What a beautiful day. The sun shines brilliantly through the trees above my head, casting dancing shadows on the four foot bushes in front of me. The bushes are sunburned on top–pinkish red leaves covering the crown where the hottest rays of the sun boil. It makes me think of the pool, of sunburned shoulders and the smell of sunscreen.
The wind is breathtaking. All this hot sun and bright angles, and the wind cools my arms and tickles my neck, more like the breeze off a bay rather than the usual “oven door” blast so prominent in a Kentucky July.
The weekend after the Summer Solstice, Ann, Bev, and I met for our monthly discussion in which we are working our way through Dianne Sylvan’s The Circle Within. I swear with every evening I spend in the company of those two women, my soul sings a little happier. It’s a twice-a-month reminder of how beautiful Wicca is, and how amazing it is to share it with two people as faithful as I.
After, we hopped in my car and drove over to the Presbyterian Seminary to walk the Labyrinth in honor of the Solstice–an annual deal First U’s CUUPS program does. I was expecting a labyrinth of hedges, or stone walls, like that found in one of my favorite childhood movies starring David Bowie. In reality, the labyrinth at the Seminary is just a circular maze cut into the grass in a sunny field, and it was severely overgrown. The purpose is to attain a meditative state, pray, and contemplate as you focus on following the one way in to the center, and taking that same way back out. It’s representative of journeying inside yourself, to learn things maybe you weren’t aware you needed to learn.
The sun shone hot but the breeze was light and airy, twirling my purple dress around my thighs. I kicked off my flip flops and entered, eyes downcast as I followed the carved grass. I concentrated on the hard ground beneath my feet. The way the grass tickled my toes. The sun was on my shoulders, bees buzzing around me.
There are so many twists and turns. Where you believe one turn to take you a certain way, it takes you in the complete opposite direction, further from the center. This happens so many times you come to believe you’ll never make it! Walking it takes strength of will and legs, determination to see through to the end, and observation, to always watch where your feet step on the path. You don’t want to stray or you’ll have to begin again; barefoot, grass between your toes, you don’t want to step on a bee and get stung, get hurt. With sweat and hard work, you can make it to the center.
Like life. Life is all of the above, particularly that of a Wiccan, who understands that her life is hers to control. Every step I take, I take with the grace of a witch under the light of the goddess. I plot each step, I watch where I take it. I make mistakes; I learn from them. Sometimes what I think is the right way turns out to veer me from the path I wish to take, and I must start fresh–like when I moved to Nashville, then had to come home. Often I’ve felt like I’m not making any progress, that I’m stagnant and waiting for something greater, but even then, I know I’m moving, I’m growing. Each day is a new adventure, a new opportunity to learn and grow and be greater.
The Solstice this year was magickal and reverent. The Sun God now wanes as the dark of the year begins to descend upon us, so slowly we won’t notice until the cold winds of Fall are upon us. Yet, come Winter Solstice, he will return to power, in this wonderful cycle called the Wheel of the Year.