Well, its been a while, has it not? Yes, I am running slightly off the Tuesday-Thursday-Once_on_the_Weekend schedule I have been trying to keep. But then, moving will do that for you….
Yes, I moved further south in Texas – on to the other side of the DFW metro-mess. Closer to Austin. Closer to San Antonio. Closer to Houston. I am fairly certain there are not very many Pagans around here either. But coming from closed-minded, overtly Catholic, supremely unfriendly Lindsey, Texas – anything is likely to be a better choice. Plus, there is a lot more woods here…and the Hill Country of Texas is just a stone’s throw out the window. It also cuts my drive to my chosen family by nearly half the drive it was before (for the moment). So there are plus signs all around.
But at night…the stars are in a slightly different place. And for someone that spends a lot of time with the night sky, its a little disconcerting, confusing, and odd. However, every night sky has all of us seeing the same night sky. Some with different stars, some with the same – but its really just because the vantage point is different.
Then again, Life is different than it was a year ago, five years ago, ten years ago, or even when I graduated high school in 1984. And it better be. Life is always continually moving, always changing – some of those changes are too gradual to really notice until we stop on the path and look back into our personal histories.
My life as a Pagan has been in a constant state of change and flux. Not because I had no idea where I wanted to go or what I envisioned myself as some aspect of a Pagan. Quite the opposite. I have been a Pagan for over thirty years. I have always had a fairly strong idea of what being a Pagan meant to me. for the most part, that Path has always been beneath my feet. Meeting up with – and working with – Gods of any sort, I never really envisioned any of that, and yet here I am. Druidry was the last Pagan Path I ever checked into, it turned out to be the tightest fit to my own personal beliefs.
What got me to here? Time. Patience. Perseverance. There were plenty of times that I could have turned back to my southern Baptist beginnings or even the Catholic upbringing my parents aimed me towards when they wanted me to follow their desires for me. But both of those Paths never really settled well for me. Likewise, I had plenty of opportunities to step away from the ridicule and harassment that I faced during my time in the United States military. I stuck with it because this Path was right for ME.
Interestingly enough, I always am asked why I have remained a Pagan through to this point in my life. Its an easy question to answer – because this is who and what I am – but a difficult answer for non-Pagans to understand completely or correctly. Sometimes, its almost as if you have to be a Pagan to completely grok the idea. or maybe I am just not getting the point across because I am doing a poor job of explaining it. Most likely its because I don’t feel its my job to explain every aspect of my Spirituality to others in words or tones that they can comprehend or not be hurt emotionally by. ::shrug::
So, now life will continue under a blanket of stars that are the same…yet different. My world will be drastically different down on ground level. Buildings will be different, the people that I see daily will be different. But the sky will have some familiarity to bring me comfort in both my daily life and within my Spirituality.
Parts of Life are about to change drastically though – even more drastically than the people I see or the buildings I drive past daily. I am starting to step into some of the roles of being a Priest. I have no guide or road-map to work from. My footsteps in the sands will be the first for me. My Path of Druidry also has a feel of changing roads as well. The Path before my feet feels more like a thin, rarely used path in the forest than the formal, sand covered, walking trail it has been. My footing is a bit more unsure, so my steps must be more firmly planted. Yet, I continue on.
I have no power over this, you know I’m afraid
The walls I built are crumbling
The water is moving, I’m slipping away
I throw myself into the sea
Release the wave, let it wash over me
To face the fear I once believed
The tears of the dragon, for you and for me
–Bruce Dickinson, ‘The Tears of the Dragon”
In case you have been wondered what these ramblings are about, I added some of the lyrics from Bruce Dickinson’s song “Tears of the Dragon” from his “Balls to Picasso” solo album. In concert, Bruce would introduce this song by saying “Here is a song that is about being shit-scared of change…” Here, its appropriate. Life is always about small, incremental change. You don’t always see it. Move where you live. Change jobs. Start a relationship. All big changes where everything changes instantly. What seems so frightening is that everything at ground level changes nearly instantly. There are hardly any handholds there to keep you from feeling like you are being swept down-river on a raging, uncontrollable river. And some of that is certainly true. But stop. Look up. See the stars? Some of them are in slightly different places than before. But its the same stars. You only change your vantage point….