Changing Seasons, changing lives

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Rainy Season: Afternoon thunder shower forming over the Mid-point Bridge from Cape Coral to Fort Myers, FL. June 9, 2015

I think it is FINALLY Rainy Season here in Southwest Florida.  I have traditionally marked it as starting June 15th, plus or minus a day or two, since the Earth does wobble a bit on her axis.

It seems to me that this time of year, is the start of the new year, in Southwest Florida.  Many Pagans I know, start their year at Samhain (October 31st) when it is said that the the veil between the worlds is thin.

But the way I look at it, this is the start of the new year.  This is the time of year when school is out for the summer, and people are graduating, getting married, and moving away.  Some people do all of that in a whirlwind week of change.  The rest of us, go see them off:  we go to graduation ceremonies, to weddings and we help people pack up and move.

In Southwest Florida, all of that is happening as we slog into Rainy Season.  When I place an emphasis on “Rainy Season,”  I am talking about the Wheel of the Year, in accordance with the weather here in Southwest Florida.  (This concordance is in contrast to the Pagan Wheel of the Year celebrated by a lot of pagans:  Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Spring Equinox, Beltaine, Summer Solstice, Lunnasagh, and Mabon/Autumnal Equinox.)

Here in Southwest Florida, we have Rainy Season,  Hurricane Season, Autumnal Equinox, Dry Season, and, Fire Season.  The Solstices and Equinoxes are interspersed in this annual cycle, but I’ll talk about that more, in another post.

After we do all those family rituals and ceremonies, then it is a smart time to do a ceremony to honor the shift of what “was,” and recognize that everything that follows, is new now.  In Southwest Florida, the Rain is very cleansing.,  It usually hasn’t rained a whole lot since about mid-October.  The Earth is dry and everything is kind of dusty.  The Rains literally wash the dirt away.

Once the daily afternoon thunder showers start happening, here in Southwest Florida, then the accompanying element of Humidity, rears its head.  (Humidity is another face of Water.)

In Southwest Florida, our whole way of approaching daily life, changes in Rainy Season.  It must, because Rainy Season is characterized by Rain — usually daily afternoon thundershowers, high Humidity, and Heat.   We also have a high UV index, because we are so far South, we are in the Tropics.

This time of year, I tend to get up earlier, because I want to get a lot of things done before it gets too humid.  I want to sit on the lanai in the morning and bird watch and read Facebook, until it gets too hot to sit out there.  I need to do yard work, before it gets too hot.  I should run to the grocery store, before it gets too hot.  Hmmm, maybe I’ll go to the Beach, before it gets too hot.  So, I have to prioritize and decide, before it gets too hot.

This time of year, by about 10:00 AM, it is usually over 80 degrees and Humid.  If you can manage it, you don’t run errands from noon until after it has rained.  For one thing, it is too hot to be out, if you don’t have to.  For another thing, once it starts raining, seems like everybody forgets how to drive on wet/slippery roads.  This is a particular problem, because the daily afternoon thunder storms occur during rush hour.

On the other hand, there’s less traffic on the road this time of year because the Snowbirds left just before Easter, and, the Tourists haven’t all arrived yet.  {That’s a distinction I’ll save for another post.}  So, for a few weeks, the restaurants are less crowded, and so is everything else.  It is just hot, and everyone is exclaiming that to each other.

When Rainy Season starts, in Southwest Florida, we do a Water Ceremony.  After setting up sacred space, and after acknowledging the Great Spirit and Father Sky, the Big Water, and Mother Earth, and the Four Directions, then we thank the Rains for coming, for without it, we’d all go hungry.  We honor the aspect of High Humidity, because that’s about all you CAN do about Humidity.  We drink water, to honor the Rains and because this time of year, that’s just smart to stay hydrated.

After the daily afternoon thunder shower, the plants and the Mother Earth usually drink up all the water very quickly, and what wasn’t absorbed gets steamed off…

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After it Rains, June 2015.

The point of the Earthways Shamanic Path, is to learn what the natural rhythms are where you live, and then, honor those rhythms.  In doing so, you will Share Peace With Our Earth.

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Worlds Away In One Day

It takes two airplanes to get from where I live, to where my Father lives.  We are both in the continental United States, I’m located in Southwest Florida, and he’s north of me in a place I call, “Up North.”

A few weeks ago, the day before I got on the airplanes, it was 85 degrees and humid, here in Southwest Florida.  That was the high for the afternoon; I think it started about 65 or so.  I love late March-early April here in Florida.  It is the best time of the year.  It is seconded only by mid-October to late-November, when things finally cool off a bit, after our adventures with rampant Heat and Humidity in the Summer months.

So on a Thursday the week before Spring, I got on the first of 2 airplanes to go north, and the air is immediately drier on airplanes, and that’s an adjustment.   When we arrived at our location, it was something like 20 degrees outside, and there was a stiff wind blowing.  And that was the HIGH temperature that day.  I bravely put on my winter coat and hat and gloves and scarf in the airport baggage area and made whimpering noises as I picked up my rental car.  I figured out how to make the heat work, but never did master the high beams.

I was thankful that my Father has great shelter and heat, so I was warm and toasty during my visit, unless I went outside.  Oddly enough, this trip I went outside a whole lot more than I normally do when I go visit this time of year.  And it was bone-chilling, let me tell you!

On Monday, the day I was supposed to fly back to Southwest Florida, I woke up at 4:00 AM.  I was thirsty.  I got a cup of water and looked out the window.  I saw a light dusting of snow!  “Oh no!”  I thought, I don’t want to drive in snow!”  I went back to my warm bed and fell asleep in spite of considering how my driving would be impacted by snow.

I woke up to the 7AM alarm clock and looked out the window.  The snow was gone!  I was so happy!!  (I believe the Snow Fairies came and took the snow away for me!)

I drove to the Airport, turned in my rental car, put my coat in my baggage and checked it.  Boarded the first airplane.  We flew through clouds and turbulence and landed at Charlotte, North Carolina where it was raining.  (But not snowing.)

This is what it looks like, just before Spring, up north

Rain at CharlotteContinuing on south from Charlotte to RSW, the airport for Southwest Florida.

Got off the plane, and noticed it was about 65 degrees, windy, but humid.  I can take that weather.  I love humidity.  I have never been so happy to return to Southwest Florida!!

 

 

 

 

Heading Into Fire Season

We are heading into Fire Season here in Southwest Florida.  How can I tell?  In the past two weeks, the day time temperature has hit 80 degrees every day.  It is Hot.  People are talking about how hot it is.  The psychological shift that year-rounders under go, to cope with the extreme heat we know is coming, is underway. 

It isn’t Humid yet.  (Humidity is the province of Rainy Season.)  It is Dry and Windy.

The Yellow Blossom Trees are coming into bloom.  {I’ve got to get a good picture of them THIS year!  I think I missed them last year…}

And, the Live Oak trees have flowered and dropped their seeds.  I call this stuff, ‘oak skree.’  I’ll post a photo of it, in a moment.  I gather this stuff in broad daylight and put it into whatever container I have when I see it.  Sometimes I gather it in an empty to-go drink cup; this time I gathered it into an empty bag from Wendy’s Drive Through.

I use oak skree  ceremoniously, the way some people use Sage, (*) but you have to watch out because oak skree burns FAST.  It is not a lazy, meditative smudging tool like Sage is!

(*) see “Uses of Sage,” in the next post.

Heat and Humidity–the end of Rainy Season

Well, I haven’t posted much in this Rainy Season because :

1.  how many pictures of rain drops do you want to see, really?

2. it has been an unusual Rainy Season (in my terminology)  because it isn’t quite following the normal pattern.

I am speaking of the pattern where the day gets hotter and hotter and more and more humid until at about 4:00PM it rains for about 5 minutes, and then the rain stops, the temperature has fallen a bit and, the rain goes somewhere else and rains there for 5 minutes, all along the coast for the rest of the afternoon.

I’m also working in an office with no windows so if it is raining each afternoon, I can’t tell. 

Meanwhile, the whole country seems to be experiencing an unusually hot “Summer” season.  Is this due to Global Warming or to a natural fluctuation in climate cycles?  Or, is Global Warming making our normal cycles, exaggerated?  Who really knows?

At any rate, here we are almost at the end of Rainy Season.