In the Northern Hemisphere we are coming to the end of our summer season. At this time of year the last of the crops are being harvested from the orchards and fields while the weather is still warm and dry. Some plants are left to seed and germinate for next year’s harvest to continue the next generation of crops; often these are the best specimens of the current year’s crop to ensure that it germinates similar quality crops the following year.
During the Equniox the balance of day and night is equal as the sun’s long reign comes to an end. The subtle energies are now shifting from the focus of new life and growth of Sping and Summer to prepare to rest and hibernate through Winter. The next point in the Wheel to come after Mabon is Samhain where death is honoured and the afterlife celebrated. We being to turn inwards, spend more time indoors as the weather grows colder and the night comes sooner.
At Mabon we reflect on our own personal harvest- not the pay check we take home from work, but instead what we have achieved and experienced and learned during our year so far. What have you spent your time and energy on? What were the results, the fruits of your labour? Maybe you have learned a new skill, or explored a new place or discovered something new that you enjoy doing…what can you take away from this that will continue to sustain and inspire you? Also, consider what you have put in to your achievements- was it worth the sacrifices of your time, energy and resources? Appreciate your efforts and give thanks for the resulting bounty.
With the Eqinox bringing day and night in balance, the extended daylight hours for longer days in the fields comes to an end. We are reminded that rest is equally important as work; without adequate time to replenish our energy, we run the risk of over-working and burning out. Consider your own rhythms of productivity and regeneration- do you balance labour with leisure? Do you give focus to your own personal needs as well as the needs of those who are dependent on you? With night drawing in sooner from this point on, we are encouraged by the changing elements to retreat to the sanctuary of our hearths, to spend more time with our family, to focus on our home environments.
These are the concepts I consider during Mabon time; I have a part time job in a small local shop which suits my needs as I work when my children are spending time at their Dad’s house. There have been windows of opportunity for over time which I have had to work while its available, which on some days has meant having to be apart from my children when they are at my house and that’s been difficult during the summer holidays when I strongly feel that I should be with them. However, the overtime has brought in extra money into the house which has meant I can pay rent and bills, a benefit to us all as a family..I did attempt taking up a full time data admin apprenticeship with a local college this year, and although I could do the job that was asked of me, I couldn’t stand having to put my kids in breakfast and after school clubs, making the whole family change its routine just because of my job and I felt guilty. In the end the college asked me to leave because of the part time job at the shop I continued to do while I was under probation at the college. Work is necessary to keep the household ticking over, but that job wasn’t worth all the hassle it caused me; even my own body was screaming at me sitting behind a desk for 37.5 hours a week I developed sciatica pain that left me hardly able to walk or move. When I left I felt so much better and knew I had made the right decision. I learned about what I could and couldn’t handle being a full time working parent. I’ll happily give up my weekend and child-free time in order to work if it means I can provide for my family and still get to care for them myself.
The new skill I have been working on this year is learning to drive. My driving instructor is really nice and only lives two doors down from me. I have already passed my theory test back in Januray and will be taking my practical test in December. My motivation to learn to drive is also my children- I want to be able to explore the world with them, and if we have our own set of wheels it will be so much easier to get about and further afield, and to also include our two dogs in outings, too. Going this long without a car has taught my children about public transport and they are both well behaved when we travel by bus or train. my relatives live an hour and a half away and going by train is now too expensive, so having a car will enable us to see more of our family.
Within my love life I have been working on the partnership with my boyfriend and we are becoming settled and happy together after having a very rocky start. We’ve been together for a year now and the relationship feels strong. This has come about because of honesty and forgiveness and compromising. A lot of hard work has gone into making it work and it is now in a good place. We are looking forward to celebrating Yule together as a big family with his children as well. All of our kids are adapting well to being a blended family and we do our best to look after them all with what we have.
Friendships for me have also undergone major changes this year. I have learnt about choosing friends wisely. I have learnt about the support of my online friends and to truly value the very few people I can rely on as my friends.
A sacrifice I have made fairly recently has been eating meat. I have been vegetarian for two months now because I want to live more ethically. It’s been interesting having to find new recipes to try and being more mindful of what I eat. We didn’t exactly eat a lot of meat anyway so it wasn’t a huge change but we are double checking what we buy to make sure it’s veggie friendly. I have noticed that all the food adverts on TV are all unhealthy- there’s no fruit or veggies advertised cuz you can just grow them yourself. It’s hard to brand something that people can access themselves for nix!
So as you see, it’s been a mixed year but that’s life. And what my path enables me to do is look at the positive and darker things that have happened and to learn from all the experience, which I count as a blessing. This Mabon I am grateful that I have an amazing loving family, good friends who I can count on, a wonderful boyfriend who I love very much and a job that allows me to provide for my family and be there to raise my kids. It hasn’t all come easily but it’s all worth it.