Living the Wheel: Seasonal Musings of the Pagan Year

Thoughts and musings of the wheel of the Pagan Year.

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Abundant Harvests

   It is a beautifully cool, misty-rainy day for the last day of Beltane. Not a day to be out celebrating Tailtiu with games, but still perfect. We've been starved for rain this month, and today's rain feels like a benediction on the ripening tomatoes, squash and herbs.

     Later I will mix up bread dough and measure out rice for risotto. A touch of saffron will make the dish golden as the absent sun, and later this evening we will sit done to a simple,festive dinner.

     The air coming in the window is sweet: fresh and cool, it is an avatar of the season to come. Sundown today marks the beginning of the Lughnassad season, the time of the year when we begin to reap the harvest of half a year's worth of hard work and time well-spent. Seeds and seedlings planted in May are bearing blossoms and fruit. I have not spent my garden-time well this summer- we have beans and tomatoes coming in, some squash, plenty of herbs (I will have my own home-grown lavender-chamomile tea this year), but I could have done more, and as a result my garden would have done more.

     We all say this. "I could have done more, done better, my best, my best isn't good enough." This is the time of the year to let that go. Stop thinking about what you could have done; don't berate yourself for what you didn't do. Tearing yourself down won't change what was. What did you do? Did you get the job, the promotion, the project? Did you get custody? Did you leave that unhealthy relationship by summoning the courage you never believed you had? Did you find the strength to get sober? Did you start, or finish, that class you wanted to take?

     I salute you. Look at the amazing things you have done. How can you be disappointed with yourself. Yes, I know: you could have done more. So could I. But look at what you did. Happy Harvest indeed.

     In the span of three months I have found an amazing job that I look forward to going to each day and began a children's lit class that I have hoped to take for years now. (And I am actually making the assignment deadlines. For this procrastination queen, that is an amazing feat. Case in point, I am writing this on July 31.)

     Do I get all of the household chores done every day? No. Do I weed and water my garden every day? No. Should I? Of course. On the other hand, I go to a job I love five days a week, come home happy to greet my family, and spend time reading, playing, and watching a before-bed movie with some of the people closest to my heart. I've done pretty well so far this year. And the things I need to improve on? I have five whole months to work on them So do you. You found a job but it's not the one you want? Keep looking, but keep up at the one you have. You can't afford school? Head to your library and read all you can on your course of study while applying for every ounce of financial aid you can. Hold on, you say. Never mind advanced schooling, I'm trying to find a home for my family. I understand. Keep looking. Keep trying. Don't be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. Reap, and you shall sow. Look Life in the face and make sure Life knows you aren't going to back down.

     I'm sure these words ring hollow for some, and what worked for me may not work for everyone. And even after all I've done I still tell myself I could have done more. But at this moment, sitting listening to the late summer rain, inhaling the scent of rising bread dough (I took a break from writing to do some Kitchen Witchery), in this moment I am in possession of a harvest most abundant.

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I am a writer and poet living in western Massachusetts. I have a degree in English Lit, with a focus on the nineteenth century, and am working toward a degree in Women's Studies as well. My work has previously appeared in The Pagan Activist, The Pagan Review, GrannyMoon's Morning Feast, and The Montague Reporter. I am currently working on a series of children's books, a novel trilogy, and a poetry manuscript (I simply can't do one thing at a time!). I also have several random fantasy-based short story projects that I attack once in a while.   I am a Dianic Pagan and practice Kitchen Wicca, and am also a Reiki Master. For a glimpse into my own little corner of reality, you can stop in and visit me at Ellie.


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