So, another Beltane rolls around – and I get the inevitable question:
What are you going to do for Beltane this year?
My answer hasn’t changed over the years. I typically spend the day reading whatever book I have handy at the moment. I’ll take my daily walk sometime in the early afternoon. If I am feeling a little tired, I’ll take a nap at some point or another. I might even watch a movie or some television if I feel particular moved to do so. In other words, I do the same thing I do most days.
People – particularly my Pagan friends – freak out whenever I state that. Don’t you want to find a group of folks and gather together for a ritual celebrating the turn of the Wheel? Isn’t this a time to celebrate, and be with other Pagans? How can you not want to be in with others during this particular time of the Year? Its not that difficult for me. I’ve never done well in groups – particular large settings. Smaller groups – yeah. But I don’t see a particular significance to this one particular point in the Year. I see every single day as a particular point in the Wheel of the Year to celebrate. And I do that through my everyday intentions. Every morning, I spend a few minutes meditating on what a great day it is. If the sun will be out in a high, blue sky — its not different than a day where a cold, dreary rain comes from the same point. Both help the world around me to grow – feeding the plant life with water or sunshine – which in turn helps to feed the animal life as well. I am reminded of a quote attributed to Chief Seattle, a Duwamish tribal leader:
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
I understand and respect the desire and need to celebrate a particular moment in the Wheel of the Year. But that understanding and respect does not mean that I partake of that tradition. Every single individual finds their own manner in which to honor the Sources of Life. Each step upon the Path of Life is taken individually – even where the Path is the same. Over the years, I have taken a lot of grief over my stance that each day is sacred and should be celebrated for what it is. That no one single day is any more important than any other – that the days should be taken collectively, rather than individually, as a celebration of accomplishment. I see these “celebrations” of the Wheel of the Year, as a point of reflective respect for what has been completed, as well as a point of contemplation on what lay ahead. Such moments need not be undertaken on a single day or at some pre-agreed upon point. These can be taken at the beginning of any day, at any point – and hold just as much significance. It works for me…that doesn’t mean that it will work for anyone else. We are individuals, after all.