of folklore & fairy tales…
Lavender’s blue, dilly, dilly, lavender’s green
When I am king, dilly, dilly, you’ll be my queen.
Who told you so, dilly, dilly, who told you so?
’Twas my own heart, dilly, dilly, that told me so.
—ancient English folk tune
Seasons in my family home were orderly. The pagan roots of the Anglican church calendar were clear, in the February Fat Tuesday pancake supper we attended, in mum’s annual weaning off coffee for 40 days, in the annual egg dyeing and hunting and baskets full of “eggs.” Come fall, multi-colored Indian corn adorned our front door throughout October & November; an actual roast hen turkey took pride of place on the four-generation embroidered linen tablecloth (12 napkins!) that dated back most of a century. An evergreen wreath replaced the corn early in December; indoors only an advent wreath & calendar were present until the 24th, when our tree was set up & decorated before midnight mass. Every one of the Twelve Days saw another wee giftie for us beneath our tannenbaum, and our festive decor rarely departed before mid-January. Spring cleaning occurred well before Easter week, even if it meant putting the kids to work during spring break.
With that background, a steady diet of children’s classics—from Belgian Fairy Tales and East o’the Sun, West o’the Moon, to Tales from Shakespeare and The House at Pooh Corner—and being transplanted before puberty from a series of rental homes to a country property surrounded as much by pastureland & wildlife as by former homesteads with their attendant barns…of course I became a witch.