Walking in the World

Monthly Archives: September 2015

Ready, Set, Gone!

Processed with Moldiv

The weather is so beautiful today that I headed out early to catch up with my favourite walking companions — here’s one of them making a dash down the lane.

Sloes

We did a bit of berry browsing as we walked. These sloes will be ready as soon as we get our first hard frost, which will probably happen all too soon — this lovely golden weather won’t last forever!

30 Sep 2015

Wickercycle

 

 

Flooring

I am loving our autumn — crisp, sunny days, with leaves just beginning to turn. It feels good to be outside, and I’m looking for any opportunity to be out and about. No big adventures today, just a bit of shopping and a few errands, including my annual pilgrimage to Moore’s Shoe Repair to have my winter boots reheeled. Knowing that I have kept my favourite boots going for 17 years by keeping them heeled and conditioned is very satisfying to my inner spendthrift. While we were there, I took advantage of being in Hadleigh to take a better look at one of the window displays across the road.

Teddy Driver

Is this cool or what? When I went in for a closer look, the shop owner said they had gotten it from Taiwan, and apparently it garners a lot of attention. It certainly catches my eye every time we drive past! (And the Teddy Bear driver fits so well with my current creative obsession….)

29 Sep 2015

Super Moon

Eclipse

It was worth waking up for! We watched this glorious heavenly display from the comfort of our bedroom, this harvest moon fully eclipsed out our back window while Venus shone in on us from the east.

Looking heavenwards, I felt my connection to my far-flung spirit family, knowing that they were also witnessing and celebrating this Aries moon. I knew that they, too, were pondering the Mysteries, asking how they could bring down its energies and integrate them into their lives. Modern technology let me “stand” in a far-off labyrinth with a good friend as she drummed in the light of the Blood Moon, her skies as glorious as mine, the same moon shining down on us both. I knew another friend was watching from a ship in the North Sea, and yet another viewed it more partially from the labyrinth where I was married. Social media and Facebook let us weave our hearts and magic together in real-time.

I am told that this particular full moon encourages us to take risks in our lives and prompts us to step fully into our potential. Ask yourself what changes you would like to see in your life… what risks do you need to take? I am deeply moved by the opening lines of All the True Vows, a poem by David Whyte, and I think they apply today as I ponder my commitment to change and the risk it involves:

All the True Vows
are secret vows,
the ones we speak out loud
are the ones we break.

28 Sep 2015

Friendship & Ferries

Mumtaz

After a busy and productive few days of work and friendship, we said goodbye over a special dinner before heading back to the ferry port at Harwich and waving goodbye to Els. She’ll be watching tonight’s supermoon eclipse from the middle of the North Sea while we’ll be hanging out our bedroom window here at Labyrinthos HQ. May its effects be felt far and wide – for many of us, changes are afoot!

Ferry

27 Sep 2015

Hatfield House Revisited

Maze1

We don’t know how many more perfectly autumnal days we’re going to have this year, so we took advantage of the weather and our willing house guest to make the trek to Hatfield House and the adjacent palace and gardens. We especially wanted to photograph the gardens and the maze now that the foliage has reached its peak, before the leaves fall and winter sets in… and oh, what a lovely day it was! The gardens were amazing, and we especially enjoyed Renaissance, the magnificent water fountain in front of the main house. It was still under construction when we were there in April, so we were taken quite by surprise as it the entire structure shifted, flowed, emerged and submerged before our eyes. It is a surprisingly successful positioning of new and modern amongst the old and traditional.

Renaissance

The old Hatfield Palace, as I explained in my April post, was where Queen Elizabeth I spent most of her childhood, and where she was living when she learned of her succession to the throne when Henry VIII died in 1558. The grounds are huge and lovingly maintained, with a large number of historic garden features and plants. As one who is more fascinated by daily life than great events, I was once again intrigued by the personality that pervades the estate – we met up with and exchanged pleasantries with the current owners as our paths crossed out in the garden — Hatfield House is their home, not just a monument to people long gone.

House

I found that the personal touch extends to the shops and small businesses that make the estate feel like a small village. One shop, for instance, was selling small jars of medlar marmalade, and we spoke with the woman responsible for collecting the medlars each autumn. She told us about needing to wear a hard hat to keep from being conked on the head by falling fruit as she reached up into the trees, and we visited with the beekeeper who explained that the honey we had just purchased would taste of the lime trees we had been admiring in the park. The marmalade and honey will taste all the sweeter for having met the people who love the garden enough to keep its history alive by making use of its bounty!

(If you are reading this post in an email, you will need to click through to the website in order to see the gallery of photos below. Enjoy!)

26 Sep 2015

Squirrely Joke

Hazelnut

We thought we beat the squirrels to this wee hazelnut, but it turns out we were outsmarted — they obviously knew what we didn’t. It may look like a prize find, but inside that fine shell…. nothing. Zip. Nada. I’m positive I saw those squirrels laughing at us.

25 Sep 2015

Sunset

Sunset2

We drove to the ferry port at Harwich to meet our friend, Els, who is visiting for the weekend. I had planned to show you the ferry, but en route we were so taken with the beauty of the setting sun that we just had to pull into lay-by so that I could get a photo. A colourful end to a busy day of preparing for a much-loved guest!

24 Sep 2015

Autumn Equinox

Sunset

I really noticed the shortening day as I walked to work last night. A couple of months ago, the sun was only just setting as I headed home from class, well after 9:00 — now it is happening before I even arrive. Today is the autumn equinox here in the northern hemisphere (spring equinox in the southern hemisphere), the day when the hours of daylight and darkness stand in balance. It is day to recognize the changing seasons, to express gratitude for what has been, to welcome what comes next, and to seek an inner balance to accompany the outer balance of light and dark.

23 Sep 2015

Still Walking

Walking

Yes, I’m still walking, still heading out the door every day in search of beauty and adventure. But I’ve also been rather obsessed with some of my creative projects here at home, As I told you some time ago, I’ve always wanted to make teddy bears, and I’ve been using every spare minute to do just that. Teddy bears. And rabbits. And all manner of critters. Unfortunately, by the time I’ve put down my hooks and needles at night, any imagined blog posts have drifted out of my head and I’ve gone straight to bed without writing or posting. Big apologies!

But would you like to see who is here? I’ve created a Critters page on this website to show off the darlings who are showing up in my world.

22 Sep 2015

Silent Street

 

SilentStreet2

The internet is a wonderful thing! (Obviously, or this blog wouldn’t exist…) After my post about our morning in Ipswich, a reader did a bit of research and sent me an update on the naming of Silent Street. Now why didn’t I think of that? I had googled Ipswich, but didn’t take it any further. I’m glad she did, though, because the reading gave me good food for thought.

When I first saw the sign, my innate pilgrimage/monastic mindedness lead me to assum that it had to do with something prayerful or meditative, something in conjunction with Ipswich being a medieval pilgrimage destination due to its local Marian shrine, Our Lady of Grace, also known as the Madonna of Ipswich.

A website about the historic public lettering in Ipswich gives a short history of selected street names, and suggests two possibilities for Silent Street, neither of which is quite so rosy-tinted or pleasant. Borin van Loon writes:

…. there are two commonly-believed sources of this name. 1. The street became unnaturally quiet due to the large number of deaths from plague in 1665-6 (one week 34 out of 64 burials were deaths from plague). 2. More likely explanation is that straw was laid down on the street to deaden the noise of passing horses and carts when Curson House (known as King’s Hospital – the building no longer exists) was used as a hospital for sick and wounded seamen during the Dutch wars of the 1650s, 1660s and 1670s. However, Robert Malster’s ‘A-Z’ book points out that the first recorded use of ‘Silent Street’ as a name wasn’t until 1764.

One of the blessings of this blog has been the brief research I’ve done into many of the things I see, and this is an excellent case in point. I like to make up stories in my head (which I fortunately don’t usually share publicly), and need to stay committed to searching ever deeper into the truth of things and not be tempted into promoting romanticized imaginings, something that Jeff and I run into frequently in our work as editors and labyrinth historians (we have written about it here.) This Ipswich website may take us closer to the street’s history, but the fact remains that my hermitly soul continues to be intrigued by the thought of a silent street, whatever the reason for the silence.

Silent Street

18 Sep 2015

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