Alexander Averin

Sunday, 31 October 2010


Dear Diary,

Samhain Art Nouveau greeting card - Oestara Publishing

(I shall start with a poem and end with a blessing).

Yea, she hath passed hereby, and blessed the sheaves,
And the great garths, and stacks, and quiet farms,
And all the tawny, and the crimson leaves.
Yea, she hath passed with poppies in her arms,
Under the star of dusk, through stealing mist,
And blessed the earth, and gone, while no man wist.

With slow, reluctant feet, and weary eyes,
And eye-lids heavy with the coming sleep,
With small breasts lifted up in stress of sighs,
She passed, as shadows pass, among the sheep;
While the earth dreamed, and only I was ware
Of that faint fragrance blown from her soft hair.

The land lay steeped in peace of silent dreams;
There was no sound amid the sacred boughs.
Nor any mournful music in her streams:
Only I saw the shadow on her brows,
Only I knew her for the yearly slain,
And wept, and weep until she come again.
Frederic Manning

I apologise -  it has been such a long time since my last ‘confessions’.

I’ve been away for a few days to the Otherworld which is what we call the South East of England from whence we escaped twenty years ago.  We travelled eastwards from Wales for the wedding of my niece in Lewes and also for a reunion of siblings for my husband, also by chance held in Sussex.  We stayed with my brother and sister in law in Surrey which is always a pleasure.  Much as we hate to leave Wales, the pleasure of seeing so many family members who we don’t see often enough was a real joy.

Last night was a return to watching Strictly Come Dancing but I didn’t enjoy it as much as usual.  Only one dance moved me (Matthew) and the judging, the costumes and the ridiculous Halloween theme choice of music were a disappointment.  Personally I don’t think Halloween and music and dancing mix.  I hope next week is an improvement.  Sometimes the costumes are so unflattering, all the wrong colour and they irritate me so much that I am itching to re-clothe the contestants.  Moan over.  I am allowed one per day.

So Sunday comes round again, my favourite day of the week but even though I call it my day of rest it is back to the old everyday routine because I am back to doing my daily yoga each morning  -  I have been very lazy of late, preferring to have an extra twenty minutes in bed instead of exercising each morning as I used to.  I do my yoga routines to music and never know what songs will play as I set my Windows Media Player to shuffle selection mode.  This makes it more fun and in a really daft way it helps get me out of bed each morning, eager to see what music will come up.  Sad eh? Today’s music is pure Sunday, easy going soft and gentle songs by Mark Knopfler and Celine Dion (not together!) and a final one by Eric Clapton which wakes me up and energises me as only Clapton can. 

I am still reading in bed each morning as usual and the book I am reading at the moment is so good that it makes it hard to put down.  I have read it before -  it is The Secret Scripture by a much loved author, Sebastian Barry but a book group member has, to my delight,  chosen it for our November read. I know the ‘story’ so can now re-read  and completely wallow in the writing -  and it is language to die for.

And so it is Samhain already, the time when the veil is the thinnest between this world and the next.  I love Autumn so and will be very sad to see October leave us, she has been and still is so beauteous this year.  I can’t remember last year’s leaves being as colourful as they are this year. I am not of scientific mind.but  I think it’s something to do with the weather, frosts and all that.

John O'Donohue 1991-2009

Talking of dearly departed souls, John O’Donohue is one of the most missed so I was so pleased to hear of a newly published book of his writings..

In The Four Elements, John draws upon his Celtic heritage and the love of his native landscape, the west of Ireland, to weave together a tapestry of beautifully evoked images of nature.

In this collection, John explores a range of themes relating to the way we live our lives today, revealing how the energy and rhythm of the natural world – its innocence and creativity, its power and splendour – hold profound lessons for us all.

With a foreword written by his brother Pat, this illuminating treasury is a unique collection of reflections inspired by the ancient wisdom of this earth.

The book is available in the U.K. and is set for release in the U.S. early next year.

For more information:

I am off to order a copy now, it will have to be (a tad early) Christmas present to myself..

In September I had sent my dear sister the latest book of John O’Donohue’s Blessings for her birthday and I was thrilled when one of them was read out at her daughter’s wedding.

For Marriage

As spring unfolds the dream of the earth,
May you bring each other’s hearts to birth.
As the ocean finds calm in the view of land
May you love the gaze of each other’s mind.
As the wind arises free and wild,
May nothing negative control your lives.
As kindly as the moonlight might search the dark,
So gentle may you be when light grows scarce.
As surprised as the silence that music opens,
May your words for each other be touched with reverence.
As warmly as the air draws in the light,
May you welcome each other’s every gift.
As elegant as dreams absorbing the night,
May sleep find you clear of anger and hurt.
And as twilight harvests the day’s colours,
May love bring you home to each other.

John O’Donohue

I will leave you now because before I polish up my broomstick I have alliums to plant, dogs to walk and Sunday lunch to get on the go.  I hope you will forgive me that this post is a lot about Irish authors but I think it must be my dead ancestors trying to influence me through the veil.

Go mbeannai Dia duit,


Frances said...

Cait, how I do love reading your posts!

I will be looking out for that book when it gets published over here. Thank you for the recommendation. (I also enjoyed The Secret Scripture.)

May your beautifully polished broomstick take you to fabulous places! xo

Mark said...

Nice to read you posts again - always something to think about

Pondside said...

What a beautiful poem - I'll be looking for that book.

Pondside said...

What a beautiful poem - I'll be looking for that book.

ds said...

I will keep an eye peeled for that book; it sounds wonderful (the poem is beautiful--may the bride and groom have a long and happy life together).

Stupid question of the day: how does one pronounce Samhain?

Lovely post. Thank you for all that is in it.

CAMILLA said...

Hello Cait,

Love the beautiful Poems you share with us. I will definately be adding that book to my very large pile, thank you Cait.

Have not caught up with the Strictly Dancing, although I did catch a glimpse of Widdy.!

Lovely to have some time away with your family, son has just moved to Surrey too.


Lane said...

Much as I love a bit of Strictly, the costumes can be dire as can the make-up. So over the top.

I'm just about to start the Secret Scripture. Sounds Like I'm in for a treat.

Fennie said...

Gosh if you read in bed in the mornings however do you get up at all?
Reading at night is bad enough. But it's nice to linger over Sunday breakfast I suppose reading the bits of Saturday's paper that it's impossible to read on Saturday.

Debs said...

What a fascinating post with so much to enjoy.

I agree with you about Strictly and sometimes wonder what the designers must be thinking. Still enjoy the programme for the most part though.

I love that poem.

Toni aka irishlas said...

Lovely poems...

I, too, will be looking forward to the release of the book here in the states. Thanks for sharing.

Samhain is such a special day in many ways to me, but, it is also my wedding anniversary.

Bee said...

I've had The Secret Scripture on my shelf for ages now. I'm delighted to get this enthusiastic recommendation and I shall move it to the front of the stack posthaste. I was thinking about tackling Bleak House, (because little daughter and I watched the BBC film over half-term and LOVED it), but it's such a big time-commitment. It seemed like a good November book, though. Sorry that I haven't checked in for ages . . . as I read this delightful post, I was berating myself. But truly, I had my nose in a book all of October. I can't seem to do both at once -- not in balance, anyway.

Hasn't it been a lovely autumn? I've felt its beauty keenly, in a way that I don't usually do . . . maybe because I dread the darkness so much.

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