There are moments when it seems a bit like the Wild is conspiring against us. When we first began this venture, it seems as though the gods of winter had nothing but spite for our plans. When warmer weather came, again, the rain that was dumped upon us for Midsummer could easily have been an insistence that we park our butts at home and forget the whole thing.
I remember Beltane on the Beach, 2014. It rained a bit the day before, it was forecast to not just rain, but to dump such a torrential downpour that the likelihood of rising sea levels would certainly be realized and we might well be dancing the maypoles in three feet of water even at low tide. Instead, the sun shone brightly, the wind off of the ocean kept us cool and we danced the maypoles with the sun reflecting off of our shining brows. As soon as we were done though, the clouds rolled in, the thunder boomed and the hail fell. It stopped in time for our Gorsedd and then picked up again as we packed up our things.
Dare I believe that the forces of nature bent to our desires? Dare I believe that the gods looked upon us with favor that day? On days like today, I do.
We had rain this morning and it let off. We began our prayer for the Penobscot in slightly humid 70°(F). We picked up around the parking area. Cigarette butts and Coffee cups, plastic wrappers, fast food containers and glass. Not as much glass as I originally expected but still plenty. We talked and laughed, we expressed revulsion at the detritus that people seemed insistent needed to be left on the ground when even a small amount of effort or care might have found it in the garbage.
There were people there who asked us what we were doing, what our purpose was. There were kids in swimsuits jumping into the river and playing in the shallows feet from where there were three broken beer bottles littering the ground.
We came to the ledges where secret lovers hid in a recess as we sang a song about the river and healing ourselves and the Earth. We held hands and spoke of our gods and asked them to bless our healing efforts. We invoked Brighid, Nemetona, Frigga and the meltoff from the mountain in spring as gods of healing for the River and our relationship with it.
We made an offering of Blueberries and Yarrow to the river and that is when the fish began to jump, no doubt for the blueberries. Trout leaped from the waters splashing back in and we knew and felt that the Penobscot itself had answered our prayer and we smiled and laughed and I watched nervously as my son climbed all over everything dangerous.
We wrapped up and began the walk back to the parking area, our prayer complete for today and as we neared the parking lot, the skies sent us a blessing of rain as well, as though all of nature conspired to remind us of the Water and it’s place in our hearts, souls and bodies. Coincidence be damned, today our gods answered our prayers and today we did something good.
Brenda put it best when she said that our Prayer was not the singing or the offering of gifts, that is for us. Our prayer was the work of cleaning and intention of healing that we brought with us. Let us all pray in this way.