Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tartans and Trails

Have you ever wondered why a tartan scarf is so expensive? I learned the answer today at the Celtic Harvest Festival. According to the weaver from the Ren Scots clan, it takes eight hours just to set up the threads on the loom, and another seven hours to weave it. So, yeah. That makes sense. I learned that the first tartans were a form of camouflage, woven in colors that would blend into the landscape. The use of tartans as a means of clan identification didn't come along until much, much later.

I also learned that Colorado has an official state tartan, and that State Tartan Day is July 1st. Everyone in Colorado, mark your calendars! The black and green represent the forests, the red is the soil, the gold is the, well, the gold, the blue is from the flag, the white is the snow, and the purple is the purple mountains majesty. The tartan looks much better on a large scale; it's hard to get the idea of it from this tiny patch.

I've started swimming again, and because I don't want to destroy my hair, I bought a swim cap today. Because my head is so big, this is the style I had to get. The shopkeeper (who laughed when my response to 'how can I help you' was 'I need a cap that will fit my giant head') told me that the racing caps are too small for a lot of people, and unfortunately, the 'little old lady' swim caps are the only alternative. At least it doesn't have plastic flowers on it. Raise your hand if you remember those.

On the subject of my hair, I got tired of fighting with the gray. After years of coloring it various shades of dark, I'm going blond. Sadly, this cannot be done overnight. So Tamara (my wonderful stylist) is transitioning me from black to blond through a marvelous use of foils. My goal is a Lothlorien blonde. Right now, it's more of a Rohan caramel/strawberry blond. It's fun. But blonde plus chlorine equals green. Hence, the oh so lovely swimcap.

Week three of the graveyard shift starts tomorrow. My awesome boss leaves this week. My lovely new ovens are supposed to ship on the 23rd. And Autumn arrives on the 23rd. At long last.

Today was actually a bit chilly in the morning, and towards twilight. I got to wear my favorite fleece hoodie on our walk this evening. The mountains were pale and misty, like a watercolor wash of blues, pinks and lavenders. The moon was high in the sky. The beaver family was out for an evening swim, their triangular wakes trailing behind them. The trails were empty, save for me and Puppy. The woods feel different in the twilight, the paths familiar and strange at the same time. Strange, but not menacing. I'm at home here, in my tame little wilderness. Until I remember the newly posted sign at the trailhead. Mountain lions are active in this area. Oh well. One has a fighting chance with mountain lions. And if one loses the fight, at least it's not a dull way to die.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

For Everything Which Is Yes

We were late getting to the park, so late that the sun had set before we were finished. The waxing crescent moon hung over the mountains, reflected in the still waters of the lake, slightly pink in the last glimmer of the day. Venus shone brightly in the western sky. I sat on a rock, watching the light fade, Puppy for once sitting quietly beside me. We sat in companionable silence as an arrow of geese flew overhead, as a pair of ducks landed in the water, as a lone bat swooped silently by.
This is where I feel God. Or the Goddess, the Divine , the Force...whatever name it goes by on any given day. No building, no circle, no ritual, no trappings. Just me, and nature, and the silence, and whatever it is that lies beyond.
I thank you God for this most amazing day,
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees,
and for the blue dream of sky
and for everything which is natural,
which is infinite,
which is yes.
~e.e. cummings