Wednesday, June 15, 2005

new series: How to Build a Circle (#1)

Well, our Circle is asleep again. We took out the sand today (had to sieve out the maple spinners and chunks of cedar which had gotten mixed in) and took up the weed barrier. Starting tomorrow, I am going to post pictures as the Circle comes back to life, which can serve as instructions for those who would like to build their own.

Our original Circle was inspired by the one Dennis Alexander had at his old place on Treasure Island in Florida, where he lived right on the beach (nice, huh?). He had cleared a circle of vegation, and it was just plain beach sand. All around it (it was maybe 20' across) he had cactus and statues and all kinds of cool stuff. In the west was the Sacred Tree--his looked more like a cross than ours does; his was based on the Tree of Life from Palenque (I think that's where it's from, see image, above). It was painted white and covered with mirrors. Some of the cactus in my cactus garden came from Dennis' Circle.

When we came home from Florida, we went to work on our own Circle. I wanted to build it in the only clear spot left in the yard (the other spot next to the garage was taken up by the Maypole), but the two large trees in my yard were very insistant that they be part of it. So I made the Circle between those trees; it was maybe 11-12' across. I outlined it with 20 garden poetry stones with the 20 daysigns in Mayan, and on Good Friday (hahaha) 2003 my husband built our Tree of Life (a T cross)--our neighbors looked mildly interested to see us building a cross in the back yard on Good Friday. That was it; a very simple Circle. I don't think I have any pictures of it. It had grass in the middle and kind of blended into the yard (except for the Tree of Life, of course).

Last year, 2004, a friend who I met through Dennis Alexander came up to stay with me (the same one who was here last month), and she had some ideas for improving the Circle, which she helped me start implementing. We white-washed the Tree (mixed white paint, a dash of blue paint, and water) and pulled up all the grass, and moved the daysign stones out so that the trees weren't merely part of the border, they were actually inside the Circle. The energy changed dramatically.

So my husband & I put down weed barrier, and bought a dozen bags of woodchips, and outlined the circle with a border of cedar chips about 6" thick. Inside that we put about a yard and a half of beach sand. ("Play sand" they call it, if you want to buy some. Call a garden/landscaping center or gravel pit and buy it in bulk, should be $30-40 a yard, which will fill the bed of a pick-up truck.) To read about my adventures with the beach sand, read my "had a dad" blog, entries 16, 17 & 19.

It ended up looking like the picture, above, in September 2004. It looked like that until this weekend; I'll post shortly pictures of what it looks like now, stripped naked (again) and spray-painted pink. Sounds ghastly, I know.

It took me SO LONG to put down all that weed barrier last year--TWO ROLLS--and it's all garbage now. We didn't have the sand deep enough and when we raked, the rake tines chewed it all up. Well, live and learn, right? And all those lawn staples my husband is going to have to pull up when he digs it out properly.

No comments: