“The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, or George or Bill Bailey –
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter –
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum –
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover –
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.”
― T.S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats
Autumn is a time of early shadows as the season of summer passes over.
And cobwebs everywhere! And here, in the Northern Hemisphere, one can easily notice the later dawns and earlier sunsets,as Spring is ushered in south of the Equator.
Equinox is all about balance…the balance of equal day and night, of dark and light.
I await the first light of morning with great anticipation, aware that the light grows more and more precious, to be cherished.
We are creatures of the light!
During these colder mornings I use the electric kettle to make my early tea.
There is something very comforting about an old tea tin…often referred to as a Tea Caddy!
We are poised at the turning time and the descent towards Samhain.
The Celts only recognised two parts of the year in terms of life, and that was Summer and Winter, for Samhain, despite falling on the 31st of October, meant “Summer’s End.”
The sun is casting long shadows…we grow evermore closer to the turning.
In the night sky, Fomalhaut – the Autumn Star – is making its way across the heavens each night.
The equinoxes and solstices formed an important part of ancient rituals here in Ireland.
This Autumn Equinox is also referred to as Mabon.
Mabon is a good time to look at the ancient Greek legend of Persephone and Demeter.
“The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.”
– John Updike, September
Departing summer hath assumed
An aspect tenderly illumed,
The gentlest look of spring;
That calls from yonder leafy shade
Unfaded, yet prepared to fade,
A timely carolling.
– William Wordsworth, September
Stone monuments were built here in Ireland and aligned to witness the light on these days.
One can still view the illumination of these chambers in ancient cairns, at sunrise, on important celestial days.
It just remains for me to wish you all a Happy Equinox on this beautiful evening at Bealtaine Cottage.