Around the Motherhouse Blog

Hallows 3573 BCE/2013 CE


Hallows 3573 BCE

The wound on her leg sent lightning bolts of pain upward with each step.  She leaned heavily on her hastily carved walking stick, struggling up the grassy incline. She checked the horse’s gait again. The mare had taken no harm from the mishap that had wounded the warrior.

 It happened when they were crossing the wide river. A log, floating quickly downstream, had knocked the warrior off her feet into the cold water. As she tried to swim back toward the horse, she was swept downstream by the fast current and tumbled across some big rocks. She had finally found her footing and made it back to the shore, but she had sustained a gash across the outside of her thigh that was pretty deep. She found the mare, who had made it across alone, and bound the wound with bandages from her pack. The bleeding had stopped, but it was still painful to walk. She had elected to find a walking stick and continue onward without unloading all the precious cargo from the horse, because she knew she was close to her destination. She held on to consciousness by savoring the aroma of smoking meats that wafted on the frosty biting breeze.

  Her horse was laden with sacks and packages; the fruit of her summer’s trading. The big warrior had travelled all the way to the seas since leaving the village late last spring. She had made several very good trades, getting a high price for the finely crafted bows and skins her Tribe had made last winter. They would be glad to have the goods she was bringing. Tripping over a root, she reminded herself to stay in the now. None of these things would do anyone any good if she failed to get home to deliver them.

Walking more carefully now, she crested the hill and stopped to look out over the valley. Yes, she could just make out the thin smoke rising through the trees from her village.

She exhaled long and loud, and smiled as her heart filled. Home at last.


Hallows 2013 c.e. 

Not much of a breeze today, as I stand in the side yard, holding branches for my partner Justice as she slices them into a burnable size for our indoor fireplace. The logs vibrate as the new chainsaw touches the bark and I lean in, holding steady. The new saw glides through the wood smoothly, and she smiles, happy with her new tool.

She had an old chain saw, much loved, that she used until last winter. But it had reached the age where the motor was starting to wear out, and I was becoming increasingly worried about her safety.

As always, we first considered used saws and talked it over. IN this case, we decided to buy a new one. This is a tool we will use for 10-15 years, and most of the ones we could afford used were large and heavy or had lots of wear.  So I did my research, found one on sale and we went to have a look.

And now here we were, slicing through wood easily and quickly. A good decision, I think.

It’s been a good harvest season overall. We have put up; tomatoes and peppers grown by our “pack”, pears that we bartered with the neighbors, apples from Lance’s yard,  grapes from the land of a friend, pickles, dilly beans, and blueberries from the farmers ’ market. I do most of the canning and freezing at our house, and Justice is in charge of growing things. It’s a division of labor that I really like. Other members of our pack pitch in, and we all share and trade the things we have put up. 

We’ve “buttoned up” the house and sheds for winter, and made several lean-to’s in the yard for the dogs to get out of the wind or rain. We have put away the mower and trimmers, lined up the little snow blower (found on the curb 5 years ago), propped shovels and salt outside the front door. I have kitty litter on this week’s shopping list (we don’t have cats-we keep it in the cars in case of getting stuck on ice).

While I watch the game tonight, I will be making fire starters out of cardboard egg crates (NOT Styrofoam!), dryer lint and melted candle stubs. I make 8-10 dozen of those every year, and store them in our dormant little cook stove that sits next to the fireplace. 

So, like my warrior Guardian ancestors, I am ready to tuck myself in, warm and snug, for the long Wisconsin storytelling season. It feels good to be ready…an accomplishment for a city girl to know that if the lights go out (for a short or long time) that I and my pack can survive and take care of ourselves and our loved ones. 

May your coming dark season be warm and safe and happy. May you have health and prosperity and love.  Many blessings in the Dark.