I love the month of July, love the heat, the long lazy busy days spent outside, and the absence of holidays with the exception of the Fourth of July here in the States. Of course, I love the flowers of summer, and the flower of the month is the wild morning glory which was my mother's favorite flower.
Here is a poem I wrote about the morning glory that will appear in my upcoming book, "In the Grip of Grace." It was first published on the Creativity Webzine in May of 2020.
I'm glad I asked your favorite
flower and song before
the day that you were gone. Your answers
were the simplest: Jesus loves
Me, and the morning glory - a wild
flower some call a weed.
Shades of blue, violet, magenta with
star shaped centers climbing the
fence rows tangled in barbed
wire, blooming and dying in a single
day. And you, like them, acquainted
with the night, rose each
day to embrace the light.
In the Pacific Northwest, there are only white morning glories, whereas in the Southern mountains where I grew up, they bloom in a wide variety of bright colors. The purple ones pictured above look as though light is pouring out of their centers!
On July 23, the Sun enters the fire sign of Leo the Lion. This is an important sign in my astrology chart. My rising sign and North Node are in Leo, along with the planets Venus and Uranus. As the planets move through the signs of the zodiac, when they return to the sign where they were at the moment you were born, this is known as a "return" and why we wish folks "many happy returns" on their birthdays. When you have a birthday, it is called your "solar return" because you have completed one more trip around the Sun and returned to the sign in which you were born. Likewise, when Venus or another planet returns to the sign it was in when you were born, this is known as a "Venus Return" or "Saturn Return" etc. Venus has now moved into the sign of Leo which means I am experiencing my Venus Return. This signals lots of love, drama and beauty in my life and a focus on all of the things I value most. Happy Birthday to everyone celebrating their Solar Returns during this Leo Season that runs up to August 23.
Since Leo rules the heart and spine, aerobic exercise to increase the heart rate would be appropriate for this season, along with yoga poses to lengthen the spine and open the heart. The Lion Pose seems like a perfect practice! Another great serenity practice is to place one hand on the heart and another on the stomach and simply breathe.
July 22 is the Feast Day of Saint Mary Magdalene, one of my favorite biblical women. I think of her as a Leo given her devotion to Christ (Leos are known for their big hearts and loving natures). And many Leos are known for having beautiful hair (their manes), so she fits the Leo archetype based on her story of drying the feet of Jesus with her hair after she washed them in the expensive perfume in the story found in the Gospel of Luke (7:37-38). I like to do something with fragrance in memory of her around her Feast Day. One of my favorite things to do is to take baths with rose petals...talk about serenity!
In writing news, I am working on poems based on my travels which I hope will eventually become my second full length book. It's a challenge to think of this future book while I am still waiting for the release of "In the Grip of Grace" due out next spring! I'm also anxiously awaiting the publication of one of the travel poems which was accepted by the Vincent Brothers Review last year. I am so excited to see this particular poem in print and hope it will happen soon. It has been a long wait!
I have also written reviews for several books whose authors I've chatted with online. The most recent reviews are for West Virginia author Anna Egan Smucker's book of poems, "Rowing Home" and French based author, Isabelle B. L.'s book of short fiction, "Prickly Pears." Anna wrote an endorsement blurb for "In the Grip of Grace" and I was introduced to Isabelle's work when she published a piece in the same anthology in which one of my poems also appeared (Birth Lifespan, Vol 1). Another book I just finished reading and highly recommend is the memoir, "A Mind Spread Out on the Ground" by Indigenous author Alicia Elliott. I have read 21 books so far this year and have a large stack waiting to be read.......so many books, so little time, lol!
May you continue to delight in all of the joys of summertime. Stay wild, stay free, stay serene.
Marianne, aka Wild Honey