The air felt cool on my shoulders  as we weaved through the rice fields to the beach, a leaf floated across our path and my mind drifted back to fall days at home.  Is it my mind or body, or both, that need the senses stimulated to be aware that the seasons are changing?… I feel a bit lost…like my internal compass is  caught in limbo…and I think maybe the boys feel this too……  One day Arlo said  “isn’t it supposed to be Michaelmas by now”. It was, but without the field of flowering yellow dock as golden as Micheal’s cape, without the patchwork quilt of color along the mountain top,without the crunch of crimson leaves under my feet it just didn’t feel like the right  time to bake dragon bread.

I know that plenty of people don’t have the same visual and temperature changes and they manage to happily celebrate Halloween, Christmas, Easter and the 4th of July without a single wardrobe change.

As much as I love exploring new places I find myself dreaming of  the October Harvest moon that rises so close to our mountain  it looks like you could reach out and touch it. Every Autumn I wait in anticipation for the moon to swell …there is a spot along our road as you wind your way up the gravel one bend then another and there you are  face to face with this giant silent wonder.

When I was a kid the smell of fresh-cut grass wafting through the classroom window signaled summers approach, a trip to Buster Brown for new school shoes meant fall had arrived, the last few leaves blowing to the ground, the swirl of the first snow flakes and you knew winter was blowing in. It was springtime in Detroit when the fresh white snow turned to lumps of frozen brown mud and the little crocus and daffodil tried to spread cheer among the otherwise disheveled scene.

For my children, festivals and a nature table have been our calendar. Golden silks, red and yellow leaves, songs about the star hidden deep in the apple means Autumn on the mountain, The lantern lit pathway of the Solstice spiral and carolling on Stroud valley arrives with winter,  Seed catalogs, Cherry blossoms and the Maypole bring Spring and fireworks on the farm and catching firefly’s late into the night meant summer had arrived.

It’s time to embrace the new sights, sounds, smells, feelings and tastes of the land, culture and environment we are in now and mix it up with traditions from home. Why throw away the old when we can added it to the new and make something even better!

If you were here last week you would have smelled fresh-baked Christmas cookies spiced up with local nutmeg, heard us singing Christmas carols as Muslim prayer chants echoed through the streets or you might have seen the soft candlelight on the palm leaves around the  solstice spiral while fireworks lit up the night sky for the Hindu Kunigan festival, you may have felt the cold ice when an unexpected hail storm hit Canggu one afternoon reminding of us of winter weather back home….or  you could have tasted dried banana cookies with a cup of egg nog left for Santa.

I guess seasons are the traditions that turn the pages of my calendar…

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