Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 63

singing in The
sinGinG
the Garden
garden

The Gathering of the Greens
That time of year thou mayest in me behold, when yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang
upon the boughs which shake against the cold. Bare ruined choirs where late the sweet
birds sang....William Shakespeare Sonnet 73
Text and art by Ginny Neil
The gardens have been put to bed and the cold air smells
like snow. The trees are truly "bare ruined choirs" except for the evergreens which glow green and blue
against the gray world. I'm not fond of winter because
it forces me to spend more time inside than I like, so
I started a tradition that gives me a reason to go outside: the Gathering of the Greens.
I got the idea from my grandfather, Papa, who took
me with him to look for mistletoe. His farm was in
Dinwiddie, Virginia and when the oak trees surrounding his tobacco fields dropped their leaves the airy
mistletoe balls were revealed.

The ancient Europeans were interested in this airborne plant for what they believed was its ability to increase fertility. Papa was interested in it because it made
my grandmother, Nana, happy to have a piece to hang
in a doorway. So he grabbed his shotgun and we scuffed
through the leaf mold until we spotted a ball suspended
in the branches above. Papa fired up at the mistletoe and
pieces dropped to the ground. My job was to retrieve
them and assemble them into a bundle to take to Nana.
While we were out, we also gathered armfuls of other evergreens. I felt like the Christmas season had truly begun
when Nana decorated the doorways with a kissing ball
November/December 2016 63



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016

Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 41
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover4
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