Sunday, August 2, 2020

A MidSummer's Night's Dream- it's a long one

Heat Remains, Fire Continues Again

My ranting, her notes, my notes and pics from then plus where we are now and where can we go?

MidSummer seems a lifetime ago. 
Already the days are shorter.
Already I can sense autumn around the corner. 
Nature and the seasons cycle forward, 
even as the suspended reality of the current events
spirals over the edge. 

But the garden is in full glory,
all the colors of flowers in bloom,
harvesting something every day,
finally with some insects.
That was the first week we started seeing people, outside,
socially distanced,
sharing only smiles and stories.
So good to see others but so hard not to hug.
Even then we were getting used to it. 
But it has gotten even harder now.

Normal now to be apart together
to share our stories of interactions
while limiting the physical closeness of our interaction.
What day is it?

To think back to then
especially in this time of rapidly changing extremes
 is a long-ago dream.
One foot in front of the other.
And suddenly we are here. 
The Thunderstorms have already started
as the Wheel moves to Lughnasah.

To shine in ourselves with the generosity of the sun,
even when we are inside because of torrential rains.

  Bryan had recalled there was much virtual connection and sharing that day.
Clearwater Revival was zoomed to the community,
and we actually got to see performers,
as we typed conversation to friends,
connecting us to ourselves from our dining room in a very real way.
Brave New World.

And then we waited to start ritual until after the exact moment
so that Bryan could post on our dear Earrach's blog 
at the exact moment.

Long Live the Tradition.
Where are we now?

Ritual was huge and whole
like the day and the sun
and capturing it 
as if that will hold the memory 
seemed important. 

Now we are at Lughnasah.
It rains, of course.
May our weather stay appropriate,
May we survive the storms.
May our homes and hearts stay whole and holy.

Acknowledging each other.
Seeing our selves in each other,
again for the first time.
It had been so dry then.
We needed to water the trees.
Though there were some bugs and butterflies, there were less.
Now we have more, but still not as much as we used to.
Grateful for each one.

 What should be?
Are we to decide?
And if so, for whom?
It seems to be only each of us,
and yet we connect and interconnect as a whole,

One day at a time,
one foot in front of the other,
together not hugging.

Elizabeth's thoughts about the Solstice:

It was a pandemic Summer Solstice, a first for all of us both young and old. 
Yet there was heightened, hazy, hot and humid weather to make it a classic.
Such was our unique time and place in the wheel.
It was the 21st Wedding Anniversary of Bryan and Susan!
It was the Buck Moon, the Full Blessing Moon, with a solar eclipse thrown in for good measure.
Above us were skies changing from fluffy, cotton clouds to overcast gray.
Fire on such a day kept small, in a shaded spot with knee-high mint all around.
The fullness of summer in equal parts crops and weeds.
We were six in number, and glad of the company! 
Quarantine has us feeling otherwise distanced as if on separate continents.
.... For present day, the "modern world" of 2020, one could feel the same fears of ancestors centuries before us...
Seeing dear friends, wondering if it will be for the last time.
Haunted by this invisible plague, sharing a few hours of the best company.
I'm the oldest among us, with a keen awareness of my inability to survive Covid 19.

other details:
I brought Grove Brew Mead, only a year old.
A chunk of peat to burn in a small clay cottage,
to make Bridget feel at home.
A bucket of Daisys and Sundrops primroses.
A bucket of sunshine courtesy Earth Mother.
With a found bundle of beautiful owls primary feathers so surprisingly soft.

My pics from then and a bit of musing on them:
the fire begins from focused sunlight in the the offering bowl at our sacred tree
Bryan ignites smoke from wood chips
from a dead maple branch
he had cut and carved the day before.
Lots of smoke and finally a small flame,
in an instant, the moment of now.

then after feeding that small fire,
feeling its strong heat,
concerned about melting its cauldron or just getting out of control,
we decide to dump the flaming embers into the fire pit,
cleared out and dug down since last ritual
and slowly refilled with the season's prunings.
And the fire moved on,
burning hot and strong with minimal fuel.

In these times of unknowing
and the schedules and expectations and needs
of others
the simple set up in the now with what is
works best.
Look, the dancing reflection of light!
Burning herbs and offering prayers, clearing spirit with smoke.
This was the day.
A beautiful layered summer day.
simple offerings
never enough and exactly enough
all the ways.

prayers and sacrifice

so much beauty

final sacrifice

smoke before flame
breath of fire
Smoke Being
Hear and Answer us.
Give us a sign.
our omens:
from Our Honored Dead: Os or Ansuz, it has to do with the voice or the wind.
It is Odin's cape blowing in the wind. It is the voice of the ancestors, listen to what they have to say.
Words, Wind, Breath
from the Spirits of Nature & Place:Perthro or the Lottery Cup, it has to do with luck and chance.
from the Gods & Goddesses: Sowelu, the Sun. That Super giver.
It's regular and sustaining. Energetic of course.
for the Season:Yera, the Year's harvest.
A complete cycle.

Cool blessings of the waters
and once again from the smoldering smoke there is fire.

the fire speaks


smoke and clouds
reigniting flame
residual goo
prayers for safety ongoing
And then it was over
and folks could go pee in the bathroom
and I called my mom
and we shared some food and drank the mead.
I had to lay down for a while just to stare at the sky and be silent.
And then Elizabeth left, the kid went to his room,
Eric & Katrina hung out with Bryan until after dark,
while I spoke again with my mom. 

Being ok and being kind with our selves and others,
it's hard to move forward sometimes.
We all have the ability to change,
a superpower and a gift too often denied.
Living among this illness that stops real connection,
a time that teaches distance and fear,
there is a reason we are here.
My notes are copious and long
4 pages handwritten
on the morning after
sitting in the intense sunlight by the fire rekindled
from the heat the night before.
Sharing some of that here:
As instantly as it started (the day before) with sun to smoke
it became again (the next day) with air to smoke
to flame.

like the conversation of clouds and atmosphere
and density
the smoke has it's own set of greys and depths.

We are blessed to be here now
and so lucky to be here together,
even if at a socially safe distance.
Any harm done by our adherence to pandemic rules,
made worse by fears or fearmongering,
is eased with our interconnections,
however they manifest-
Close Friends and Family
Good food and fire.