(photo) As I have mentioned in previous columns, autumn is my favorite time of the year. I love the colors, the smells, the snap in the air, the transitional nature of absolutely everything, including my self and my life on the road. It is this time when Best Beloved and I, amid fond visits by the fire with family and friends, begin to prepare for the trek to the southwest where we will spend the winter. This year in particular, the transition from Virgo to Libra, practicality toward balance and harmony, coupled with the full moon a day later, seemed an ideal combination of heavenly influences for our next to last work-related trip to the DC Metro area. We had visions of joyous reunions and much fellowship and merriment with those dear to us. We looked forward to sharing plans for the slow season in the show biz and the tattooing biz as well. We felt certain it would be a cozy, reflective and low-key visit to our old stomping grounds.
(photo) To put it bluntly, we could not have been more horribly, horribly mistaken.
This first autumn following the Grand Cross has been anything but a time of flowing transition for those around us. Our little family unit, safe and snug in our Silver Palace, is well fed, warm and living within our means, having cut out much in the way of material things in favor of space, mobility and adventure. Most unfortunately, many friends and family members still in the area of our visit have had homes foreclosed upon, vehicles repossessed, work evaporate and relationships fall apart. Loss was the predominant transitional theme at work here.
Lest you think we merely considered ourselves fortunate and shut our doors, I must tell you, dear readers, that we made the choice to set out on the road because we were quite close to such circumstances in our own lives. We chose to opt out and now we were on hand to witness the fallout we had avoided. This also put us in a position to assist where we could and with what we had to offer.
We cooked food on several occasions for our parking hosts and their employees, since we were at a place of business. We took aside the employees who were also close personal friends and offered what we could to assist them in getting through these trying times. We did these things because we wished someone had done them for us when we were struggling, and we will forever remember the few who did so. We wanted to share the moment of Zen that occurs when you realize unexpected help has indeed arrived and has relieved a burden that has been keeping you up at night.
(photo) That is a truly lovely and delicious moment, one to be savored and recalled often.
We got to watch this moment over and over again as friends entered the Airstream, sat down and breathed deeply. The stress would fall off of them, their faces would relax and break into smiles as one or both of the cats began to cuddle up and solicit attention for a moment or three. They would begin to talk about things they wanted to do, futures they wanted to have and dreams that were currently deferred. We would serve tea and snacks and, after the workday was done, beer, wine and cocktails. I created the following drink out of ingredients on hand to satisfy a request for something sweet, fruity and rummy, and gave it a name I felt was appropriate to the circumstances.
It is our hope that things will continue to transition to a place of manageability for everyone we know and love. Times are difficult for many and some are making very tough choices that will alter their hearts and lives forever. It is also our hope that we, all of us, will take the time to remember what is truly important in our lives this season, stand in gratitude for it all and pass that quiet, joy-filled moment of Zen among our fellows with genuine love for the potential for greatness we know sits within us all.
Happy Autumn, Dear Readers. May you have many, many warm and sweet moments to offset any difficulties you may encounter along your path.
TRAVELER’S MOMENT OF ZEN:
3 parts Pineapple Juice
1 part Grenadine (Always best to make your own. Gwen has a killer recipe for how to do it over here … )
1 part Sake
1 ½ parts Light Rum
½ part Triple Sec
Mix all ingredients in order and shake or stir thoroughly. I garnished this with a couple dried cranberries. As I said, sometimes, it’s about what you have on hand.
Charon Henning is one of a handful of female sword swallowers in the world today. She’s performed on carnival midways and at wine tastings, on theater stages and grassy lots.
Charon also reads tea leaves professionally, a skill she inherited from her grandmother on her mother’s side of the family. Tea-leaf reading is a wonderful and elegant form of entertainment, suitable for many time periods and venues.