I've been thinking a lot about this post, in which an African Witch blogs about preparing for Winter:
As I weed and rake leaves, I spend some time recalling my animal companions who gifted me with their presence so briefly and from whom I have learned so much. It is a time of the year when seeds are sown in darkness, a time of dying and gestation. In preparation for the coming winter, I store firewood and sacks of charcoal, make sure that the guttering is not choked with leaves, lay down mulch on beds of pak choi seedlings. garlic chives and broccoli. Since this is a winter rainfall region, steps need to be taken to ward off damp or mildew, the loft checked for leaks, electrical connections kept dry and insulated. Some of this may not sound very witchy, but it is practical magic, burrowing down for the dark months ahead. Out here the wind blows from the north strongly enough to uproot unstaked trees and I have some young olives and pecan nut trees as well as a pomegranate that need extra protection. And I keep a watchful eye out for birds who may have chosen to over-winter here rather than flying south.
My first reaction, upon reading it, was, of course making sure that the rain gutters are clear of leaves is the work of a Witch. Of course mulching vegetable beds and staking trees is witchy. Of course feeding birds is a ritual of the Goddess. Maybe we tend to see the work of Spring -- planting seeds, enjoying flowers, watering plants -- as more witchy. But only if we're fluffy bunny witches and, well, we're not.
I was thinking about it this morning, as I pulled out of the fridge all of the veggies that my CSA has delivered and concocted a stir-fry with them. I don't pretend that belonging to my CSA is the same in terms of, for example, carbon footprint, as growing my own food. But it's closer to local and, IMHO, better than the grocery store. Not the least because my CSA knows from where they've gotten the food. Thus, this week, when there was a recall of some tainted lettuce in the US, my CSA was able to tell us: Please be assured that none of the Romaine lettuce that you would have received from us is affected in any way by the recall. All of our Romaine was sourced from one farm.
But it is work belonging to the CSA. I sometimes work some long hours, have to eat out with clients, etc. And, somehow, I have to cook and either eat, freeze, or give away what the CSA delivers. It's different from the standard American method of meal planning: "Let's see, I'd like to have grilled tilapia, asparagus, and a pear tart so I'll go buy ingredients for those things." Instead, it's: "CSA delivered carrots and fennel and oranges this week; I'll go on line and look for a recipe for fennel and orange salad to which I can add grated carrots." Or, "If I make tuna salad for my bag lunch tomorrow, I can use up the celery from the CSA, add some grated carrots and leeks, throw in some brocco sprouts." That's, to my mind, the work of a Witch. You can do it while working at being fully present and in relationship with the food that you're preparing. You can spend time sending blessings to the people who grew it, picked it, delivered it. You can do it with intent, imbuing each meal with health, vitality, strength. And, then, there's the waste. You can't chop up a bunch of vegetables without making a lot of compost. My compost bin is one of the most serious magical sites on my property and Goddess knows there's scraps of paper, poppets, egg shells, and other things in there that I've magicked with stuff that I want to go away, stop being harmful, be transformed. And, after a marathon peeling and chopping session, I'm left with a delicious stir-fry and a paper bag full of peels, ends, etc. I take a minute, imbue them with something that I want to see transformed, and into the Sacred Compost Bin of Transformation they go.
Is it the work of a Witch? it must be. I'm a Witch and it's my work.
For the Record
2 months ago