send SMSS off to Taylor Specialty Books.   

We’ll post pictures real soon.