reflections from the southeast PA rural underground
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
A myth of our own
We pulled into the driveway and Eric said, "Welcome to psychedelic land." My thoughts were on the beef stew that I knew had been cooking for hours on the stove. The night was cold. This night would give its all to prevent the great Sun from returning to its rightful place.
The people said their greetings and gifts were exchanged by a few as others ate and talked. There were 15 persons present all told. Christmas cookies seemed to be everywhere. The wood stove gently worked its magic, keeping us warm from the December air outside. It was the Solstice. The house was "off the grid" and thus, powered only by this black stove and the Sun. The people were, in their various ways, "off the grid" as well.
Behind the house Sean and Tara had built a ring three levels deep made of pine boughs and adorned with quartz stones and sea shells. The path between the ring lead to a stump atop which lay an ice sculpture of sorts with a large white candle in its center. Once assembled outside the boughs, one at a time each person entered the Solstice path placing each step with care, trying to stay off the sacred ornaments, until they had finally reached the center. The wind chill made the night temperature feel much colder than the actual temperature of 18 degrees F. As usual, my feet were the first to cry out to me, "get back to that stove, get inside, this will take hours." The wind would not yield quietly to the Sun this night.
Many candles having been blown out and re-lit the ceremony was slowly fulfilled and we stared for as long as our extremities would allow at the shining center representing all energy and life giving power in the universe. The tea candles of each individual flickered, struggling to stay lit, drawing their fire from the center as we humans would continue to do all the days to come. The stars in that frigid night held their places. This was not their time to shine.
My feet numb and the ceremony over I didn't linger long before heading for the warm house again. I had internalized nature's vistas many times before and thus, making it my religion, understood that it needed my perception and further reflection on it to truly bask in its glory. It needed us. For who else would appreciate its beauty?
A couple of days later, driving back from hiking alongside a rushing, rhododendron-lined creek, Eric commented as we saw the Sun in its waning hours, "I feel privileged to see this, look at the light, its crazy, everything is purple!"