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Spirits Dancing Upon a Green Earth

Late morning, and already, the clouds are encroaching.

After more weather yesterday, we awakened to a bright clear dawn, an earth seemingly a brighter green than only hours ago thanks to the revitalizing gift of the rains.

Still, it’s much cooler today. The sugar maple outside the window is now almost wholly orange. Three snow geese veered off course this morning to head down to what is is generously called the river across the highway, and a small hawk soared across our fields in search of a meal, prey now newly abundant as small creatures are driven to prepare for winter early.

And there is not much time left for such preparations. We feel it; the animals feel it; the trees feel it; the earth itself feels it. So, too, I suspect, do the spirits feel it, although they maintain a broader, longer view that perhaps neutralizes the sense of urgency that presses upon more mortal beings.

Still, they, too, have their own way of reckoning season and time. Here, the big annual feast is now only three short weeks away, and preparations will be increasingly focused. Beyond the physical maintenance and repair that links feast prep with the practicalities of winter- and weatherization, there are the days themselves, filled with song and drum and dance and food, all of which requires a great deal of advance work to bring it together seamlessly.

And, of course, there are the spirits of season themselves, thanked and honored and approached with respectful supplication at this time of nascent harvest. There is not much time left for their own season, for summer spirits dancing upon a green earth.

Of course, it’s not only those who inhabit the space called summer who engage in this dance, especially not in a place such as this, where summer begins in fits and starts, sometimes as early as a month after the vernal equinox and may not fully depart until mere weeks before the winter solstice. In years of full drought, there is no green at all; now, with climate change, the first buds may appear even before calendar year’s end, only to freeze before the next new moon. And our earth here, that which slopes upward toward the skies, these mountains at whose feet we sit and stand, live and walk — so much of them are evergreen, in the most literal of terms, that even the spirits of deepest winter here have a chance to dance upon the green.

Today’s featured work embodies spirits, earth, color, and dance simultaneously: earrings manifest in a figurative shape, wearing the colors of summer grass and winter fir, long, bold, and independent enough to dance of their own accord. From their description in the Earrings Gallery here on the site:

Spirits Dancing Upon a Green Earth Earrings

Summer is the season of spirits dancing upon a green earth, guardians and guides whose gifts are prosperity and abundance. Wings summons the spirits to the song of the leaves and the drum of the earth’s heartbeat with these earrings, granted a stylized figurative form. Each earring is wrought in layers of 20-gauge sterling silver, each layer designed and cut entirely freehand and fused together in overlay fashion, each embracing three intensely-hued malachite gemstones. Near the top, small round cabochons of boldly banded malachite serve as head and face. At the center, perfect squares turned diamond-shaped become the earth’s body, its lines a graduated contrast that produce a nearly ombre effect. Lower body and limbs revolve in large round cabochons, striated in the shades of an electric emerald. Each hangs suspended by way of an organically wrought and drilled tab from sterling silver wires. Earrings hang 2.25″ long, excluding wires, by 1-1/16″ across at the widest point; small round cabochons are 3/8″ across; square cabochons are 1/2″ along each edge and 3/4″ across the diamond’s center; large round cabochons are 5/8″ across (dimensions approximate).

Sterling silver; malachite
$975 + shipping, handling, and insurance

These are one of two new pairs by Wings, his newest silverwork pieces, completed only some ten days or so ago. Both pairs are already personal favorites, similar and style and spirit but identities wholly unique. This pair is all solidity and substance, silver and stone layered upon each other, fused and infused with a sense of motion, animated by their own bright clear spirits.

These are the kinds of works for which my own spirit lives, those that are so obviously possessed of their own identity and the power to share their gifts. For now, such gifts as we require are those that enable us to make best use of these days grown short . . . and to appreciate and honor the gifts of summer as long as they, and it, remain.

We, too, are spirits dancing upon a green earth. It’s a sense of gratitude to carry with us into winter.

~ Aji








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