Sunday, September 20, 2009

finding my balance

We call it Mabon. I follow the cycle of the seasons, and in my spiritual practice I honor the changes that are taking place as the season turns. Where we live, it's harvest time, just before our Thanksgiving (second Monday in October) and the season is changing, from summer to autumn. This year the changes seem more subtle, because our summer weather wasn't very hot, but still, at night the air is cooler. The leaves are changing colour and starting to fall. I'm feasting - on corn, zucchini, tomatoes, early macs, pears, many fresh and tasty foods are out there right now, especially where I live.

From Wikipedia:

The holiday of Autumn Equinox, Harvest Home, Mabon, the Feast of the Ingathering, Meán Fómhair or Alban Elfed (in Neo-Druidic traditions), is a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and God during the winter months. The name Mabon was coined by Aidan Kelly around 1970 as a reference to Mabon ap Modron, a character from Welsh mythology.[14] In the northern hemisphere this equinox occurs anywhere from September 21 to 24. In the southern hemisphere, the autumn equinox occurs anywhere from March 19 to 22. Among the sabbats, it is the second of the three harvest festivals, preceded by Lammas/Lughnasadh and followed by Samhain.

Persephone begins her descent to the underworld, and Demeter mourns for her lost daughter. Day is in equal balance with night - and in this season, we search for the balance that is missing from our lives. It's part of the process, the cycle that brings us from season to season. Winter, the dark time, is time to reflect and plan for the coming year, Spring is for sowing seeds, summer is for growth, heat, energy...and autumn is for harvest, and for giving thanks. And we begin the cycle anew by sending out tiny little tendrils of intentions, hopes for the next season of growth.

We met last night, and we ritualled together, as we do for all Sabbats. And during that ritual, we were called upon to do three things to prepare for out own descent into the darkness that precedes Winter Solstice, Yule....we named our blessings, our harvest for the year. We purged ourselves of what we no longer needed. And we asked for the things we needed in order to continue our work.

It was a very emotional time for me.

I focus on the negative so often, especially in this space. Sometimes I need to vent, and look - here's a blank page for me to vent with. Sometimes I just need to know that other people have felt what I am feeling - and I know that a few of you, reading these words are with me. You are where I am. You've been where I've been, and can relate to my experiences. So I bring everything here, vent, and carry on with my "one wild and precious life."

But when I think back on the past year - wow! So much has happened, so much has changed...and in almost every single instance, I was better off for the experience. I have so much to be thankful for...and I don't say thank you often enough.

So, here is my list of gratitude, for the Universe, the Goddess and all the blessings she holds:

  • First, my family. I have two beautiful daughters who bring me so much joy - and a fair share of angst as well, but that's parenthood. But beyond my girls, I have my parents, a sister, three brothers, their spouses and kids, aunts, uncles, cousins, a grandmother still living and sometimes terribly confused at 98, but today she recognized me. And while I sometimes feel that my changes have caused some distance between us, there are days (like today) when I start to think that it's mostly in my head. (There is a story behind this, but I have to post it separately). I love them, I love them all (but I would like to take my uncle who thinks that not liking gays is not the same as homophobia and give him a good swift kick - really, because arguing didn't seem to work)...and I am so grateful to have them in my life.
  • And my friends. Friends from high school that I've come out to that have suported and encouraged me (thanks S). Friends who give me support and love always, who let me cry when I need to and make me roll on the floor with laughter, but who kick my ass when it really needs kicking(you know who you all are). Friends that I see once or twice a year, friends I see almost every week, and friends that I've never met. You've enriched my life in countless ways.
  • The house I live in, my neighbourhood with its tall trees, the co-op, the community garden, the creek that flows beside my front door.
  • My job. Work that I still look forward to every day, in spite of seventeen years of chasing kids around.
  • The talent that I've been blessed with. I may not be writing much right now, but I can write, and do it well, and I'll be back at it eventually.
  • 130 pounds lost and a body that can move, walk, run, breathe, and live. A body that I like, that looks good. I can buy clothes now! And sometimes I look amazing.
  • 44 years young and not a grey hair on my head.
  • Being Canadian rocks. I love this country.
  • Food. Fresh fruit and vegetables, things that I cook (and I am a good cook), diet coke, Tim Hortons coffee, pistachios, water, blessed clean water.
  • Abundance all around me - I may not have a lot of money, but I have good food, shelter and every material thing I need, except a treadmill, and I know that I'll find one I can afford. The goddess has been so generous to me - and I intend to share that abundance in every way I can.
  • Cats, dogs, birds that sing outside my window in the morning, ducks, geese that fly overhead in formation, spiders, snakes, just about every living critter I can think of except mosquitoes and fruit flies.
  • Being aware of who I am, being a lesbian and learning to accept, love and thrive in my new life. Coming to that awareness was a difficult process, and I still struggle, but my struggle is not really about learning to live as a lesbian. It's about the same thing I've struggled with all along - being open, being fearless and learning to love from the inside out. Out.
  • Women. How I love them.
  • Writers, books, words, poems, blogs, facebook updates, all the ways of communicating that involve some form of text. Except text messaging because I don't do that.
  • Music - and all those incredible singer/songwriters who can capture moments and emotions, and store them into small bits of joy and beauty. I couldn't live without music, and I am so grateful for my own singing voice. My talent doesn't bring me to the stage, but how I love to sing!
  • Beauty. Georgian Bay and the Niagara Escarpment, places that make my heart sing and my words flow. This beautiful, precious planet we live on.
  • For all of you who drop by and read my words, whether you comment, or silently take it in, thank you!
  • My Refocksa family. Once we were strangers, can you believe it? Thank you for your comments, your encouragement, for allowing me into your hearts and lives.
I'm sure I can think of more, but I've hit the major highlights anyways.

I purged - or tried to. I keep trying to get rid of the same bad habits, the same patterns that haunt me, that hold me back - but I am so stubborn, and I could not let go. So I hereby banish the fear - and it's all really fear, when I think about it. Fear that keeps me closed to new relationships, fear that prevents me from taking risks, fear that holds me down when I really want to fly.

And I welcome in the things that will open me up, help me to risk it all for the sake of living fully, without fear and mindful of every moment and blessing my life will bring - courage, creativity and love.

I am so blessed. It's time to live my gratitude.


Ang said...

Beautifully writen. I am glad you reminded us we all have things to be thankful for :)

MakingSpace said...

OMG I'm in tears. I live in the tropics and the sense of seasonal change is quite different here. But the ebb and flow of blessings and release - oh how familiar. Your gratitude list had me sitting up closer to my screen as if doing so would get me closer to those lovely lovely blessings. Thanks for sharing.

eileen pennington said...

thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Change is good, celebrating the season good, but I can't be happy about the season changing. We didn't have a summer! Ah well, there is always next year.

Earth Muffin said...

Beautiful post. You've come a long way, baby!

an ambrosia life said...

tears~beautiful post....My grandma just celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday....I know that feeling of being recognized....they get that twinkle and their face lights up all glittery.

Maria said...

Ah, yes. So much to be thankful for.

Laura Lee said...

Wonderful! I'm still learning about the earth rituals - have only been exposed to a limited amount. Please keep teaching.