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The Magical Green Skies of Summer’s End

No one knows what to make of our world right now: not the meteorologists paid to predict the course of the weather; not the wild creatures whose migratory patterns are charted by it.

After weeks of bright clear autumnal skies, albeit hazed by wildfire smoke, the clouds have returned, and the rains with them. Thursday the “experts” predicted no rain at all, and no chance thereof, not even the usual covering caveat about the possibility of a stray shower. And that afternoon saw us scrambling to cover the work on the deck, mostly unsuccessfully, as the wind whipped the tarps out of our hands and the heavy drops fell all around us. The winds continued throughout evening and night, hard enough to lift the heavy wood blocks holding the tarps in place.

Yesterday, the storm repeated itself, only for many more hours and with a much greater volume of water.

Now, the sunny skies of dawn have already given way to a lowering gray, light filtering through the a veil to the east that shimmers like a vast expanse of Labradorite. For tomorrow, rain is actually forecast, and the current clouds suggest that we may have no visible light in the sky again tonight.

The animals are as confused as we are, their usual migratory patterns long since abandoned to the press of change and the adaptation required. Our first woodpecker of the season appeared yesterday, and it’s one we’ve never had here before: a red-naped sapsucker. Experts in that field assert that they are found here in the heart of the summer, but our days bear only small resemblance to summer now, and in this place, woodpeckers have always been winter birds.

The deep encoding of ancestral memory is of less help to such creatures now; they must navigate this world with new attention to their immediate senses, to changes in temperature and weather, the vanishing of the green upon the earth, the early mysteries of sky and light.

Today’s featured work is actually, works, plural: pieces paired in an informal collection in miniature. They call to mind older times for both of us, of late-summer nights spent watching the stars, and of the magical green skies of summer’s end.

I refer, of course, to what the dominant culture calls, colloquially, the Northern Lights. Conventional wisdom insists that they cannot be seen this far south, even on their most active nights, but the elders will tell you otherwise; they know, having seen these mysterious spirits of the night sky themselves. Wings viewed them in childhood; they are, or used to be, common to my own lands far to the north, of course.

And today’s works embody them — their bright green fire tinged with blue and gray and silver, colors found at no other time in skies that normally run spectra of blue and black with bits of red at dawn and dusk. They are one of the gifts of these last warm days and nights, compensation, perhaps, and a warning, too, in advance of the long cold dark of winter. We begin with the necklace, a rope of blue skies, gray light, and green fire. From its description in the relevant section of the Necklaces Gallery here on the site:

Borealis Necklace

Summer is the season of jade grass and turquoise skies by day, of the electric blue-green fire of the Aurora Borealis in the dark hours. Wings summons these flowing fiery spirits of the summer night skies with this cascade of glowing graduated spheres strung on sterling silver bead chain. Each end is anchored with tiny round beads of translucent kyanite, spanning a color spectrum from ice blue to teal to midnight and sparkling with inclusions like the glimmer of distant stars. Those stars seem to fall to earth as they touch the next segment, malachite banded in shades of deep emerald green, followed by the fluorescent green of jade, luminous as the shimmering green bands of the late-night northern sky. Each jade segment flows into a length of four larger turquoise beads, intensely blue, delicately matrixed, and flanking a focal segment of four large round silvery Labradorite orbs, alight from within with the all blues and greens of the Northern Lights. Bead strand hangs 20″ in length, excluding findings (dimensions approximate); price reflects length and value of beads used. Designed jointly by Wings and Aji. Part of The Beaded Hoop Collection. Coordinates with Aurora earrings. Long view shown at the link.

Sterling silver; kyanite; malachite; jade; blue turquoise; Labradorite
$425 + shipping, handling, and insurance



From their description in the relevant section of the Earrings Gallery:

Aurora Earrings

In the darkest hours of a summer’s night, the Aurora Borealis flows and glows across the night sky. Wings evokes their cosmic cascade with these earrings, each a series of graduated orbs meeting at the center in a single large sphere of iridescent Labradorite, alive with the blues and greens that flow from either end. Flanking the luminescent silver of the center stones are turquoise beads in the brightest of blues, followed by jade glowing with an electric green fire. Beyond them sit smaller malachite orbs banded in rich emerald greens, followed by anchor beads at top and bottom of shimmering kyanite in shades of teal. Each drop is strung on sterling silver wire, dancing, suspended, from sterling silver earring wires. Earrings hang 2.25″ long excluding wires (dimensions approximate); price reflects value of beads used. Designed jointly by Wings and Aji. Part of The Standing Stones Collection. Coordinates with Borealis necklace.

Sterling silver; kyanite; malachite; jade; blue turquoise; Labradorite
$195 + shipping, handling, and insurance

For this moment, the morning skies have cleared a bit, but the gray has settled in on all sides, like a mourning shawl enveloping the shoulders of our small world. The day does seem melancholy, a wan yellow light filtering through to wash across the landscape like pale tears — perhaps a small expression of anticipatory grief, both for the summer now ending and for the loss of our world as we knew it, its health and harmony.

Still, the majority of the leaves are green still, as is the grass that the rains have coaxed to heights now lush and tall. There will be more warmth, more clarity, more mystery before fall settles in to stay. And somewhere tonight, even if not visible to us here, there will glow the magical green skies of summer’s end.

~ Aji








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