Just saying hello

by Elizabeth Cunningham

I have not posted for awhile. I have nothing–or nothing new–to say about the elections or anything else topical or current. This is just a check in for this site only and not for the others where I usually cross post.

I don’t want to forget the larger world, but my small one has been quite intense lately. My husband has had some health issues, which happily seem to be resolving. We finally decided what to do about High Valley  a year after my mother-in-law moved and a couple of months after her longtime tenants moved to the home they bought.

We are going to move to the house ourselves, live in the apartment the tenants have vacated and extend the activities of the center to the downstairs of Olga’s house, which was, after all, a school and where her long wooden table can still seat at least thirteen. Then we can sell the house where we raised our children and put the proceeds towards preserving High Valley.

It seems such an obvious solution, more than one person asked why we didn’t think of it before. There are reasons. Douglas was reluctant to move back to the scene of his childhood. And much as I admire and enjoy my mother-in-law, I frequently declared that I did not want to become her, that is someone in charge of a lot of buildings and contending with all the people who might inhabit them. I grew up in a rectory, and the idea of owning property is still strange to me. Yet I did grow up in the midst of community where rituals regularly took place. Not so different from High Valley. As for the land we are committed to preserving, Douglas and I both conceive of it as not belonging to us but to itself. It also finally dawned on me, that even if I live in what was Olga’s house and tend the land she loved, I will still be myself. I will have the chance to go on loving land that I have loved since I was a sixteen-year-old high school drop out and maid-of-all-work living in a tree house on the hill across the pond, receiving nightly the kids who ran away from school till morning.

For all it makes sense in so many ways, the decision was made for me in this one moment:

Decided: Copper Beech in Autumn

it was the tree that did it
shining there, the sun’s
fire caught in its leaves
a tree that I could see
through my window every day
if I finally turn and meet my fate

So that’s what’s been happening. In the midst of everything, I am making steady progress with the revisions of Red-Robed Priestess. I hope to complete them by Winter Solstice. I don’t have an official publication date yet, sometime next Fall. I will keep you posted.

Joyous Season of Feasts to all!

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Elizabeth Cunningham November 18, 2010 - 9:48 pm

Maeve here. I am still in the comment section. I see. Well, I can attest, it's been an intense time for Eliz. But back in the first century things are always a little dicey. At the moment, I am resident in Dwynwyn's old cave on her tidal island. I really like the red tunic–wearable weather magic–and the skull necklace. Neither Eliz nor I are prepared for life without our daily work together. We'll cross that bridge or ford that strait when we come to it.

Unknown November 19, 2010 - 2:29 pm

Things are a little dicey in the 21st century, too, only we pretend they aren't.

As for moving back into the house where one grew up: a redesign might be in order. The ghosts will haunt, anyway, but one hopes they'll get confused by the changes.

Brooke November 19, 2010 - 5:10 pm

I celebrate your changing residences, and the sweetness of the movement that has taken you this decision. You honor the land by letting it signal the ripeness of the moment to go.

Isn't it interesting how much our living environment becomes a projection of who we are, or who others are/have been? I have a feeling that you couldn't be anyone other than who you are, and that this change will only serve to flesh out those treasured parts of you even more. Of course, you must know that.

Thank you for checking in and sharing what is going on. It is so appreciated.

As for splitting with Maeve, I don't think that likely. I think the world is calling for Mary Magdeleine on the big screen, and Maeve is the only one to take that on. I can feel her gearing up for movie stardom:). I don't think she'll let you get too comfortable, after all she knows through and through that change only begets more change:)

Best wishes to you too, Douglas.

faerian November 19, 2010 - 7:58 pm

blessings to you Elizabeth, to you Douglas, to you Maeve and to your part of this precious planet as you begin this new transition… magic is in the air

Meredith Gould November 22, 2010 - 4:47 pm

Blessed Bees! Wonderful solution.

Neferhuri November 30, 2010 - 4:52 pm

Elizabeth, how lovely to hear from you. I'm glad to know your husband's health issues have been resolved. And how exciting that a new chapter will begin in your lives together!

"High Valley" is such an interesting-sounding name. It puts me in mind of the Rainbow Valley of the Anne of Green Gables series (a series, by the way, that I never read until I was in my fifties). You mention living in a tree house at the age of 16: that would make a great story–or book, if Maeve will let you have time to write it.

Your copper beech poem is as evocative and sharply etched as a photograph–I like it very much.

So looking forward to reading more of Maeve's adventures. I'd like her to see her eight mothers again, if they're still alive. It's nail-biting to realize that we have to wait a whole year before we can read "Red-Robed Priestess"!


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