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A Harvest of Red

The full moon in October is called the Blood Moon because it was the month when the Ancients would give death to and preserve some of the animals in their herds, ensuring the survival of the clan through the cold and dark months of fallow. Over time, I have come to believe that since it is also the month when the veil grows thin between the living and our Beloved Dead, that the name Blood Moon also refers to our bloodline, our lineage, the legacy we carry in our veins from all those who have gone before us.October is a bountiful month. Even this year, when so much of what I planted did not bear, I still found myself eager to gather the last of whatever graced my garden as the days grew shorter and colder. Luck brought a quintessential Autumn day last weekend and I went blissfully out in the cool, crisp, dry and breezy weather, my garden clippers at the ready in my back pocket, a big basket under my arm, ready to see what was what.Before long I found that everything I was gathering fell somewhere in the color spectrum of red; burgundy blackberries, deep garnet beets, voluptuous tomatoes -cerise cherries, pink heirlooms and the crimson romas-, ruby hawthorn berries and the one and only scarlet cayenne pepper. Even the carrots I grew this year are the kind that were supposed to have dark purple skin, but mine came out of the ground red, red, Blood Moon red!It might seem silly to make meaning like I do. Yet I stay happily connected to the world I am living in this way. And while I am here, while I am not yet an Ancestor, I want the cardinal life force coursing through my veins to support a purposeful life. I like to think my Beloved Dead are watching from between the worlds, proud of how I have picked up the thread of long ago farmers and herbalists somewhere back along the fractured lineage of my family history. That I am reclaiming and healing the lost story of my perhaps great, great, great grandparents who lost their land to the conqueror of their day, and that as I pull up each blood red beet, my ancestors are savoring another spirit bowl of borscht.

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