*TL/DR - For those who might be wondering about the future of Rue and Hyssop, I am working on renovations here which are likely going to take some time. I have reserved a space for writing over at Substack, and future R&H dispatches will germinate at that place for the time being. If you have previously subscribed here, then you are automatically set up (and can also unsubscribe at any time). If you want to keep in touch but have not subscribed here previously (or cannot recall) please feel free to pop over to Rue and Hyssop on Substack and drop your email address there, and you will receive future posts and wild magics. (There's more info at the end of this post, but first I'm going to ramble a bit...because I'm me.)
The birds jostle all morning at the feeder. They come in droves at first. All the little songbirds swamp the lantern-like device hanging from a pole in my backyard. The mourning doves arrive next. They cannot fit on the roosting bars but they are smart and know how to knock the contraption so the contents fall to the ground. The ducks from the lake fly over, and, seeing flocks of winged brethren, land clumsily between trees and garden beds, and then waddle over to pick around beneath the feeder. The quail swell into the yard last, pecking and scratching like diminutive chickens, cleaning up every last seed.
Now that the snow and ice have settled in, I make sure the feeder is stocked each morning. Mostly for the birds, but also for me. The whirling dance of those feathered creatures makes me smile as I linger at the window with my coffee mug pressed against my chest. It has been too cold, snowy, and windy for outdoor activities, and I already miss spending time outside after only ten days of this weather. Window-time is sweet relief.
Winter arrived early, transported into our high mountain valley in the arms of an 'atmospheric river' weather phenomenon. Last year that same climate event rode in on slightly warmer winds, and brought more precipitation than the low-lying coastal mainland, and many of our mountain rivers, could hold. The flooding was disastrous. We lost entire highway systems, and supply roads were cut off in many directions. Grocery stores in my area emptied out in days, but thanks to the hard work of rescue workers, road crews, and long haul drivers from the east, western British Columbia was mostly back on its feet by Christmas.
All of that happened only days after my last post here, in late autumn of 2021. Winter was long and wearisome, but spring blossomed with exuberance and I busied myself with garden work and preparing for an unknowable summer in the land of wildfires. Time melted away, as it does, and I kept meaning to circle back to this space, to sweep up old posts and leave new wonders for folks to find. I suppose, this late in the year, as winter rushes in and birds flock to the feeder, I could recount assorted meaningful moments and adventures of 2022, but instead of writing a wrap-up post of the last twelve months I think it's time to look ahead.
I am ready to shift some things around. I'm going to try writing from a new space for a while. I'm not prepared to close the doors at the blog, but it is in need of a good overhaul, edit, and facelift. It's going to take some time - perhaps a few months, but possibly closer to a year - before the renovations are complete. I need room to work through it, but I don't want to keep pushing writing aside just because I don't care for the interior design here. I've decided to settle into a spot on Substack.
Substack seems like a good fit for now. It's a simple email sign up, and then new posts are delivered directly to you when they are published. You can also drop in at any time and read the posts on site - they archive just like a blog or newspaper.
If you have subscribed to Rue and Hyssop in the past, your email will be seamlessly moved over and you won't have to do anything. You will receive the first post when it goes live at Substack. Obviously, if you've lost interest in keeping up with my writing you will be able to easily unsubscribe. If you have not subscribed in the past, and have attempted to stay updated via social media links or RSS feed, you will find that subscribing to Rue and Hyssop on Substack is the most reliable way to continue to keep up with my writing.
I can also assure you that you will not be inundated with emails from me. My hope is to post twice seasonally. Gone are the days when weekly posts tumbled out, or frequent updates seemed important. It has been fifteen years since I discovered blogs, and a little over thirteen that I've been helming my own small space. I've raised nieces and kittens, grown more vegetables, flowers, and herbs than I could list, travelled and loved and lost and grown, and now I wish that everything would slow down so I could soak it all in.
I'm still fascinated by folklore and stories, and eagerly look to every sort of celebration as a way to taste the loveliest parts of life. There is still witchcraft and wildness and wonder, always. And if any of that sounds remotely interesting or calls out to an untamed place within you, I hope you will come along for the ride.
Lastly, to those who have been reading for years, thank you. You have been kind and wonderful and kept me going at times when I wasn't sure I would continue in this space, or continue to write at all. I can't tell you how much it means to me that you would spend some of your valuable time with my words.
See you soon, in the deep woods or beyond the garden gate...