November – Month of the Reed

The Month of the Reed in the Celtic Tree Calendar, at least in the one I have been following this year, ends today, on the 23rd November. Luckily I managed to pose for camera with some reeds at the Arabianranta shore in Helsinki yesterday afternoon. I remembered the reeds from walking there in the summer looking for a holly, in vain. Reeds are everywhere on the coast, of course, but around Arabianranta there are extensive areas with reeds. Funny to think of reeds as trees, although I have learned to understand that the ancient Celts obviously were very liberal in their definition of trees, if the Vine and the Ivy are considered trees as well. Reeds can be quite high, actually, and they can form a thick forest, for sure. I would not try climbing a reed, though.

The reeds at the shore looked fine but the high sea level was a problem, however, since it prevented me from walking out among the reeds. I had rubber boots, but they were not high enough. Something resembling those boots that fisher men engageing in sports fishing wear when standing in the rivers would have been good. Now I had to stand close to the shore, in front rather than among the reeds. I made three attempts, or let’s say that I performed for camera for more than a minute as a tryout only in three places. In the third place the reeds were growing in a dike or small trench, which meant that I could stand behind them on the other side and thus among them in some way. Unfortunately the afternoon was quickly turning into evening, so the third image is all blue, with the street lights colouring the snow (see above). In some manner that is a suitable image for November in Helsinki; daylight is grey and dusk comes very early. If reeds really are associated to the dead and the underworld, this way of ending the image in near darkness is perhaps rather appropriate. I edited the material into three videos, Reed in November 1, 2, and 3, all of them 8 minutes and 22 seconds, and uploaded them on the RC, here. They can be seen in context in the exposition performing with plants as well.