Beltane 2012

Sue and her new Trinity.

The hawthorn tree behind the house is in full bloom, and the young Winter King hawthorn, planted in our garden three springs ago with buried offerings, is close to blooming.  This evening I stepped out and tied ribbons on its branches in honor of Beltane.

After a long, difficult break, I am harping again.  It has been a dark winter of illness:  one I am grateful to put behind me.

Not long ago I ordered Simon Chadwick’s new CD, Old Gaelic Laments.  He has assembled a selection of deeply moving and beautiful songs.  Just now I am listening to The Clarge’s Lamentation.  Watch for a review of the CD as soon as I have had a chance to listen carefully a few more times to each of the tracks.  To pique your interest, here is a video clip of Simon performing King James’s March to Ireland/Lochaber/The Wild Geese about a year ago.

Beltane Blessings of good health, fine music, and the gifts of the otherworld to each of you.

In gratitude for returning health,



A Clear Sunrise on Beltane (May Day)

Some of Bridgetown's musicians. Photo by Sue, taken some years ago.

I moved quietly around the house at 4:15am this morning to avoid waking my partner as I set off for the pre-sunrise Beltane festivities at Washington Park in Portland.  My friend Doug and I were among the first arrivals, stamping our feet and walking the perimeter of the rose garden to warm up. To the east, the sky began to turn pink, and I could see the hazy outline of Mt. Hood edged in purple.

My favorite part of the morning is the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, always performed with great beauty.  This year there were several Morris sides, including a group from Eugene, and a cluster of young children who did a rather good job.  After the Morris dances, Doug and I tuned our harps and played for about 45 minutes in the once again quiet, sunny gardens before heading off to the eastside for breakfast.

For your enjoyment, here is a short clip of the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance from the 2009 festivities at the rose garden.


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