Feral Fables

“For centuries, women and men have sought guidance and counsel to help them in processes of change, healing, and transformation.”

That is the first sentence in the introduction to my book, Feral Fables. How many of us have checked the I Ching, or Animal Medicine cards, or the Tarot to see what they have to say to us? Not only is it fun, but it also can be enlightening in some strange and inexplicable way.  

We are spoken to through many avenues. Insights may come like lightning bolts or in a still, small voice. A friend says something that strikes us as relevant to a question we’ve pondered. We hear a conversation that brings sudden understanding to a problem. A dream reveals an answer to a situation. We read a story that becomes more significant each time we read it.

Such is the nature of these fables. This is the sort of book you can have on your cell phone or iPad that you can tuck in your purse or briefcase and so it will be handy at all times. At odd moments, you can pick a fable at random to see what meaning it can bring to your life. Whether you are female or male, youth or elder, there will be something of value in each brief fable.

What is a fable anyway? The dictionary describes it as “a fictitious story meant to teach a moral lesson.” I believe it is more than just a moral lesson. I prefer to say that it shows us “Truth” greater than “truth.” I wrote these to use as I worked with psychology clients who were looking for that Truth in their lives. You can do the same for yourself.

I plan to publish it as hard copy before long, but in the meantime, I suggest that you read it as an e-book. You can get your copy of Feral Fables by clicking on this link.

You can read these fables with the intention of finding clarity on some issue in your life, or maybe the serendipity will surprise you when you read them just for fun. In either case, please let me know your reaction to these wild tales.

Aloha!

Featured

OUR FOURTH QUADRANT

As older women we have traveled Joseph Campbell’s mythological “Hero’s Journey” many times in various aspects of our lives. Through our first three quadrants of that journey, we accepted challenges, faced “dragons” and at times were pushed to depths of despair. We learned how to manage the trials and temptations of life, and we developed new insights about our lives.

According to Campbell, this fourth quadrant of the journey we have taken is a time of self-realization, of self-actualization. In my dissertation of 1992, I wrote that the “hero of today dares to seek wholeness and fulfillment through finding new pathways to unknown territory.”

That is an excellent description of the Perennial women I interviewed on my physical journey, my road trip to interview older women. I discovered their insights, what they had in common, and what they are doing in the fourth quadrant of their life journey to stay fulfilled.

Now we are ready to rethink what we can or cannot do as we get older, as we engage in this fourth quadrant of life. Now we have emerged, ready to face anything required of us, ready to find or create “new pathways to unknown territory.” Now we are feeling empowered and blessed.

Would you share with us your ideas about exciting and energizing ways we can live this fourth quadrant? What are you doing?

Are You A Perennial?

The time has come to return to this blog! I traveled throughout the mainland USA and conducted around one hundred interviews with women over 60. It was the fall semester of 2019 when I took my sabbatical. Then COVID hit!

I put some of my notes together and gave a Capstone talk to the Women’s Studies Department for UH-Mãnoa this past spring semester. I’m afraid I was limited on time, and it didn’t allow me to include everyone in my talk.

Some say I have enough material for a book but I’m not sure that’s the route I want to take yet. I’m playing around with several possibilities of what to do with the information I gathered, and one suggestion was to set up a coaching business for older women who want to retire but not quite sure what they want to do.

If you think you might be interested, let me know. I suspect most women who have reached an age where they can retire are savvy enough to know what they want to do without my help.

I have retired from several careers in the past, however, and I know how easy it is to feel at a loss. Usually, I had something else in mind or already started each time I retired, which made it easier. I’m retiring from my teaching career at the end of summer school this year, and I finally understand what people go through the first time they retire!

My mind won’t let me sit at home; it’s working overtime, I think. So, you might be hearing the thought process I go through in setting up something new for myself. I’d love your suggestions!

Stay tuned!

Lucy

P.S. I forgot to say that you can find my original posts about this under https://lavalily.com/perennial-women/ Check it out!

Sabbatical conversations with Perennials Zoom presentation

On May 7, 2021 at noon HST, I will present the findings of my Sabbatical conversations with Perennials throughout the country. In order to view it on Zoom, you need to register in advance. The link to register is https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEqdu-trj0sG9b52nqiNFTJpmFIIlW44OM1

https://womenstudies.manoa.hawaii.edu/

https://www.facebook.com/ws.uhmanoa

https://twitter.com/on_ws_studies

May Day/Lei Day!

LEHUA BLOSSOMS ON OHIA TREE
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LEHUA BLOSSOMS ON OHIA TREE

What do you think of when May 1 comes along?

The Lehua blossoms on the Ohia tree above are one sure sign that we are on the verge of summer. By May 1, the trees are loaded with red blooms and more are opening up.

When I was a little girl many moons ago, on May 1, we made little baskets to hang on the door knobs of neighbors. Sometimes these were baskets folded out of construction paper strips that we had made in school. Not as frequently, we were able to go to the “dime store” and buy a few little woven straw baskets.

Whatever we used, we filled them with flowers as our way of saying “Happy Spring!” on May 1, or May Day. Even today, May Day is celebrated here in Hawai`i as “Lei Day” with hula, everyone wearing lots of leis, and the crowning of the May King and Queen in the schools.

When I was a senior in high school, I was a member of the May Queen’s court. As a child, I enjoyed dancing the May Pole Dance, which originated in Great Britain.

For those who have ever done any sailing, “Mayday!” meant a life and death situation at sea. Fortunately, I never had to radio that emergency when I lived on board my boat.

However you think of “May Day,” it primarily means lots of flowers and a feeling of new life in our gardens. Here are a few signs of “new life” as we begin the month of May.

I call this my “Buttercup” plant because of the many yellow blooms that cover it. Some have already fallen off but there are many more buds ready to open up.

BUTTERCUP PLANT
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BUTTERCUP PLANT

Blossoms on my little coffee tree was one of the many surprises I found this past week! What do you think the chances are that I’ll get a cup of coffee out of this?

COFFEE TREE IN BLOOM
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COFFEE TREE IN BLOOM

Two weeks ago, I planted three Spic & Span gladiolus bulbs and today, I saw that two of them have sent up spikes of almost two inches! Today, I also planted one Florence Vaughn Canna
and one Canna Indica. I can hardly wait to see these all sprout.

Somehow, I have squash vines coming up in the oddest places, especially where I did not plant them! I think the birds have left me these gifts. At any rate, here’s one of the squash plants that many people around here eat. Sometimes they get about two feet long! The vines must be spreading out at least four or five feet. Here is a squash and I have no idea what kind it is. I have another one growing where I planted okra!

VOLUNTEER SQUASH
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VOLUNTEER SQUASH

The fig tree my daughters gave me last spring has five branches covered with figs. Here is just one branch! There were two figs on it last summer and they were sweet. It looks like I’ll have more than two to eat this year, if the birds don’t get them!

FIGS
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FIGS

I’ve planted nasturtiums to cover some of the areas that are not hospitable to other plants. They have just started to come up.

NASTURTIUM
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NASTURTIUM

My donkey tail is getting plump. I need to make or buy some macramé hangers to get them up where they can really grow.

DONKEY TAIL
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DONKEY TAIL

My mixture of salad greens is about ready to give me a little salad.

SALAD GREENS
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SALAD GREENS

Along with the salad makings, I have several beautiful basils. Here is the Siam Basil.

SIAM BASIL
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SIAM BASIL

I have planted Holy Basil, also, but it’s not big enough to see yet. The Sweet Basil is growing like crazy, however. This picture was taken last week, and it’s about three times as big now. You can see the small lettuce plants a student gave me beside the basil. The other day, I ate a fresh sweet basil, tomato, and Jarlsberg cheese sandwich on whole grain bread that was heavenly.

SWEET BASIL
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SWEET BASIL

A common flower, but one of my favorites, is the geranium. These red ones are in pots outside my kitchen window, taking their cheer inside.

This peach colored geranium is starting to get a little growth on it.

PEACH GERANIUM
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PEACH GERANIUM

Today I did a lot of pruning, planting, watering, and weeding – then fed the weeds to my hens. On these warm, sunny days, I run out of time with so many projects to take care of. Once school is out (just one more week!), I’ll be able to spend more time outside.

A hui hou!