For a brief moment the sun stands directly over the equator and each hemisphere receives the same amount of daylight (barring clouds), ie 12 hours, each equally illuminated. Then begins the earth’s tilt, ushering in a new season and transitions for both hemispheres. For us here in the southern hemisphere, spring although fickle, is on its way with summer on its heels. For the northern hemisphere, the nights are longer and much goes underground to rest.

I was shocked and saddened at Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, may her memory be a blessing. I know that there are political implications in her successor, who and when. In South Africa we were saddened by the recent death of Mr. George Bizos, who was part of the defence team of Mr. Nelson Mandela in the Rivonia Trial (1963-1964). They were the greatest of friends.

We’ve been lying very low over these times. But we did take a road trip earlier this month and did something that we’ve always wanted to do. It was my husband’s idea. With the help of son Mike we booked a few places to overnight and set off a few days later to visit the flowers up country.

Our first overnight stop was with very dear friends in Wellington, a good 8 hour drive from our home in Plettenberg Bay. I watched her make a vegan lasagne for dinner; o my goodness it was delicious! I’ve made a vegan lasagne a few times since being home and am impressed with my culinary skills (had never made any kind of lasagne in my life before).

This little buck stepped out from hiding into the sunshine as we were leaving the next morning –

at Di & Rob’s home

The Namaqualand flower show and the West Coast National Park is so special. I gather there are about 4000 different species of plant seeds. Visitors come from all over the world to ooh and ahh at the display of wildflowers set against dramatic mountains (not now in these times obviously). And speaking of seeds, we can all plant seeds, whether plant or vegetable seeds, seeds of love and kindness.

some photos en route and during our adventure

not my photo
cold, windy, even statue wearing a mask
Bird Island Lambert’s Bay. Gannets by the 1000’s in foreground
scrambled egg with salmon – West Coast National Park
not my photo

My sister who lives in Cape Town has a holiday home in The Wilderness, an hour and a half drive from me. I visited her last Wednesday, and ooh’d and aah’d at her pretty garden.

Debora’s garden

Although you can’t see it in the photo, she had an airplant hanging on a branch. In fact a few dotted around. She gave me this one below now hanging on a tree in my garden.

random photo, one I took a few weeks ago on a walk
tiny leaf looks like a tree

There is much tension here in South Africa. Every day I acknowledge Dorothy Parker’s words ‘What Fresh Hell Is This?’ Not just here in SA but everywhere. The wheels of justice turn soooo slowly. There are times I feel hopeful, other times not.

But at the equinox, there is a moment when things stand still, as we can too, acknowledging the tilts and transitions, along with change – and embrace all that is good, strong and true –

Thank you for reading. May the Force be with you.

64 Comments on Equinox, tilts, transitions

  1. Hmmm πŸ™‚ interesting post Susan, I accompanied your trip virtually and loved the beautiful pictures, you have captured so well. Loved every picture you posted. I am looking forward for a trip as currently confined for more than 6 months, and its not safe to travel out. I am hoping at least for a local trip nearby just for a change and to breathe some fresh air. Scrambled egg with salmon looks tempting:) and the leaf looks like a tree. Thanks for sharing and inspiring, May you be blessed!

    • Thanks for coming by Genevive πŸ™‚ This 2nd flare up is cause for concern around the world. Strange times, calling for extra caution and care. May you and family be blessed too.

  2. Good to see what you saw on the road trip, including the dear little bokkie ! What fresh hell is this? I had forgotten this phrase you shared with me. Autumnal blessings to you and yours

  3. Very interesting information, Susan. I do believe we are connected to everything on our planet and greatly affected by the Equinox, tilts and transitions. The vegan lasagne reminds me how I have a crockpot version I used to make. I will haul out my recipe in the near future. A beautiful photo of the little buck. The wildflowers look stunning! A lovely picture of you and your husband. The statue and mask made me smile. I will show my husband the air plant and see whether he can come up with something similar here in the Spring. The β€œrandom photo” is exquisite.

    Susan, I extra love your paragraph about β€œ…when things stand still …”. Words to live by. Especially now. A beautiful post!

    • So pleased you came by Erica thank you! A veg lasagne is now the easiest thing for me to make, using pre-cooked spinach lasagne and layering the sheets with the par cooked vegetables (anything goes), making a sauce and putting it on top layer of sheets and baking in the oven. I don’t use a recipe but maybe I’ll look one up and get more ideas. Last night I used scraps in the fridge and some cooked chicken (done a day or so before by my husband) that was left over. We so enjoyed it. He had 3 helpings πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      I’m glad you liked the photos! I could have added many more but a gal’s gotta know when to stop! I’m planning a trip to Johannesburg up on the highveld mid October or thereabouts and then I hope to see the jacarandas in full bloom, and my friends’ gardens.

      Have a lovely week Erica!

  4. Hi Susan – happy memories … I always wanted to see the Namaqualand Flowers, my Ma too, but we never made it … though in places I came across a few – but that magnificent spread must be gorgeous to see. I was lucky to have visited SW cape … not as far north as the flowers, and had driven from Jhb to CT, and had visited Namibia … just amazing what life can be found in those driest of places.

    The Equinox came at exactly the right/wrong moment for us – one day hot (relatively, as the English weather is) next day cold full of driving rain/deluges with hail … amazing divide. Still much the same …

    I’m trying to avoid commenting too much on life elsewhere – too worrying … it would be wonderful if peace, quiet and care would come about … so pleased you had that wonderful trip … take care – Hilary

    • Hi Hilary, what a contrast of weather, one day hot next day cold. This will happen here as well. I put away my spensers/spencers one day and I need them the next. Contrasting weather happened also while visiting the flowers.

      Now to find a #WATWB post. A bit difficult here in SA but I do have a story or 2.

      Have a lovely weekend, and remember that if and when you visit SA, it can be planned that we can take in the Namaqualand flowers. I’ll be your chauffeur here there and everywhere πŸ™‚

      • Sounds a wonderful thought … it will stimulate and cheer me through these times … a happy time ahead (perhaps …as life is life) … but one I’d love to take the opportunity to do … thank you! Definitely a joy to look forward to … 😊

  5. Such lovely photos! Yes, we crossed that equinox in the other direction–although with the peculiarities of refraction, etc., today still has three more minutes of sun than dark. No doubt that will reverse tomorrow. At Mountain Daylight time it’s about 5 pm right now, here.

    • Thanks John for your comment! The days have been much longer already here in my neck of the woods and will continue until the birds wake me at 4.00 a.m. … my time is now 10.42 am – have a lovely weekend!

  6. Yes, “what fresh hell is this?” And yet I look out my windows and see sunshine and autumn goldenrod and purple and white asters in the fields. Occasionally a butterfly sails by. But I’m tense and can’t seem to talk myself or walk or meditate myself out of it. We have a dictator-wanna-be and the lies fly fast and thick, and yet I know from Beloved Nelson Mandela that there are good people waiting to step up. We’ve never had so much doubt around an election, but I keep writing my “get out the vote” postcards. I ordered 200 and they were sent with addresses–so I write in the address and a message. A friend is helping.

    Your photos are uplifting and beautiful and so many of the flowers are exotic and new to me. I need to develop a passion for cooking again. Yesterday my son honored me for all the canning, freezing, and growing I did when he was a kid, because now he and his girlfriend are growing and putting up food (and my freezer is filling for the first time in many years with their harvest). I wanted to feed my family well, but it’s a little harder to have passion for cooking now. I still love salads from the garden and will have those into October.

    • Your home is a real sanctuary Elaine with its trees and butterflies and flowers in the fields.
      It gives back what you put into it. I can barely believe that my lettuce keeps on growing no matter how often I remove leaves from the small patch. I gave a fair bit to Mike and his lady friend when they were here on Sunday and he’s what’s apped me a few times to say how delicious it is. Just on its own. And the spinach is rather delicious too. We make a traditional African dish, I think called morogo, by frying a few onions, adding chopped potatoes, a little water and then the spinach and mixing it all up with salt and pepper and butter .. And also spinach leaves in the lettuce salad …

      I feel for you all in the US. I so hope that Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s last words to her granddaughter are honoured. We too are in the doo doo with what’s going on here … it’s simply unbelievable. Mr Mandela and others of his ilk must be turning in their graves. Keep on writing those envelopes. People MUST vote.

  7. Your photos are lovely, so colorful. I find that seeing flowers makes me feel less anxious about what is going on around the world. It’s kind of a fresh hell be damned approach to living, I guess. I also like the idea of scrambled eggs with salmon and am racking my brain as to why I’ve not made them here. Delicious.

    • Thanks for coming by Ally Bean. Scrambled eggs with salmon is a dish fit for a queen – and king come to think of it – hint hint. It was served on a rosti I think it’s called, thin but fairly crispy. Had I made it I may have added some creme fraiche and caviar (not the proper caviar but a facsimile) just to go totally over the top. I would not have made a rosti, but a thin slice of toast. This would be a fresh heaven and and a fine approach to living and a foil to to the newest fresh hell. I’m glad you liked the photos πŸ™‚

  8. Wonderful photos, Susan. I am with you on all of it — the time for stillness, the time for grieving, the time for just breathing. RBG’s death is a tremendous loss and will throw even more fuel on an already charged political season. Her reach was enormous for one so small of stature, and women in the U.S. and probably in many places around the world due to the ripple effect owe her a great debt, may her soul rest in peace. Also, vegan lasagne? How could it be, but I guess stranger things have happened. Shana Tovah a bit late. May your year be filled with things that bring you enormous pride and comfort. (I want to be proud of our world again.) xox

    • Thanks Pam for coming by. Yes RBG was a force to be reckoned with for sure. I am almost nervous to switch on the TV news a little later (have just got in from being out and a few tasks to do before looking at the news like getting the clothes off the line before they get damp from the evening dew) to see what the latest is. I also feel that I would like to be proud of my country again – I remember when I left it in the mid 70’s as a young woman because of the apartheid govt and felt ashamed to be a South African. I do not know what is going to happen here. Makes me think of Cry the Beloved Country, the title of a novel by Alan Paton one of our novelists, long dead.

      Shanah Tovah to you too πŸ™‚ Be well, keep safe and keep on truckin’ ..xx

  9. a beautiful road trip Susan- thank you for taking me along – a change of scene does us the world of good as they say. And travelling vicariously can do the trick as well.
    I love spring – here it is wisteria and lavender, still some jonquil bulbs hanging in and masses of wild candle flowers (creamy stackhousia) that have a delicate fragrance.
    peace and good will – all we can do – keep steady and hold the space for enlightened consciousness to prevail.
    Kind regards
    Sandra

    • Vicarious travel does it for me too Sandra, when it is uplifting – as does your most recent post on the equinox and all …

      Your spring offerings sound glorious! Here down in the south west Cape the offerings are a lot different to the ones I’m used to up on the highveld (Johannesburg) with its different spring summer climate. The jacarandas will be blooming soon on the highveld and I’ve seen pictures of friends’ garden that are truly lovely. The highveld had a quite severe winter but I always think that this gives the plants a nice little tug, or jerk and strengthens them to show off when it’s their turn! I’ve got some indigenous seeds to plant ..

      Thank you for coming by and all best warm wishes to you. Susan. And yes to holding the space for consciousness to grow … a seed in itself ..

  10. Oh Susan. Your posts are like flowers and fresh air. Always beautiful, restorative, and uplifting. Thank you for this especially nice one. It’s so necessary to get out into nature, isn’t it? Especially now, during these difficult times.

    My office is an upstairs loft with 3 large picture windows that frame the top 2/3rds of dozens of cypress and other Florida trees on the other side of the creek that runs behind our house. I look out at them over my computer every day. Right now they’re swaying in a gentle breeze, some waving their Spanish moss beards. That, and the patches of blue skies and scattered clouds I can see between them, is enough to pick up my spirits, But not quite as much as it would be if I were out there dancing with them.

    Happy equinox. Happy spring. Here as we officially move into Autumn, we’re experiencing the first almost cool day since May.

    • Thanks Jeanie for coming by. The view from your window sounds so lovely. And a creek running through it – the last two sentences could each be the title of a book, or a poem πŸ™‚ Needless to say, I immediately see a metaphor in your description of your view, ie of the psyche and our imagination that allows us to dance with Nature.

      Today is bright and warm, almost a summer day. Happy Autumn and enjoy the coolth.

  11. Very nice photos. A road trip sounds nice, but I don’t think I’m going to be doing any traveling until next year. Staying close to home seems like the best way to avoid any weird circumstances that could occur in these times.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    • Thanks for coming by Arlee. We abide by the rules, masking, social distance etc. Interestingly, there were not that many travellers on the roads. I’m sorry to hear that 200k deaths have been surpassed. The rules have a reason ..

  12. Thank you for this breath of fresh air, of color and harmony, Susan. Life is so confining lately, I needed to get out and around. I can see why you like Arizona — your photos of the fields of flowers with the mountain backdrop look just like Arizona. Every time I go there I don’t want to leave. Just beautiful. As for RBG, yes, a sad and strategic loss. Let’s hope her seat is not filled until after this election. Such lovely gardens and photos. Love the air plant. –Carol

    • Interesting that you saw similarities Samantha in the SA landscape and Arizona. I see it only now that you mention it so thank you for that. And for coming by and taking the road trip via this blog post πŸ™‚ That airplant is really lovely. I had a gardener come by the other day to help me plant some things from my sister’s garden and showed him the airplant – he was amazed, never seen anything like it before πŸ™‚

      I’ve heard that POTUS may announce the filling of her post by Saturday – I so hope this doesn’t happen ..

    • Thanks Susan. I often think back to the Grand Canyon and the magnificence of that and those saguaro cactus trees – and your beautiful garden. Nature is so uplifting ..

  13. What a lovely, calming trip. I too had vegetarian lasagne–it was amazing! I got the recipe from the restaurant but it just didn’t come out like what I had tasted.

    We’ve lots on our minds over here. President Trump (well, the US AG) had to declare 3 cities Anarchist zones because they refused to protect their own citizens. I’m appalled at some in my country.

    • So sorry that anarchist zones have had to be declared Jacqui. I reckon there’s going to be more unrest as the days go by; it’s happening in my country too. We’re really anxious. Re your lasagne, I used spinach lasagne which did not have to be pre-cooked. The first time I made it I assumed it had to be and made a mess of everything but when I read the instructions, my life suddenly got a lot easier making it! Thank you for coming by!

  14. What a lovely post, Susan–words and photos. Yes, all those seeds can be planted, and perhaps of hope, as well.
    How wonderful that you were able to visit family and friends. We haven’t been in anyone’s home since all this began–and haven’t even hugged our daughter, though we’ve seen her keeping our distance.

    Lasagna isn’t difficult to make, as you learned–it just involves several steps and a bit of mess. Did you use vegan cheese to make it vegan? Mine is vegetarian, but not vegan.

    • Seeds of hope … that too. Thanks Merril. And for coming by!

      We’re very fortunate that our elder son lives here in Plett and when he comes by he’s always masked and we sit apart.

      Di, my friend in Wellington made a sauce for her lasagne with butter flour and milk and grated cheese. Which I did when I made it a few times for my husband and myself (also for me the first time I’d made such a thing). I should have said it was a vegetarian lasagne, not a wholly vegan one. But on Sunday, Mike and his lady friend Kayla came for lunch. She’s fully vegan. Could not find vegan cheese anywhere (I’ve had it before, it’s delicious but very expensive). What to do for a sauce? No way could I use butter, cheese and milk. I had a sachet of oregano pasta sauce made with macadamia nuts so I used that. The spinach lasagne sheets did NOT need precooking, I could just lay them out and top with what I’d cooked, another layer of sheets and so on and then the oregano sauce on top of the layers. Plenty veg along with the tomato and onion!

  15. What a beautiful area you visited, and Spring definitely has sprung there. With all that is happening here in the states and around the world. I would so much like to go find a beautiful corner of the world to hide in where I didn’t hear the constant controversy. Thanks for your beautiful post. Happy Spring to you!

    • Thanks Gwynn. It was a lovely little adventure. Spring has sprung but as I sit outside on my balcony with the beautiful view, it is very chilly. Spring is very fickle in this neck of the woods. I feel for the US and all that is happening there. I see parallels sometimes in some things with SA. It’s very unsettling. Happy Autumn/Fall to you πŸ™‚

  16. Happy coming of spring, Susan. I would love to skip winter and go directly from autumn to spring, but it’s something that us “northerners” must endure every year.

    Thanks for sharing your photos. The area you traveled and your sister’s garden are lovely.

    • Thanks Mary for coming by. Yes I know you northerners take strain in the long dark winters, but no doubt this strengthens you all. This is what we South Africans like to say in our harsh winters and snow too. A cold that gets into your bones. Toughens us up πŸ™‚ I hope it’s not too severe for you this time round.

  17. Dear Susan,

    It’s such a joy to be reading your wonderful words here at the spring and autumn turning points of the year! Oh how I’ve missed wandering into your rich and inspiring β€œGarden of Eden” blog of late … but wander in I can now do as proofreading the new book is proving to be nowhere near as demanding as creating one. Thank goodness, and breathe!

    Here at the autumn equinox (for us up in the north!) I’m definitely feeling more balanced this week. I write this because sometimes I can feel little change in myself but not this year … this year it feels as though I’ve lived through and am now emerging from a β€œBelly of the Whale” experience. Hmm, lying low seems to be the order of the year, let alone day.

    How wonderful it must’ve been to take your glorious road trip to finally see those beautiful, dramatically set, Namaqualand flower displays. What an incredible place it must be … and what an incredible photo you’ve taken with the gannets! What a beautiful garden your sister has, how lovely it must’ve been to visited. Loving her gift of an air plant to you.

    You include so many fab photos. Oh, and yum to the vegan lasagna! Hope today finds you well. Love and light, Deborah.

    • Thanks for coming by Deborah and I’m looking forward to your new collection of beautiful poetry/prose. Your first one, the one that I have is so beautiful and I dip into it every now and then … rich and evocative.

      Yes it was a great trip. It allowed a little escape from the belly of the whale for me. What a time these last several months have been and will no doubt continue to be. All is well thank you, hope same for you. We’re looking after my son’s cat for several days as he takes off for Cape Town tomorrow, so Angie cat is sure to keep us on our toes. Love and light to you, Susan

  18. Great description of the beginning of Spring. I love it always; we must watch here the beginning of Autumn! Although it has also its beauty, for me, I prefer the other one! Oh yes, the sudden death of this extraordinary woman was a shock for us all; God bless her soul.
    Thank you, dear Susan, for the wonderful pictures. Have a nice time and stay safe.

    • Thanks for coming by Aladin! Yes I think we all love Spring and her promise of new growth. Though Autumn is also a beautiful time when the ground and soil rests and while she also shows her changing colours and falling leaves. You too have a nice time and stay safe.

  19. You start with science, acknowledging the equinox, and end with a lovely display of flora and fauna, which invite me to take a road trip too.

    I’m glad you could visit your sister. Mine lives north of us where the leaves are turning golden and scarlet just now. She’s invited me to visit, but it would involve air travel, which makes me hesitate.

    Thanks for the armchair travelogue today, Susan!

    • Thanks for coming by Marian. Now that you note ‘science … flora and fauna…’ I now note life and death in my post. I’ve got itchy feet now for another road trip; and although our airlines are also open, at least for the moment, this also makes me anxious. We South Africans love hitting the road – in the best sense i.e. Many of our roads are ‘hit’ by protesters leaving dreadful damage and destruction in its wake, hence my sometimes despair.

    • Your photos feel like a nurturing breath Susan. I get inordinate delight in knowing you are holding space in the hemisphere opposite mine – that as I’m beginning the release cycle, you’re beginning the receiving cycle. The breath of Gaia, the endless circle. Somehow I find that reassuring, folding things back into wholeness, even as so much feels broken in our world. Wishing you a Spring filled with abundant blessings.

      • How lovely that you noted the receiving and the release cycle Deborah thank you and related it to the endless circle and cycle that it is. It is reassuring how things fold back into wholeness even among everything that is cracked. Reminds me of Leonard Cohen: There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in. Autumnal Blessings to you … enjoy it all πŸ™‚

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