Wednesday, August 1, 2012

And little Sir John and the nut-brown bowl proved the strongest man at last...

Today is a holiday for us pagans - the festival of first fruits, the beginning of the harvest. This year it falls on a full moon. I've only recently begun building my own small rituals, and I'm not very good at them, to be honest. It's hard, sometimes - I always feel the need to be sure of my way. I don't know what I really think in terms of theology. I know that many things have the ring of truth to them, and I find real wisdom in the wheel of the year and the turn of the seasons. I don't always know what to think about higher beings, life and death, and how the world works. But my harvest, for this year - the fruits of all the seeds planted over the past months, especially this spring and summer - is learning to sit with things. I don't have to agree or disagree. The idea doesn't have to be right or wrong. I simply have to be able to sit with it and breathe until my sensations of fear or dislike disappear and I can simply see the thing for what it is, not my feelings and theories about it.
I don't have my theology all hammered out. I don't have the universe reconciled. I don't have my goals accomplished, my life laid out, my gods known, my paths straight ahead.
 But tonight I lit candles, made cornbread, and shared an apple with the listening silence and my garden. And that, my friends, is the richness of this religion - simplicity, strength, and the time-honored echoes of the worn way. You can feel your way along such a path. All you need is a belief in this world and the rhythms of this universe. All else follows from that.

Look - look at where you are.
The scent of mint and honey rises up from all the earth;
its sweetness drifts on the many pathways of light,
whispering: my beloved...
Who could put eternity between us and this ground?
I am dark, but lovely, says an old, old song;
and all the flowers are in bloom.
How can you believe this world is only a trial of the soul?
Awakening does not mean going away.
We are made of sacred earth -
and here, amidst the saffron and the lilies -
this is our paradise.
See what this is. 

(c) AME 2012

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