Living the Wheel: Seasonal Musings of the Pagan Year

Thoughts and musings of the wheel of the Pagan Year.

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Three Things


An Irish proverb tells us there are three slender things that support the world: a stream of cow’s milk into a pail, a growing blade of corn, and a thread being woven into cloth. To the ancient Celts, these things were staples of life.


                In The Celtic Spirit, Caitlin Matthews asks that we consider what three ordinary things support our lives. This deserves some though, I feel, because lately my life is a circus. After an eight year break I have returned to college to study for my Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Management (the field I work in when I’m not at home kitchen witching). My courses are a series of six week intensives with two classes per session. I have just finished session one. I don’t know if I will survive session two.


                My first inclination is to say that my family supports my life, but that is not entirely true—they are my life. Also, what Matthews wants us to do is look around and look within ourselves, seeking the seemingly not-so-special simple things that sustain us. 


                I can say books are one of my supports, however. Even nonfiction works take me away, to another culture, another time, or another school of thought. Nearly all of my free time used to be given to reading. (Actually, it still is, but there is much less free time for me to play with.)


                My stove, where I have spent countless hours cooking, baking, brewing tea or heating cider—it’s not even mine, it came with the apartment. Yet I have a connection to it, both emotional and spiritual. When I moved from my last apartment where I had lived for 13 years, I took a moment to say goodbye to the stove. I find an enormous sense of comfort in turning the kettle on, in the simple acts of preparing a mug of tea or a pot of soup. In many homes the kitchen is the spiritual center, with the stove standing in for a traditional hearth. People are naturally drawn to the kitchen in my home; even get-togethers that are not focused on a meal end up with us in the kitchen drinking, laughing, talking or playing a game at the table (A group of adults playing Atlas Games’ Once Upon a Time or Dixit can be as amusing as Cards Against Humanity).


                The humble pen can join the ranks as well. The physical act of writing centers my thoughts, writing in my journal at night or plotting my day in my bullet journal, all of these keep me going. I have my favorite pens, of course, whose feel or weight or ink is just right, but I am far from particular, and acknowledge that I have a propensity for stealing pens. I can write in pencil, or marker, or crayon, I suppose, but I prefer pens, and have cups stuffed with them scattered around the house like vases of flowers. I may be a little obsessed: my desk at work has two of my grandmother’s vintage milk glass tumblers full of pens plus another fifteen or so in the drawer. A girl has to be prepared.


                All amusement aside, so much of who I am is written in pen: journal entries, poetry, first drafts of stories, notes tucked into my children’s lunch bags, postcards and letters to friends, even this post, written by hand before being typed here. I had to think long and hard about this last choice, because I wanted to say that writing was one of the pillars of my life, and it is, but the vessel that that writing is transferred in is the ink in all of those pens, some new, some nearly empty, others that explode in an ooze of ink as soon as I start to write, and still others dipped into a pot of ink and delicately tapped before trailing lines across the page.


                I’m sure given time I could think of other small things, so easily overlooked through the day that I rely on for inspiration, for normalcy, or for support. The feel of my cat’s fur, the sound of my husband’s voice, looking out my window to the goings on out on the street. I am striving to pay more attention now, to see what it is I unconsciously take advantage of, so I am better able to appreciate what I have.  Take some time today to think about the simple things that support you. It’s not as easy as it seems, but once you recognize what those are, you begin to appreciate more and more.

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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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