Light the Way: Beltane, 2017

Elder leaves against a Beltane sky: 2017

Feel the power of the earth, wherever you are.

It may be your garden; it may be a friend’s, or, perhaps, your local park. Better still, a wood, a meadow, a glade. Even, perhaps, a hill or mountain side, with the wind so strong you can almost lean into it. Feel it, the element of air, thrill, and support you.

On Castle Hill, Huddersfield: love you.

Visit the seaside, at least once, early: preferably, at dawn, or soon afterwards. Walk along the beach while it’s still empty, save for the sea birds, and your own company, or that of a silent someone you love, and trust to keep still.

Feel it: the power of water, the wonder of it. Walk in the rain, let it dampen you, if not drench you. Just once, just the once.

The light on the water

This earth is ours, and we are the earth’s, as a poet once said.

Tonight, by some people’s reckoning anyways, is Beltane: a pagan fire festival. Do you have someplace you can safely make, and then watch, and put out, a fire? Maybe you have a firepit, maybe, if you’re lucky, a hearth. If not, you can always burn some candles.

When hearth means home

Feel it, the power of fire. Everything it evokes in us: comfort, fear, delight. Fire was a key element in so much of what makes us human: warmth, a place to gather, the cooked food which gives better nutrition.

Some speculate that it was fire that drew the wolves which would eventually evolve into dogs. Maybe, even, the wild creatures that, over time, became domestic cats.

Chaircat of the garden: Beltane, 2017

Feel them, the power of the elements: earth, air, water, fire. However much we may kid ourselves, these are the things that sustain us, that draw us together; and yes, which we fight over: the basics of life. And yet, foolishly, we try and control them; even, to deny them to our fellow human beings.

We, the creatures who have denied others access to water; who grab land from each other at the drop of a pound coin, a dollar bill. Who deny the plants and minerals of the earth to others. Who leave our fellow humans to starve, to shiver, and to die. Who sometimes abandon our children, our old ones, our companion animals.

But we can change. We can strive to be our better selves. Our better angels, if you prefer. The ones that care, not just for others, but themselves, too. Who care, not just for ourselves, but for each other.

This Beltane, let us light the way. Fight fire, not with more fire, but with the ties that bind us to each other, as well as to this earth.

Beltane blessings to us all, as we make our ways through life.



Tagged: air, Beltane, cats, dogs, earth, fire, gardens, humanity, joy, Loreena McKennitt, love, May Day, paganism, Robert Frost, seaside, the elements, The Gift Outright, The Old Ways, water

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