Thankful that the vernal/spring equinox name was well earned this week.

I like to mark the equinoxes and solstices – links to our inter- connected pasts.

A time when Loreena McKennitt’s haunting music, based on Celtic and other cultural/musical influences, comes to mind.

The Mummers’ Dance Loreena McKennitt

When in the springtime of the year
When the trees are crowned with leaves
When the ash and oak, and the birch and yew
Are dressed in ribbons fair

When owls call the breathless moon
In the blue veil of the night
The shadows of the trees appear
Amidst the lantern light

We’ve been rambling all the night
And some time of this day
Now returning back again
We bring a garland gay

Who will go down to those shady groves
And summon the shadows there
And tie a ribbon on those sheltering arms
In the springtime of the year

The songs of birds seem to fill the wood
That when the fiddler plays
All their voices can be heard
Long past their woodland days

And so they linked their hands and danced
Round in circles and in rows
And so the journey of the night descends
When all the shades are gone

A garland gay we bring you here
And at your door we stand
It is a sprout well budded out
The work of Our Lord’s hand 

Other things thankful include:

This week marked the third “supermoon” of the year. A full sugar maple moon:

In Nova Scotia, the phenomenon is known as the sugar maple moon, [suggests] Dave Lane, an astronomer in the astronomy and physics department at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

‘The Mi’kmaw people have named all the moons around the year based on what’s happening in nature. And one of the moons this time of year is the sugar maple moon. That’s when the sugar maple trees start to produce sap’[.] CBC news

Since reading Shakti Gawain’s Creative Visualization: Use the Power of Imagination to Create What You Want in Your Life, (New World Libraries, 1978) in 1982, I have incorporated personalized versions of guided imagery in my daily life.

“Relax, let go, and listen a little more deeply than usual. Don’t try to make something happen: allow it to happen.” Shakti Gawain

“To bring anything into your life, imagine that it’s already there.” Richard Bach

Recently, when contemplating a post on creative visualization, I revisited my own practices including the “playful mindfulness” inherent in how I craft my “head stories” – works of mystical fiction that have evolved around three characters. I experience their tales as if immersed in a 3-D virtual reality.

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” Joan Didion

“ . . . guided imagery is a stress management technique, where you use your imagination to picture a person, place or time that makes you feel relaxed, peaceful and happy. Imagery . . . relies on the use of all your senses.”

Great Backyard Bird Count report. The yearly report highlights the results, and provides access to the data. For example:

Top Ten Birds

species # of checklists appearing on
northern cardinal 56,785
dark-eyed junco 50,397
mourning dove 45,449
blue jay 40,386
american crow 39.467
house finch 37,726
house sparrow 37,149
black-capped chickadee 35,757
white-breasted nuthatch 33,284

All but the American crow are visitors to my feeders, with house sparrows being the most common. Followed by mourning doves and white-throated sparrows during the winter. I get swells of grackles beginning in early March. Different years bring different additional regulars/numbers beyond those I mention. The ever-changing world of the back yard.

feature image: chronology of maple sugaring at sugar maple farm carved by Victor Martens; supermoon passing broadcast antenna on top of One World Trade, Tuesday March 19, 2019 (AP Photo/J. David Ake); male cardinal (