Sankofa literally means “Return and get it.” It refers to returning home and claiming your roots…..something I travelled all the way to West Africa to truly learn the importance of! Enjoy! And thank you for listening!
I’ve been reading back through our blog offerings and although it is perfectly obvious why, our focus first and foremost has been the weather outside our door. We wrote of snowstorms (and more snowstorms!) and predicting when the weather would change. Interspersed with recipes were early sightings of flowers, or birds, and ever increasing bare ground. Spring has been bringing out the flowers that we capture in photos to share. Now we are busy with gardening and thoughts of the world outside we can now spend hours in.
I think of my family that I recently visited, who live very urban lives. And while I don’t want to make sweeping generalizations about rural vs. urban, I am aware of how much more we here in ‘the country’ are attuned to seasons and the changes they bring to both our outer world and our inner one. Sleep cycles, energy cycles, changes in mood – all seem easier to understand when the world outside the door has such an immediate impact on the inside me.
I started out reflecting on the impact of the changing seasons on my thought patterns. All of these ruminations seem to have led me to thoughts about my life choices, how I have come to live with the woods and fields right outside my door. I appreciate the many things that city life has to offer, and understand why most of my birth family is content to live where they do. I am, however, extremely grateful to my father, a hiker and member of the New York Hikers Club, who spent time in the woods outside the city, taking folks on the trails of Bear Mountain, (just miles outside the Big Apple) and who instilled that love of nature and wildness in me. Those early adventures definitely made the desire to leave city life clearer to me. Those experiences paved the way for me to find myself at home here. My father would have approved of my choices.
It’s o.k. that before I go out to finish planting the tomatoes, I stoke the woodstove. And put on a pot of soup. And to make sure I have several layers on for warmth. It’s o.k., because soon, the weather will change and the tomatoes will be desperate for a drink, and salad will be the only thing we can muster to eat, and layers of clothing will be peeled off. It’s o.k.
It is, really.
be well, denise
Picture this…..a red, white and blue decked out hay trailer filled with kids, goats, a sheep, a calf, a baby and two (semi-sane) adults rattling down a road on a parade detour with crepe paper streamers flapping in the wind leaving a trail of balloons in their wake as everyone hopes the driver knows where he is going because none of them know and they all live within a 10 mile radius of the parade route!….Yup, that was my memorial day adventure and it got me thinking…..how many other unexpexted adventures are their to be had right in my own backyard? Just on my drive to work today I counted three roads right in Montville that i have never even been down before! I am challenging myself and readers as well, to take some time out to have a backyard adventure this week…..write in about it and I will be sure to post it!
On this Memorial Day, as we place flags and flowers on the graves of soldiers and loved ones, I went searching for some history about the holiday. Did you this about the origins of Memorial Day?
The first widely publicized observance of a Memorial Day-type observance after the Civil War was in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 1, 1865. During the war, Union soldiers who were prisoners of war had been held at the Charleston Race Course; at least 257 Union prisoners died there and were hastily buried in unmarked graves. Together with teachers and missionaries, black residents of Charleston organized a May Day ceremony in 1865, which was covered by the New York Tribune and other national papers. The freedmen cleaned up and landscaped the burial ground, building an enclosure and an arch labeled, “Martyrs of the Race Course.” Nearly ten thousand people, mostly freedmen, gathered on May 1 to commemorate the war dead. Involved were about 3,000 school children newly enrolled in freedmen’s schools, mutual aid societies, Union troops, black ministers, and white northern missionaries. Most brought flowers to lay on the burial field. Today the site is used as Hampton Park. Years later, the celebration would come to be called the “First Decoration Day” in the North.
Memorial Day was started by former slaves on May, 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 Black children where they marched, sang and celebrated.
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/military/memorialday.asp#tgSdkfXh5DOOXETV.99
( I copied two different sources just to be accurate.)
Bikes are never out of fashion. Even long after they are able to roll…….we keep them around. Every year we find some colorful annuals to plant in the basket of this old bike (o.k. enamel pot). And then there is this old ‘High Nellie’ that still sees the road from time to time in Ireland. My friend John Joe, who doesn’t drive, feels his trusty two wheeler still has plenty of good miles ahead of her.
be well, denise