Tunes for a Monday Morning
On illness, 1: In a Dark Wood

There and back again

Woodland reverie

Thank you for your patience (and all the kind messages) while I've been out of the studio due to health issues. It's good to be stepping gently back to life and work again, and I'm hoping to resume my regular posting schedule now, health and strength permitting. I'm not exactly dancing on tables yet, so work will be a little slow for a while -- but slow is better than the alternative. Between my health problems and Tilly's operation, what a strange and difficult summer it has been. But the Great Wheel turns and now it is autumn, a new season and a new beginning.

In folkloric terms, September and October mark the end, not the start, of the Celtic year...but this is also the time when a new school year kicks off for children all across the Western world, thus the sense of autumn as a time of fresh beginnings tends to linger after childhood is done. At least that's how it feels to me as the weather grows crisp, the leaves begin to turn, and the blackberries ripen in the fields: a fresh start for the whole of our Bumblehill household. May creativity flow, energy quicken, and the harvest be abundant for you and your loved ones too.

Faeries and berries by Arthur Rackham

Ripening blackberries

A new season beginsThe painting of faeries and berries is by Arthur Rackham, from Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens.



Pumpkin glows on her face,
breath plumes feather the air,
she metaphors along the path.

Do not mistake her for a story,
the ending this time is cautious,
but conversational.

There is a greeting
but no hands shake,
we do not share rain drops.

The air hardens between
words, makes stained glass
miracles on the page.

The sleeper has wakened,
the halt walks,
once again age, illness, death

Loses in the lists.
An old tale
but a welcome one.

xxxJane ©2015 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

Oh my, that's gorgeous. Simply gorgeous. Thank you, Jane.

Welcome back, Terri! So glad you are feeling better! I can't wait to hear some Celtic harp when I have the time. School has started for me, and I'll get to listen when the day is done. Wonderful poem by Jane! I love your quotes also. Autumn has always been my favorite season - it has cool weather, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and finally, my birthday! Makes sense, doesn't it? Much love to you.

Welcome back, and as I said on Facebook, I hope you are not rushing things. I love the poem above, and for me it is Spring creeping in, but alas, no blackberries, they are outlawed in Western Australia, unless they are in a potplant, so alas no Brambley Hedge for me, however I am endeavouring to plant some via huge tubs. So I was so delighted to see the picture of them ripening. What can I tell you to give you joy. Oh yes, the magpies are nesting, they pick with dexterity, twigs from the rosemary bushes, they run carrying their prizes in their mouths and soar into the sky into the tall trees, three ravens I feed daily, and they have their own table, they flit down from the clothes line, hop onto the table and feast; their enemy is the willy wagtail. The joys of observing nature.

It's good to have you back, Terri. And what a lovely season for health to return and the sparking of creative fires.

I didn't know how much I needed this until I read it on this Monday morning. A big welcome back to you Terri, and a Happy Turning of the Wheel to you. I read A Midsummer Night's Faery Tale to Angus over the past few days, and I think he enjoyed it!
Thank you, Ms Yolen for your beautiful words this morning!

So happy to see you are feeling better. Sending wishes that you get stronger and stronger and have many days of creating in your little house in the woods. Glad to see MOM back posting her poems.
Smiling. Made my day. Going for a walk to muse over all the tender mercies.

Oh, that's lovely.


Welcome back Terri. You've been missed. I'm so glad you and Tilly are both feeling better. Much love from our autumn woods to yours.

Hi Terri

It's wonderful to have you back and to hear you feel energized by the change in seasons. Autumn always stirs the fire in my blood and allows the muse to come back creative and refreshed. It also helps my spirit and body to heal from any nervous or other unsettling influences. I pray you and Tilly continue to heal quickly and that
creativity flows abundantly.

Here's one poem I wrote some time ago about the Celtic goddess, Airmid, who was worshipped for her powers of healing, body, soul and landscape. Somehow, I personally associate her with Autumn.


The wind untwists her hair
and lets it wander
into a woolen updraft, a cloak
she wears near dawn.

One hand carries a pouch
where herbs exhale
their pungent scent,

the other pulls down
a string of stars, a sinew of light
from this holy leg
of Autumn's journey North.

Slowly, she laces the bag
with her stellar cord and faces
the distant cliff
slightly eroded, casting its stone dice
into the sea.

A toss of blue shale,
a shake of blossomed weeds,
and she gambles on magick
invoking the body to heal
and softly breathe in
the pipe song of spinning leaves, passing souls.

This is a wonderful post, love the paintings and those beautiful pics of Tily and the ripened blackberries. Would love to eat some
right now!

Take care
My Best

Hi Jane

What a beautiful poem-- I love the tone and sense of subtle wisdom in this piece. The stanzas flow wonderfully
into that powerful and haunting conclusion --

The air hardens between
words, makes stained glass
miracles on the page.

The sleeper has wakened,
the halt walks,
once again age, illness, death

Loses in the lists.
An old tale
but a welcome one.

Thank you for sharing this, it is a piece I truly love!

Take care

So glad you are feeling better - and Tilly also. We've missed you and you have been in our thoughts and prayers. Welcome back just in time for the autumn equinox. May it bring you new balance.

So good to read your words and hear you are finding your strength increasing. All the very best to Bumblehill and her inhabitants.

As I said in your previous post, so very glad to have you back :-) In our Southern world, it's spring, and the world seems to be young and spritely (and throws the occassional tantrum!) Our school holidays start just before Christmas and then children return in February, which is madness because that's the hottest time of the year. So although our seasons are opposite, I too have a profound sense of new beginnings and childish excitement at this time of year. Summer holidays are coming in a couple of months - Christmas is coming - Halloween and Guy Fawkes and long evenings spent outside under the stars - weeks of fun are just around the corner. :-)

good to see you back!

I'm so glad that you are feeling better Terri, and I love your words about autumn. This season is pure glory to me, especially after a terribly long and dry summer. & I think it's very true-- the freshness in the air makes me think of that back to school excitement-- new teachers, new classes, new books, new pencils and notebooks, perhaps a new skirt. Oh, I loved that, I was the ultimate school nerd. & in some exciting news, maybe Rima already mentioned this to you but I am going to be coming to Dartmoor to visit her & the wee one & Tom on the 28th of September! I will be there for a week at least; perhaps there will be a moment to share a cup of tea. Only if it flows and is easeful, but just wanted to let you know. In any case I am so looking forward to at last meeting them, and the mythic land upon which you all reside. Sending you blessings of health & quiet & ease. xxx

welcome back dear one

Thanks Wendy and Terri and Edith and Grey--all due to Terri, of course.

The bemuser.


"the pipe song of spinning leaves, passing souls." Oh my! Wish I'd written that. Gorgeous.


What a joyful morning this was to see our beloved lady of the walk return to us spoiled ones again!
Very happy to know that you are feeling better Terri.
Many thanks for the wonderful post today.

Welcome back! Happy to hear that you are better now.

What a beautiful, beautiful poem! That last stanza, especially, takes my breath away.

And how is it that I don't know Airmid????? I must go correct that lapse now. Thank you, Wendy!

Good heavens, you'll be right down the road! I'll email you privately about this.

I want to say a heart-felt thank you to every single one of you for these lovely messages of welcome and support. My heart is full.

So wonderful!

Also beautiful! :)

Hi Jane

You kind words and interest in this poem are so deeply appreciated!!Thank you many times over!!

Take care

Hi Terri

So glad you enjoyed the poem and thank you so much for those gracious and encouraging words. They mean a lot!! As for Airmid, I wrote this poem back in 2008 or 2009; and while writing it, I also did some research. I came across a wonderful article on Airmid which was originally published in the Spring edition of "Sage Woman" in 1994. It also included a Celtic chant for healing which I really liked. Anyway, I have the entire article on my blogsite and here's the link if you or anyone else would like to read it --

Again, many thanks
Please take care
My Best

Hi Shveta

Thank you so much for commenting on my poem!! I deeply appreciate it!!

My Best

This touched my heart so deeply, Jane. You have such a gift.

A wondrous post, and such good news to "see" you here again, Terri. Wishing you continued health for a long, long while! So grateful for this community you have gathered and nurture with such a generous and open heart, and, most importantly, a sense of wonder.

Oh Welcome back Terri, so very glad to hear you are beginning to feel better. I was carrying you in my thoughts each day I saw there was no post, wishing you ease. I read today's posting around midafternoon of a very busy day full of tending to others' travails and felt like I had entered through a magical archway into a land laden words and images that returned my spirit to myself, dark, whole, light, lustrous. Again, very glad you are on the mend, and thank you for your inspirational words.

Adding to the spoons filled with love for you Terri, I am so glad to read you are better. The journey is long and unique. Similar to others, unlike all of them at the same time. Continue to mend dear spirit.

Carole, this made me chuckle, I can just see the cheeky Willy Wags taking on the ravens, at least 3 times their size! Where I am, in the south, I know it must be spring, because the wren gentlemen have got their spring coats on, bright, blinding blue, to try and attract the ladies. Yes, the dreaded blackberry...we have some on our block which we are going to have to dig out (or get a goat!), but I'm also toying with the idea of putting one in a destructive as they are, they do taste lovely!

Good to hear you are wending your way back to good health, Terri...and Tilly too. Here, spring is making its presence felt, it's still chilly, but when the sun comes out you can really feel the warmth, and the Blue Wren lads have got their stupendous spring coats on, like opalescent blue jewels hopping around the garden showing off to the little brown ladies. But no new school year, they start at the end of summer too, but of course, that's in February for us! My youngest will be celebrating the Spring Festival at her school on Friday, there will be games and songs and a Maypole...though I suppose we should really call it a Septemberpole here!

Right down the road! oh my! Really? Lovely lovely lovely. xo

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