• Autumn has arrived

    Well, hello Autumn!  We had another hot and dry summer, and suddenly we’re having 40s at night and mild days.  The leaves have started to don their autumn colors, and much of the garden has been harvested.  The deer have invaded and are munching the apples, with the squirrels and unnamed rodents having tunneled throughout the lawn.

    Autumn in Maine is a beautiful time, though I’m having some difficulty being mindful of the season as I know it’s a precursor to winter.  I don’t like our winters 🙁

    Autumn, and the equinox are my favorite time of the year.  Yes, it’s my birthday, but my focus is more on the sensory experience which are so vibrant right now: the fiery colors, the luscious smells of apples, spice, pumpkins, corn, and the yummy odor of fried foods coming from the local fairgrounds. There’s a crispness to the air, with the days comfortable, and the nights spent around bonfires or snuggled up in a soft sweater or blanket.  The crickets have chirped for the past month, and now they’re accompanied by night-time hooting from owls.

    Whether you call this season Mabon, Harvest Home, or the Equinox, may it bring many wonderful treasures to you.  May you find balance, light, and warmth, as the nights become cooler.

  • Lammas

    Whelp…it’s Lammas.

    Not sure how I feel about that, as it also emphasizes that the harvest season is here, and that means…Winter is coming!    I really don’t like winter.  It seems to last forever, kicks my butt and brings on the depression.

    Regardless.  It’s Lammas, and while it’s been hot and humid way too often, we’ve had a wonderful summer.  The garden has grown well, there’s lots of beautiful color,  smells, and fresh veggies and fruit are always a wonderful thing.  I appreciate that I have land where I can make a direct connection to the earth, Herself.  I can sink my toes and fingers into the soil, hear all the seasonal noises (currently crickets), enjoy the sun and moonbeams, and have privacy.

    The season has been filled with lots of events, even if I don’t attend all of them.  Holistic fairs, the start of Pagan Pride gatherings, Lammas festivals, bonfires, and autumnal preparations.  I’ll be attending Pagan Community Day on Saturday, which gives me a chance to see familiar faces, offer support as MPCA president, and enjoy some music and workshops.   The kiddo has a month-long visit with his father, which gives me some much needed rest from active parenting.  The kiddo enters junior high this year, which will present new, as well as old, challenges.

    So…Lammas.  First harvest.  Reaping what our actions have manifested: continued good health, connection with the land, changes in the work-setting, becoming more cognizant of issues needing attention, and learning how to navigate new challenges.

    A blessed Lammas to All!

  • Summer and some random/scattered thoughts

    It’s been a few months, and I thought I should  catch up with the world.  Have been busy juggling my job as a therapist , the Clergy association, and parenting a tween.  Said tween is increasingly moody (uh oh…puberty stuff), and I experienced a profound moment of worrying about my childs’ depth of sadness, and possible suicidality.

    It is so important that people understand that mental illness can impact ANYONE.  It’s not a weakness, a behavioral issue, laziness, or even a choice.  The changes that occur in the brain, and in the body, profoundly impact a person’s thought process. and emotional state. YOU could develop mental illness!  No one is immune.

    My child has always been deep, and constantly questions their purpose.  They wouldn’t understand that existential questions aren’t easily, or quickly, answered.  I’ve been answering questions in the best way possible,  and hoping that my child will choose to keep living, find purpose, and be able to see the joy and beauty, and not just the bleakness in this world.  Working with my child, around these struggles, has been painful and upsetting.

    As our small family struggles through the challenges of childhood and mental health, we also try to be mindful of the world of nature in order to sustain hope, awe, and connection.   Hey!  We’re Pagans 🙂

    The garden has been in for about 2 months, there’s a lot of growth, and a bit of worry that we may have another drought.  I’ve been proactive and have increased the number of rain barrels and used straw to mulch the garden spaces.   I love being outdoors….the smells, the sounds, the quietness of my corner of the Maine woods.  I’d like to be closer to friends, but I would have to leave this haven.

    Sometimes, all the beauty in the world cannot get through the darkness.  And it’s that fact that I’m pondering lately.   I’m tired    Being a single parent is exhausting and I haven’t experienced a spark of creativity in quite a long time.  My brain is constantly in analytical mode, caring for the kiddo,  worrying about Mom’s mini heart-attacks, assessing/treating clients, writing documents for MPCA, and I’m just NOT feeling nurtured.  Yeah, yeah….nurture myself.  I’m too tired.  I recognize that pattern of deterioration, and have struggled with depression in the past.  Like I mentioned…anyone can experience depression.

    It seems like everything that could be bullshit keeps coming my way:  people presenting non-issues or being flighty and causing smash-and-dash chaos,  boundary problems with people stomping on my toes as they don’t even attend to their own tasks.  Yeah…be more assertive.   Apparently doing it in the constructive manner isn’t working right now 🙁

    The community talks about supporting others, reaching out, and taking care of our leaders.  I don’t look for, or expect that support, but dammit….sometimes I need it too!  Instead, I experience a sense of always being expected to give more, or of even being questioned regarding my efforts.   Really?!    Obviously I cannot please everyone, and I need to find a better balance regarding leadership activities and the multitude of demands that entitled people think they’re entitled to.  *ugh*  I cannot be friends with everyone, please everyone, and need to re-center and just be myself.

    Current issues in the Pagan community continue to focus on how to work collaboratively, addressing stereotypes that Pagans continue to perpetuate about themselves, and even fellow Pagans, words and their definition, with these becoming an enormous mess as everyone vies for whose meaning is more valid.  I’m observing that trends within Paganism are fostering continued personal exploration, finding your own spiritual way, and the growth of non-Wiccan paths and traditions.  Within all of this are the negative and unfortunate trends:  the loss of our Elders,  newer Pagans not knowing their history or spiritual Ancestors, and the rejection (even animosity) of Pagan paths that remain pertinent given their role in modern Pagan history.

    Given some of the trends, I’ve been wishing that someone would write a book about the history of Paganism in Maine.   A recent tarot reading resulted in the reader chastising me as to why I hadn’t written a book yet!  Guess I’m getting a message, huh?  I put out some feelers, received ecstatic responses, and already have a co-author on board.  More to follow….

    We enjoyed fair weather at our annual Beltane on the Beach gathering, are preparing for another Pagan Clergy conference, and the Pagan Pride season is revving-up.  A panel-discussion is in the works, as well as more work on the MPCA end of things.

    Why do I do what I do?  I believe someone must, that all of these efforts have a positive impact on people and the world I inhabit,  I have abilities that can be put into service for my community, and because the Gods demanded that I do so.  When the Gods speak, you can ignore (to your regret) or hop on-board.  I was Called more than 3 decades ago, and my work as Priestess and Clergy continues to this day.  That work is also about balance and self-care, and to use a favorite analogy:  how can I offer you a drink if my cup is empty?   Balance.  Which also means giving voice to the frustrations in order to empty-out and make room for the good stuff.  We all need a moment to whine and complain, cry and rage, and make an effort to implement change in order to continue growing.   ~K~