May Day

Beltane is the second principal Celtic festival (the other being Samhain). Celebrated approximately halfway between Vernal (spring) equinox and the midsummer (Summer Solstice). Beltane traditionally marked the arrival if summer in ancient times.

At Beltane the Pleiades star cluster rises just before sunrise on the morning horizon, whereas winter (Samhain) begins when the Pleiades rises at sunset. The Pleiades is a cluster of seven closely placed stars, the seven sisters, in the constellation of Taurus, near his shoulder. When looking for the Pleiades with the naked eye, remember it looks like a tiny dipper-shaped pattern of six moderately bright stars (the seventh can be seen on very dark nights) in the constellation of Taurus. It stands very low in the east-northeast sky for just a few minutes before sunrise.

Beltane, and its counterpart Samhain, divide the year into its two primary seasons, winter (Dark Part) and summer (Light Part). As Samhain is about honoring Death, Beltane, its counter part, is about honoring Life. It is the time when the sun is fully released from his bondage of winter and able to rule over summer and life once again. (from

The beginning of May was a very popular feast time for the Romans. It was devoted primarily to the worship of Flora, the goddess of flowers. It was in her honor a five day celebration, called the Floralia, was held. The five day festival would start from April 28 and end on May 2. The Romans brought in the rituals of the Floralia festival in the British Isles. And gradually the rituals of the Floralia were added to those of the Beltane. And many of today’s customs on the May Day bear a stark similarity with those combined traditions. (from

Here are the flowers for Flora. Sorry, not up to a photograph of the Pleiades (if I could even do that). I am a prisoner in my own cottage, playing nursemaid to my dog.


Rabbit Hole

Life on the Edge … We all spend time here, wondering if our balance will leave us … falling … into the rabbit hole. That is where I am, at the moment – balanced at the edge of the rabbit hole.

My water system collapsed. Not totally, as I had 600 gallons stored, so just rationing at the moment while we work to get it back up and running. Will take a week or two. Not a good thing at the beginning of fire season.

My dog was missing for 4 days, and returned in bad shape as you all know.

I leave for Morocco in one week on a trip that has been planned for a year.

I am behind in my work. This isn’t new, but with leaving, it is just a tad more added stress.

Oh, and the swine flu pandemic. Is this really a good time to be traveling? 

How deep is this rabbit hole, anyway?

The swine flu is on everybody’s mind. Big Sur is susceptible, as we have visitors from all over the world. It is the beginning of the tourist season. Monterey County has designated the Big Sur Health Clinic as a “sentinel” site. Which means close monitoring, although it has neither of the two treatment medicines available.

The WHO (World Health Organization) has just upgraded the level of the swine flu (H1N1 – wtf is this? We can’t call it swine flu anymore?) to one level below a full blown pandemic. A little boy in TX (visiting from Mexico) died yesterday. This is the first death in the US. My friend has been on a cruise from Florida through the Panama Canal. They stopped in Mexico, although canceled the Cabo stop due to the flu. I would imagine when it docks in San Diego tomorrow, the passengers will be checked for flu symptoms. My concern is for those people who serve the motoring public here, and have contact with literally hundreds of people a day.

As for me, my advice is: Wash your hands, often and  keep your hands away from your face.  If you can, join me in dancing around this rabbit hole we call life, and have fun … and encourage others  to do the same. What else can we do?