Friday, April 22, 2011

On Earth Day, I Realize I'm a Bad Pagan

How am I a bad Pagan*, you might ask?
Wild Mustard, from Illinios Wild Flowers
Recently, Jason Pitzl-Waters at The Wild Hunt blog posted a link to Chas Clifton’s article “Where You At?  At the bottom of it were twenty questions asking if you knew the land you lived in.  Unfortunately, I failed most of them.  Name five grasses in your area?  Uhm… green grass and prairie grass…  Is straw a grass? 

I realized that I don’t have much connection to my land.  I’ve lived in apartments and the middle of a (small) city all my life.  I don’t know exactly where my ancestors came from, but I know five generations have lived in this town, on this land, surrounded by corn and the remains of what came before.  This is where I’m at, and I should get to know it.

This idea of getting to know the land of my birth isn’t a new one.  I’ve been kicking it around for a while.  I got burned out on activism for oceans I’ve only seen once and decided that my energy is better spent working in my own area.  I volunteered to help pick wild mustard to help restore a local savannah and I’m really excited about it.  I have no idea what it looks like or how to pick it, but I’m ready to learn.  I have posters of local flora and fauna I got for free from a state agency and I think I’ll finally get around to putting them up.

I’m going to use Clifton’s list as a checklist of things I should know.  I hope by the time I can remember all the answers, I will have made a deeper connection to the spirits of the land I call home.

I challenge you to do the same.

Happy Earth Day!

* I'm not a 'bad' Pagan, just one that feels the need to get more in touch with the planet under her feet.  If you too are suffering from not knowing what type of grass your lawn is, don't worry, no one will burn you at the stake - They'd make you identify the tree the stake was made from! :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Faeries Dance Round and Round

I went to a public ritual last weekend, the Iowa Pagan Alliance’s second annual Faerie Ball.  It’s a fundraiser for the Faerie Festival in June and also a benefit for a women’s shelter.  It was pretty much a last minute thing for me as it’s an hour away from my house.  But a friend had surgery and needed a back-up DJ and I said I would help.

The drive down there was gorgeous, I think I was smiling the whole time and needed to remind myself that I was driving.  I felt like I was reconnecting to the earth and her seasons just by driving to somewhere new.  I have a half hour commute every day, but I rarely look outside anymore.  I either write or sleep or stare listlessly out the window while I contemplate all the things I need to do.  It could be that the view was new, or I could be that I just wanted to give my all to this event, but I thoroughly enjoyed the drive.

The event itself was interesting.  It was fun, excepting my avoidance of talking to most new people and blowing a fuse.  Once I left, however, I really enjoyed it.  I did talk to new people, I did something new, and I wore something new (I made my own wings!).  I got to be in a group ritual again.  I am excited about getting together with these folks again – and I wish I didn’t have an event going on already at the same time as their Beltane ritual.

One of the things that I have discovered over the past couple of years is that I want to be a part of a group.  I want to share experiences and worries with a group of like-minded folks who won’t think I’m weird when I talk about gnomes stealing my stuff.  I want to be a part of a group that can give me advice on what to do when my kiddo thinks someone is watching him all the time.  I want to validate my feeling of raising energy instead of thinking it’s all in my head. 

My women’s spirituality group is now turning into our own kind of circle as a few friends have the same desire and need.  We all want someone to be accountable for expanding our practice and stretching our muscles.  And I’m excited about it.

I’m standing on the edge.  The ground is sweeping away in front of me, but with just a little hop, I can reach the other side and begin my journey up the mountain.  I can’t wait to find out who is at the top.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Noumenia! A good start

I have a good feeling about this month.  This last week started out well and I can see the rest of the month following.  I've had a lot of good starts lately.  I sent in a poem for a workshop at the end of the month, they will give a critique of a poem and have key note speakers.  I signed up for the Iowa Poetry Association, the group running the workshop.  I finally wrote and submitted an article for He Epistole.  I went to a gardening coalition meeting and am very excited to see that project get started.  I ordered and picked up a book from our local small bookstore for my spirituality group.  I plan on attending the Faerie Ball on Saturday and being a backup for the DJ.

But I haven't touched my fiction project.  I haven't added pages to Mused.  I haven't figured out how to get my kiddo to stop lying. 

But I have figured out a lot of things and that has buoyed me through the last week. 

Now I just need to keep dedication to all parts of my life up and we'll be fine. :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Sacred Art of Laundry

I've been in a funk lately, as I'm sure I've told you before, but the spring winds whipping wildly through the plains has helped wake me up.

This weekend was wonderful.  The weather yesterday ended up at over eighty degrees.  In April.  In Iowa.  It was a surprise especially since snow was forecast within a few days.  But that's Iowan weather for you.  Changeable and mischievous.   The weather was so absolutely gorgeous yesterday, I used the clothesline in the yard for the first time this year. 

Going outside with a basket full of clothes doesn't sound like it would be a good way to commune with the gods, but for me, it was probably one of my most peaceful moments of the week.  The sun was shining, the grass was turning green, and the wind was teasing. 

I didn't say a prayer or direct my attention to anything, but I just held on to the thought that the sun was sacred and the earth was sacred and the wind was sacred.  Even now, thinking about it brings a smile to my lips.  The sacred art of laundry.  It's a peaceful, easy feeling, knowing that I can honor the gods in all aspects of my life.  In doing the dishes, in hanging out the laundry, I can feel a part of it all. 

Hail the gods.