Thoughts Going Forward

Dealing with the passing of a parent is not an easy thing. I know. I dealt with the passing of my mother a little over six months ago. Dealing with the passing of both parents can also be quite trying. I know this too. My father passed away just a couple of week ago. These last two weekends, I have dealt with being in my parents’ house, trying to determine what belongings I wish to have, and what I can part with through an estate sale. Its not been easy. Today, I pack up a small rental moving truck with most of the belongings I wish to keep. Some of it – in particular five large living room cabinets – will be problematic, but I should be smart enough to figure out a solution. Other aspects will merely be packing boxes. In all, I may be taking less than an 1/8th of what is here. But its not the amount of things I take that matters, its the memories that are attached to them.

In all reality, I’m still dealing with my grief for the passing of both of my parents. But I am reminded that I have my own life that continues. I see the amount of material that my parents have left behind – the amount of material that is pure detritus – just collections of “stuff” — and I know that I have a very similar problem at my own home. Material that serves no other purpose than taking up room. My footprint must become smaller. I’d much rather pass tangible memories on to my family, then a pile of material that has to be sorted, cataloged, and disseminated after I pass beyond the veil.

While I was at the OBOD Gulf Coast Gathering, I encountered, mingled, and meshed with a group of people that I fit with. Not friends, not people I know – family, in the purest sense of the word. I want to pass and share memories with these people, things that transcend material objects…shared moments of experience. And I can’t do that sitting in my home, sequestered from the world around me. Yet again, I feel the gentle nudge from Crow – get out there, be a part of it. Yes, that’s how I will make those lasting memories – those shared experiences that will be held far beyond the sentiment behind some physical object.

The Magick of the Night, the Magick of Memories

Moonlight

Night time. The pitch black of the night – or in my case, about as close as you can get when punctuated by the various street-lights and houses around you. For the past few nights, I have been wandering outside and sitting out by the stone circle in my backyard, just as I do when the sun comes up. And once the back yard settles down from my noise entrance through the patio door, the sounds of the night begin anew.

Occasionally, the whoosh of a car goes by on the street just beyond the fence, hurtling its occupants to destinations I can only guess at. Once, a jogger strode past on the sidewalk, pulling his canine companion along – the fluorescent tape on the clothing making an eerie yellow glow in the night as the street light catches the material just right. And through it all, I sit. Watching, listening, marveling. The night has many secrets.

The first time I did this, I went out shortly after the sun had set. The twilight was marked by the noisy chattering and chirping of grackles bedding down for the night in a nearby copse. The neighbors were just starting to head inside after a day of lounging by their pool. Slowly, the night was enveloped by the deafening roar of quiet. I live a few miles from one of the busiest interstates in the United States – silence is nearly impossible, even this far from that heavily traveled road. When the quiet finally arrived, the crickets took to singing their song of welcome for the night, while I gazed skyward. Skyward, hoping for a glimpse of…clouds. I had forgotten to check the forecast to see what kind of night I would have. Instead, I sat and focused on the sounds of the night. Particularly the soft whoosh of the wind caressing the leaves of my backyard giant.

The second night was much the same. On the first and second nights, there was a smell of rain in the air. I do not know how else to describe it. It *smelled* like water, fresh water. Not the heavy smell of chlorinated water which occasionally wafts over the fence line from the neighbor’s house, if the wind is just right. Its the same smell you get right after a nice, soothing, cool rain on a hot Summer day. The third night was different though.

The weather pattern for the area had pulled much of the cloud cover to the East. And this night, I was treated to a view of the night sky. There were wisps of cloud accentuating the sky in various places, so it was not a completely clear picture. But I could see the Moon in all of her glory. Somewhere between full and three-quarters, hanging in the sky like a lopsided yellowish melon doing its best imitation of a piƱata. Waiting for a stick to rise through the air and score a direct hit – showering the world in my favorite candy – Milky Way candy bars!! Oh if it were just true!

It was the stars that held my gaze the longest. I could only imagine how much life there was beyond the world that we live in. Surely, this could not be the only location that sustains life? And how would we define life? Ah, such wonderful questions of philosophy running around in my brain, as I watch the unmoving will o’ the wisps high in the dark velvet fabric above me. Even sitting here in the backyard of my home in suburban Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas – I find myself easily transported several years back. Laying in the back of my Ford Ranger pickup truck with the tailgate down, legs dangling over the edge of the tailgate. My date and I watching the night stars while we talked back and forth about whatever subject came to our minds. Our location was a country road fifty to sixty miles out side of the west of Fort Worth – out in the country. Any subject was on the table – whatever came to your mind at the moment. And then it was explored, discussed, analyzed. We stayed there until the sun came up to our East, reminding us both that we needed to find food and then a bed for sleep. A magickal time, a magickal moment. One that is etched deep in my memory. The night does have this effect on me. There are deep memories attached to this period of time, when the Sun is caressing the opposite of the globe, and the Moon reflects His brilliance onto the darkened side – to remind us that the Sun is going to be back.

Like many a Pagan before me, I have stepped out into the environment around me, intent on finding the Spirits and the Gods – and occasionally I am lucky enough to do so. But there’s also magick to be found, the magick of memories. And there is also magick to be made, which will become even deeper magick of the memories. The Gods, the Spirits, the Magick – its all around us. We just have to be quiet enough and still enough to let that under-current reach us.