Waiting for the storm to wallop us.


Amulets_Fox There’s a big storm expected, but the forest is quiet. At dusk I can hear only the whistling chuckles of quail, the har-de-har of a woodpecker,  the hopeful chirping of a few tree frogs. And the rattling of my heart.

Amulets_EyeI admit, I’m anxious about this storm. My mind invents catastrophes. What if a deluge of rain liquefies the soil and my house slides down the hill? What if gusts of wind blast away the roof? What if trees topple, roads crumble, power goes out? What if, what if, what if?

Amulets_CrossSo I did what I do when I’m anxious: I picked up a pencil and began to draw. It’s the best medicine for me.

Amulets_HandAnti-anxiety drawing usually reflects what I’m currently reading, and these days I’ve been reading The Tradition of Household Spirits by Claude Lecouteux. It’s a treatise on European household traditions of appeasing the spirits, or the dead, or dead spirits, or somebody “up-there” so that they’ll protect the home. Most of the traditions seem to protect the home from fire (always a problem in open-hearth houses).

Amulets_DaisyI started thinking about the things that people have traditionally used to protect themselves and their places. So many amulets and charms to help ward off the storms of life!


White rabbit, White rabbit

White rabbit<br /> <i>watercolor</i>
White rabbit

It’s late—three days after the fact—to talk about saying white rabbits on May day. But this year, I remembered to say them. Woke up at 5 a.m., turned around 3 times, saying white rabbit each time I turned. Supposed to bring me money, or good luck, I can’t remember which. I’d be happy with either windfall.

Already my luck’s been good-one of my favorite clients called unexpectedly, wanting a massage.

A friend taught me this superstition years ago. She was from England, so I figured she should know from charms. Some people say them on the first day of any month, but May day was the most important day for white rabbits, she said.

I always take May day off from work. On Friday I painted a rabbit as well. This white hare is burly enough to grant some good luck, I think.