I'm not very bright but I can lift heavy things - Tactical Ninja
Nov. 1st, 2010
09:44 am - I'm not very bright but I can lift heavy things
This weekend was Beltane in the southern hemisphere. Yes, yes, Hallowe'en - not really A Thing here, although I saw a couple of kids in costume and one awesome Mum/Kid pair in 2-foot tall purple witch hats. Nobody knocked on our door looking for goodies, which is a good thing because they would have got Granny Smith apples (being the only conveniently-packaged thing we had handy). I'm sure they would have appreciated the healthy alternative to lollies, right? But this is NZ and no kids turned up trick or treating, despite my home being in Deepest Suburbia.
Anyway, Beltane. It's a cross-quarter according to the wheel of the year that celebrates 8 sabbats. That is, it falls halfway between the equinox and the solstice. I have some trouble with cross-quarters because I'm a practical soul and if there's no astronomical thingy saying 'the wheel turns on this day' then I'm a bit *side-eye* on it. But anyway, it definitely feels more spring-turning-to-summery than just springy. It does! Ignore Friday and yesterday's temperature! But, you know, the tuis are scrapping (and the moreporks), shearing season's kicking off, and the azaleas are going all brown and yucky, so something is happening. So yeah, Beltane.
Beltane is traditionally a fertility festival, about new beginnings and planting the seeds for the coming year, encouraging growth and abundance, and engaging with community in an outgoing way.
I don't believe in deities and I'm not big on ritual. My UPG is something along the lines of everything being all made of the same stuff at a subatomic level, and therefore being affected by the same forces and containing within it the potential to connect. We are all made of stars, and other such cosmic mouthings. Etc. So from my perspective, spirituality isn't about ritual, it's about how you live, every day. I do mark the solstices and the equinoxes, but outside that, my life is my ritual. *wankwank* So this cross-quarter business, how does one celebrate it when one feels something going on but isn't into donning the robes and chanting the bad poetry*?
Well, on Saturday I went up to Graeme Houston's place and ground my shearing gear. While I was there I ground his gear too, and he gave me some wide combs he will never use because he only dags these days and I do all his shearing. It's a relationship of years now, and every time I see him I'm reminded of why we get along - a shared love of farming. He got $160 for his hoggets and was justifiably proud! After than I went to Mum's house and weeded the garden while hanging out with my brother, and we shared reminiscenses about our parents. Then I went home and changed the sheets on my bed (made The Kid do his too), spring cleaned the lounge and did several loads of washing. In the evening I went to visit rivet and rikan_feral, and we hung out, ate brownies, played with my New Toy (pic here for Joel):
and laughed a lot. I'd been a bit down, missing Joel and having memories of my parents, and hanging out with these two was just the ticket to make me feel better. I went home feeling refreshed.
Yesterday, I shovelled dirt. And rocks. All day. I like to think of it as connecting with the earth**. *nods* This involved shovelling from a pile on the car deck into a wheelbarrow, then wheeling it to a hopper that fed a series of conveyor belts which took it up to the roof, where more people were spreading it out for planting.There was a lot of dirt, now there's a little and the rest of it is on tieke and happyinmotion's roof. There was a trailer full of small river stones, and half of that is now up there too. There are also plants planted in the dirt, although I missed out on that bit because I went home to hang out with my family. pombagira, who had been off Doing Pagan Stuff, came home all spacey and told me about her adventures and I told her about mine and we laughed because two more different ways of celebrating Beltane probably don't exist but they both worked and they both left us pretty useless for anything else afterwards. I'm sure the ancestors would be proud. Especially my Yorkshire ones. "Aye lass, good t'see yer feet firmly on't ground."
And I think I got it all in. Community building, planting, clearing space for new growth, starting new projects and refreshing old ones, being active, getting dirty, waking up the next morning tired and sore but satisfied.
* No offence to those who do enjoy the poetry - one thing about pagans seems to be an ability to laugh at themselves and that flippant comment is intended to produce a wry grin. If you'd like to tell me off resoundingly for it, please do. In haiku form.
** At least, by the end my hair was full of dust and my hands were black and I smelled pretty damn earthy.
To cap it off, I got to have my first real video chat with Dr Wheel last night in bed. The time difference is 5 hours, so mid-to-late evening works best for connecting, and we got a whole hour! Seeing his face makes me happy, but there's a poignancy in touching the screen and feeling cold hard plastic instead of warm soft flesh when it looks like he's just there! But you know, I remember not that long ago, your partner moving to another country would mean the only live contact was expensive international toll calls, and you wouldn't see them at all. This is a huge improvement. And it's only 10 weeks to January.
I am setting myself goals this week, because I only have two weeks before study starts again and I want to use the time wisely.
1. Update and send CV to Hong Kong. Seriously, my resolve on this one is only getting stronger, although the picture of bamboo scaffolding in HK made me realise how different things are there and how much I'd have to learn should I make the move while staying within the building industry.
2. Spend time with new toy and make a mix. One of my mixes from this year popped up on my car stereo yesterday and you know, it's kinda good! It was a nice confidence boost because I doubt myself a lot when it comes to mixing.
3. Do the second cut sorting for two of the boxes of photographs/papers from Mum's. Get some albumy type things and start putting the 'keepers' into them. This will feel like actual progress instead of faffing.
Wish me luck!