After the fields are determined done for the year, all of their products are counted. The sum of produce tells the next part of the story- which sheaves shall be named John Barley Corn? Which onions shall be for the people? Which haystacks shall be for the beasts of burden? And when it is all divvied up and stored safe, which animals will not be kept and fed? In the ancient Anglo Saxon Calendar November was called Blotmonath. Literally “Blood Month” because this was the time to cull the herds and thin out the pigs in order to have preserved meat through the winter and ensure healthy breeding stock for the next year. And because there has to be enough to go around – Winter is coming.
This time of year is the time of death and change. Between Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos, Guy Fawkes Day, US National elections dramatic change is in the very air we breathe and the old days that we plough under in order to get ready for planting anew.
It is a lot to handle. Especially in 2020. And things like this happen.
How about some distractions. How about a window or 2 to different places where you can shift your gaze from time to time as Winter sets in?
Cosmo Sheldrake is a London-based multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, and producer. He took advantage of the shifts in the natural environment caused by the UK lockdown to sample old sounds and collect new ones in order to create music made of the natural world.
Johnny Flynn is a folk musician and actor whom you might have seen in the most recent rendition of “Emma.” Here he sits in his cottage and reads children’s rhymes.
He wrote a lovely song for the “Emma” movie
He also wrote the theme song for a series that has, frankly, got Ms. Sid through 2020. “The Detectorists”.
The Detectorists is a series about 2 men who form a bond while engaging in the hobby of using metal detectors to find lost treasure in the land encompassed by their small village. Although set in the current day, there is a sense of nostalgia that haunts the edges of the scenes. Nostalgia prevents the main characters from fulfilling much needed dreams and completing hard tasks. The show is made up of a lot of other things besides nostalgia too. But mostly, it is an odd sometimes unsettling but in the end comforting inward turn into community and relationships. It is about ploughing through the dirt to find the riches hidden there and persevering till the treasure is brought into full light. And it is about how everything deserves to be viewed in its full context in order to truly understand its value.
Nostalgia is dangerous. It creates false memories upon which we can hide our fears of losing the sun and running out of Winter provisions But, it gives context to the emotions of history so that we might consider all that has gone before and what we can learn from the past. History doesn’t repeat, it rhymes. We are in charge of the meter.