Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fall Equinox and Po Mahina


Friday, September 23nd marks the Fall Equinox on the Planet.  I used to think the Equinox was always on the 21st day of September, but that is not the case.  Now that I am tracking time with Mahina, and try to integrate the practices, observation and ceremonies with Mahina in mind, there is more incentive to notice both the detail and the vagueness of time.  It's weird, I know, to say something is both detail and vagueness.  But then there's the example of looking up to find Makali'i (small eyes, or the constellation The Pleides).  To find Makali'i it really is easier if you blur your vision or look for the vagueness of the multiple cluster.  Like reading words based on their shape, some children will see the word as shape for example the word "Boy" has a shape ... like a shoe.  If a child is a shape reader, she will see the shape of the word 'Boy' and her body-mind will lassose in a memory of the sound and shape of the word, before she is able to say "B."  An intuitive learner, that reader's style was once as unacceptable as being a lefty. 

I've been taking my self on a mini sabattical of writing:  not writing for a day when it's not an 'ole day is a sabattical.  There was an absence of drive to write, and a lot of processing the emotional tide of a season in shift.  Fall is both a beautiful visual season and an emotional trigger for me, and I have had to re-tire, and re-train my mind and spirit to a newer version of the season.  A very real mini celebration has been in the making.  It's kinda like having time stretch in all directions at once and stretch as well the emotional restrictions I have applied to myself.  I think my study of tracking time via my ancestor's vessel of Papa Huli Lani (the foundation of viewing the turning of the heavens) at 63 years has softened the ground of my being as its meant to be softened as makua o'o.(see the sidebar for the basic tools of the Makua O'o).  On the workshop blog Wayfinding with Mahina, I wrote about the messiness of intuition and found my way through the softening ground of my being as it relates to time.  Here, with this blog, I note the way the Fall Equinox has seemed to move further away even as I think it ought to be closer.  It's that old control addiction that I have to try to nail things down so they don't leave me.  It has never worked, and I discover the Saturn the ruler of time, keeps giving me chances to learn about time in multiple ways.  Yes, paying a bill on time is best.  Yes, sometimes a full moon is full for more than one night. 

This Fall Equinox Pete and I have talked about making celebration(s) of gladness and thanks to the many who have helped in the harvests of our lives.  One person in particular is on our list.  He is Chef Charlie Snakelum, and is the Muckleshoot  tribal leader of one of the First People of Whidbey Island.  When I look around this community I see and feel the absence of the First Ones.  I see few names that ring with the sound of their culture, and the education available to the public regarding the culture of origin is still mournfully absent of reality.  A few weeks ago we did discover Chief Charlie Snakelum because we took a drive to Whidbey Island State Park and sat to listen to a free lecture on Ebey's Landing National Historiacal Reserve "past meets present in a working rural landscape."  We love to walk the stretch of beach on Ebey's Landing and I have found great comfort in those walks.  The woman who spoke at the lecture that night at the park could give me little information about where the tribes are today; who are the tribes.  She knew to identify and make note of the Block Houses found in the settlements and spent time telling the small mostly senior-aged audience that the Block House was a house of protection against the hostile 'Indians.'  I cringe when I first saw the Block House in Coupeville, and cringed as I heard her describe it that night.

Two other people at that lecture session were friends we know from the community.  Over the weeks, I have spoken with them about the tribal community on Whidbey and in particular have asked for guidance in finding where Chief Charlie Snakelum is buried.  Three times, I have attempted to find his burial site.  three times I have been vague in my approach.  Last time we got closer than ever, but a'ole.  I asked for a few more directions a week ago, and was told it took our friend thirty years to find the site.  This time I think we have enough information to get there.  With the Fall Equinox two days, two po away, the gathering of makana (gifts) appropriate for one chef of First People from this place we call home, become more within reach.  There must be pule, a prayer, Oli Mahalo.  A gift, that will come to me as well.  Like looking for Makali'i.  Focus broadly and there  they will be.  Fall Equinox is a time for celebration in many cultures.  In ChinaTown, moon cakes filled with the seeds of harvest will be (are) being baked and sold.  My mouth waters at the thought of them.  Makahiki Season starts after Fall Equinox. 

And for you, who and what will you honor and celebrate with prayer, and gifts on the Equinox?

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