The feather; the pen
Bienvenidos al noticiero: La Pluma. Welcome to the Newsletter.
Hola <<First Name>>,
It’s lilac time in the north, filling the breezes with a most sweet, dreamy fragrance.
It is also morel mushroom time, according to my cousin, Dan, in yet another northern realm – northern Illinois that is. He texted me a photo of his find and reports having enough to put extras in the freezer. Seems that morels are picked by the grocery bag full in some places.
I was hooked years ago, when I literally stumbled on sporadic morel clumps, poking up through leaf mulch, camouflaged by the variegated sun shadows in the back woods. The scavenger hunt was on. Over the decades, I never scored like that first year, including some totally barren years, leaving my frying pan empty, except for the melting butter.
That doesn’t stop me from checking the spots where, once upon a time, I found a morel. Is it the hunt, the wild edible, or is it just the butter that nudges me on? If I’m lucky, Dan will thaw some out when I visit later this summer. But, how could defrosted morels be as good as those we nab ourselves? Like a child finding an Easter egg, the glee and joy of discovery nurses the tradition.
Tradition – the act of passing something on from one generation to another; a ritual; repeating an action out of belief, symbolism, or intentional behaviors – my definition.
Summer is bursting around us. June it the time of Summer Solstice, a moment brimming with ancient ritual ever morphing into current traditions. The northern most latitudes celebrate Midsommer festivals, a sun worshipping extravaganza. To the south, pre-Columbian Aztec and Maya civilizations built mind-boggling pyramids aligned with the sun’s solstice, sending shadows running down the carved backs of serpent gods, where pilgrims still congregate to raise their faces and arms to worship Kulkukan.
This month, I’m inviting you to ponder your own traditions and venture to start new ones. Adopting from another culture can be invigorating – an aha moment – something we had not known, therefore not considered. After looking outside of our own behaviors, we can reflect back through another culture’s lens and observe the ironies and connections between us.
Enter these days of longer light and fresh air as a time to create something new while still honoring your traditions.