My bounty is in reflection
and deep spaces.
My bounty is in dreams and plans
and refusing to quit.
My bounty wells up from within and
spills over with gusto
and irrepressible hope for
and endless newness
bright within each morning.
My bounty is in blooms and clay
and gemstones and gravel
in dirt and weeds
raspberries and blood.
My bounty brings the women.
Energy feeds the land.
Words spill forth onto
My bounty is in what I hold
What I won’t give up on
and what I set free.
My bounty is milky.
My bounty is in conversation
circling the veranda in
steady, strong loops
of raw possibility
hope and wonder.
My bounty is in moments of despair and hopelessness
that break like waves on the shore
and make way for sunrise.
My bounty gathers together broken pieces
and tries again.
My bounty moves quickly
fluttering like a butterfly
and traversing continents of desire
before alighting on a thistle
As the wheel of the year turns towards fall, what is your bounty? What have you harvested or are waiting until the time is right to pick? What have you created, birthed, sweated over, discovered, or enjoyed?
There has been a crispness to the evening air and the hint of color in the trees that makes me reflect on the passage of another year. It feels like a time to wrap up projects, enjoy results, and to begin another time of turning inward, moving toward the cocoon-call of winter.
Last night my family held an abundance and gratitude ritual (+ harvest + autumn + full moon). I had a wonderful time setting up a mandala on our back deck, which we have recently taken to calling the veranda. Life is much nicer with a veranda in it and we regularly make time to sit out there in the morning as well as walk there at night. I got the term “verandahing” from Leonie Dawson and I highly recommend this practice of making time daily to sit outside on your veranda (deck, porch, front stoop, stair, whatever you’ve got, just try it!).
In the mandala, I set gourds and sage that we grew, harvested, and dried. I also used rose petals and hydrangea blooms that are still currently blooming. I picked dittany, sumac, and dogwood leaves from the forest. After the moon rose, we drummed, sang, danced, wrote what we are grateful for on paper leaves and added them to the mandala. Earlier in the day, I followed a prompt from my Sacred Year class to reflect on my “bounty,” as we approach the harvest season. I expected to write more literally about the things I’ve created and harvested this year, but a bountiful, bounty poem emerged instead.
I registered for Joanna Powell Colbert’s upcoming ecourse: 30 Days of Harvest ~ A Daily Sacred Pause of Welcoming Autumn. I look forward to another experience of daily practice with her.
My own Red Tent class began on the full moon, the birthing of the “seed dream” I planted in February, and another Womanrunes Immersion as well as a Divination Practicum begin in October. A bountiful culmination of the year’s work. I am amazed to see what can be generated and grown over the course of a year.
This month has been a busy one for me and I’ve felt emotionally erratic—vacillating between a boundless enthusiasm and a sort of trapped, snappy despair (as I re-read past blog posts, I recognize this as a feature of having a toddler, disrupted sleep, and an unpredictable “schedule”). Last week, I felt moved and very reassured by a quote I read via a post on Changing by Trista of the Girl God:
“Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger, spiritually, than we were before. Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant. But what is most unpleasant is the not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.”
-Alice Walker, Living by the Word