Textual Arachne

A weaver of threads.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

New clothes for old

Joyful Beltane!

The summer holidays always creep up on me unawares. It wasn't until I changed my T-pass from April to May, after my morning practice and after blinking groggily at the calendar, that I remembered today is Beltane. (By semi-conventional understanding, anyway. Reckoning by the sun, the quarter-day is later this week, I think. But today is the day I celebrate!)

Beltane, today, is about cultivating joy. In the coming part of the year, I'll be having some major life shifts; I graduate from my Masters' program in a month, and I'll be married not long after the solstice. It's easy for me to become overwhelmed and depressed by the work ahead, or by the feeling that I'm still not accomplishing everything I should in order to be the person I want to be. So Beltane is about yanking myself out of that rut to see the growing world around me and actually celebrate, not just exist in my own mental fog.

To actually recognize that the world is blooming, sprouting, greening all over again. Things have exploded into color here in the last two weeks: cherry blossoms, daffodils, hyacinths, and the thick sweet scent of the occasional magnolia tree.

(There's a line of tulips in front of the William James house that I remembered as being like cups of flame. This year, they've come up and seem to be only yellow...and then I saw more cup-of-fire tulips out in front of the bus stop today. Ah, everywhere You are...)

How will I celebrate? In verse and gift, in sunlight. Tonight I will meditate, beginning a project of reading one of Four Quartets at the four quarter-days. I'm going to a poetry reading in the evening. I'll even write one myself--haven't figured out the form yet--as an offering. I'm tracking down gifts to give a few friends. I've spent the morning working on a paper, and I'll work outside on another one this afternoon. In other words, I'll be integrating my loves that easily fly apart: love of the Divine, love of lover and friends, love of work, love of words.

When I meditate tonight, I'll exchange new clothes for old. Beltane is a kind of "new year," Samhain's bright twin. In other meditations over the last year, I've stripped off old armors and protections that were harming more than helping; but I've also learned that I need some kind of structure and shaping to my life. There's something silly about a 'spiritual summer wardrobe', I won't deny that--but it's also meaningful and helpful to me.

New clothes for old! New voices for the new season! Welcome summer, and joyful Beltane to you all!


At 7:17 AM, Blogger rbarenblat said...

This morning as I sat in prayer and meditation in a patch of sun on our bedroom floor, looking out at the valley spread before me, I realized it was Beltane, and that made me happy. :-)

A joyous Beltane to you! May the coming season bring us all joy.


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