Living the Wheel: Seasonal Musings of the Pagan Year
Thoughts and musings of the wheel of the Pagan Year.
As I sat with my family before the celebratory Lughnasad feast, I looked around the table at the faces of those most dear to me: my husband, hardworking, honest, loving, driven, an incredible father. My seventeen year old son, quirky, awkward in his form, intelligent in ways I can't begin to comprehend, fiercely loyal and protective, especially of me. My four year old son, the child I never expected to have, a joyful, funny, curious, wiggly little boy who can't walk anywhere: his little feet constantly patty-patty back and forth from one task to another. And finally my fifteen year old daughter, my only girl, gifted with faerie-like beauty and a voice that has been described to me as 'like listening to a baby angel.' Incredibly talented, creative, and utterly unselfconscious, she dances into each day like the wild faerie child I knew her to be at birth.
What did we talk about that evening? Truthfully I don't remember. The freshly-baked bread was sliced, the roast chicken, redolent with herbs from our garden was carved. Stuffed zucchini and sliced cucumbers dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar were placed on the table, candles lit, prayers said. We ate, we laughed; the children told anecdotes from their day, my husband discoursed on the ins and outs of his current work project. Dessert, a pear crostada that the four year old proudly helped make, was served, eaten with even more gusto than dinner, if possible, then, table cleared, we gathered at the front door so my husband could speak the ritual words of welcome to the season of Lughnasad:
Lady of the Land, open the door,
Lord of the Forest, come you in.
Let there be welcome to the bountiful compassion,
Let there be welcome to the Autumn of the Year.
In fruit and grain you are traveling,
In ferment and bread you will arrive.
May the blessed time of Lughnasad
Nourish the soul of all beings,
Bringing love and healing to all hurts.
From the heights to the depths,
From the depths to the heights,
To the wounds of every soul. *
I felt such happiness that night. We were together, though sadly my husband's two children were unable to join us. Family coming together is becoming disturbingly rare lately. I don't mean the giant summer barbecues or holiday festivities, but simple dinner times. Granted, this was a holiday for us, and my husband had purposely worked only an eight hour day to be home for it. However, even in our household where both my husband and I forbid the television on during meals and everyone sits at the table (except for the very rare 'order pizzas and crash in the living room watching Miyazaki movies' nights, that is), we only come together for dinner on Sundays. With my husband the only one earning an income, he is obliged to work ten- and twelve-hour days six days a week to provide for us. It is a situation I am struggling to remedy. In the meantime I tend to our home, teach our four year old, keep track of the two teenagers, and have the four of us, at least, sit together for dinner, and when my husband arrives home, I join him with a cup of tea while he eats. We are usually joined by our four year old who is happy to help his father eat his dinner. Sometimes our seventeen year old meanders over to join us, engaging his father in machine- or science-talk that leaves me in the dust. The girl will usually pop out of her room long enough to do some ridiculous dance, kiss her father, then disappear back into the recesses of teenage girl mysteryhood. Despite their ages and interests, the pull of family togetherness is still strong enough for the children to come together, however briefly.
Today, thirteen days into the month, the air is cool, almost fall-like as the gray sky gently rains on still-vibrant trees and garden plots. I woke at 7:30 to a still house, my husband having already left for work. My children are home, my daughter lurking about the kitchen because it 'feels like a baking day.' She is commencing bread, two loaves, one of which she and her brothers will devour as soon as they can, grouped around our scarred kitchen table with a pot of tea, I'm sure. They love tea time. The other loaf she will set aside for dinner, where we will again gather together, perhaps even all five of us. We will join hands, say prayers, and break bread, a family joined in both love and purpose.
For food that stays our hunger,
For rest that brings us ease,
For homes where memory lingers,
We give thanks for these.
Please login first in order for you to submit comments