October 22, 2016, north-central Vermont Mountains, elevation of 1500 feet.
All day on the 22nd it rained like it rains in Washington State, one of those heavy constant light rains, almost mist in quality. Temperatures hovered around 40 degrees all day and the air was dark. The remaining colored leaves hanging onto sugar maples, white and green ash, quaking and big tooth aspens, American beech and sumac shaking their brilliant hues, seemingly in spite of the dreary cloak of the autumnal October day.
It was a great day to spend with candles and oil lamps burning brightly while baking health treats to lift the spirits of the gloom. Even the creative burst of carving pumpkins arose with the orange dancing flames. A family day, one of those precious quality times spent with those closest to you in life. Times that the modern world seems to be wrestling with in attempt to close the door on such moments and shove them into the vast closet of history.
Here at Element Mountain we believe not only in the conscious reconnection of the human spirit to the wilderness, the rawness of this earth and all its wonders and diverse ecosystems, but also of rebuilding the foundations of the self and of relationships to those we care for most.
On the Medicine Wheel the October moon is one of transition, like March, though the opposite transition. October on the Wheel is the marked time where the physical transitions into the non-physical/spiritual energies. April, May, June, July and August and September are the physical moons and November, December, January, and February are the spiritual moons. Since we are trying to live a physical existence there are more physical moons than spiritual ones… also this dense existence requires so much more effort to do anything than our spiritual essence, hence more physical moons. It always seems to take forever to manifest anything we really put our minds to. Even things that seemingly happen fairly quickly, when we really step back and look we can see we were actually working on the manifestation for far longer than originally perceived!
The November moon on the Wheel is about relationships and so part of the October moon is transitioning from the extroverted activities of the warm season back to the deep connections to those we care for most, the families we make, not always blood relations. Just as animals are regrouping after many solo adventures during summer for the long challenging winter months ahead, we humans also take comfort and require deeper level emotional connections with true family as the nights grow longer and the days chill in promise of winter.
The weather also reminds us fully of transition. On Saturday the 22nd we experienced a steady solid rain all day without letup. However, once the sun sunk in the west, the temperature dropped into the low 30s and the rain transitioned into snow. This was the first snow we have seen this season and it left its mark. We normally get a bit of snow in October, but not more than an inch or two. Last night was quite a surprise!
It snowed like it rained, steady through the night. Wet and heavy it built dangerously on wires, trees and bushes. The electricity danced in and out all night long and into the morning. I awoke at 3am and wandered down to peer out into the darkness. The snow continued to fall and to my awe it was billowing above the usual October inch or two. By morning we had 8 inches on the ground and trees were bent to the ground. Poor willows, birch and aspen weighed down by dense wet ice and snow just like two Decembers ago.
A prelude to the coming winter? Perhaps, but one can never tell these days with how volatile the weather patterns are. All I know is that I had to spend some time gentle shaking snow from tree limbs and standing some back up to stake so they have a chance to straighten a bit before the long freeze sets in. As damaging as weather like that is, it sure makes for some great photographs.