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Traditions

A sleepy kitty

Today, the 7th of January, is traditionally known as Distaff Day throughout Europe. This is the day when women went back to their spinning after the 12 days of Christmas. You can read much more about it here in the on-line Chamber’s Book of Days.

My friend Chris brought this to my attention a few weeks back, and we’ve been tossing it around ever since. She, lucky soul, was ensconced in a double-weave workshop at Linekona Arts Center for this week, and so spent her Distaff Day doing some fine work on a floor loom with a bunch of other talented women.

As for me, I’d sort of forgotten about it again as I’ve been so caught up in the continued distress of sorting out my financial well-being. It’s not been going so well, and after having done a heroic amount of work this week, I decided to keep the covers pulled over my head this morning, it being Saturday and all.

But that wasn’t to be. First of all, the cats never let me sleep too late since they’re terribly hungry after all their night-time adventures. Second, I’d forgotten to put out the trash, and there was some particularly memorable items that I’d cleared out this week that really needed to be off the property. But I wasn’t ready to face the day, and debated whether or not I should go to yoga or take a walk on the beach. Neither appealed, and that’s when I realized that I had a Dream coming on.

Distaff Day cookies

I hear tell that most of my teachers and colleagues Dream near midnight, but I find that my strongest oracular dreams take place after I’ve woken up and decided to stay abed. Today, for the first time, I felt myself slipping into a sweetly sleepy space and knew that I could drift into a Dream if I willed it. And so I did, and it was beautiful!

Upon awakening for the second time, after feeding the cats and putting the rubbish bin to the curb, I checked email and saw that a sister had sent a reminder about Distaff Day. That’s when it struck me: I’d prepared for it without even realizing! The day before, after having it on my to-do list for the past two months, I’d gone to Homebrew in Paradise and rented a corker in order to bottle the mead that I made last July. It’s been sitting in the carboy on my kitchen counter for far too long, and I figured the only way I was going to get it done was to get the equipment and have a deadline. Also, I’d gotten an indescribable urge for cookies last night, and pulled out my beloved Viennese pastry recipes and made some fabulous Husaren Krapferl (Hussar Rounds). I didn’t have any almonds, but I did have some toasted sesame seeds which substituted nicely. I also had the absolutely necessary apricot jam, and the little cookies were baked up in no time.

Bottled Mead

So there I was this morning with a tin of delicious and charming cookies, and a project which entailed washing the labels off dozens of wine bottles I’ve accumulated in order to be able to fill them with home-brewed mead. It took most of the day, and the corker still had to be returned by 5pm, but it all got done.

And yes, of course I had a glass of mead whilst I was bottling, it’s tradition!

To top it all off, as I was driving home on H3 after returning the corker, I got a call regarding an application I’d submitted to my most preferred place of employment. I’m so happy to report that I’ve a job interview on Tuesday! What a beautiful way to spend Distaff Day, and what an auspicious beginning to the first traditional working day of the new year.

 

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2 comments to “Traditions”

  • QuinnCreative, 9 January, 2012 at 5:27 am

    It’s wonderful to realize, in this busy world, that there is a long history of women holding up the sky–spinning, knitting, cooking, healing, hauling water. It’s wonderful to acknowledge the work we have done for years–creating the world anew.

    • Daien, 9 January, 2012 at 9:14 am

      That’s a lovely image, Quinn, of women’s daily work holding up the sky, both the mundane and the sublimely creative together. I’ve always found great satisfaction in those repetitive tasks done in a group that allow for conversation and connection. Here’s to women’s work in general, and your particularly sweet way of making it all work so successfully!

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