One of the things that I do this time of year, as we head directly to the edge of the longest night, is to recount for myself, as I sit in my daily practice, all of the good things that have happened, all of the things that have warmed my heart, all of the things that I want to call instantly to mind when things go — as they sometimes will — badly wrong. I tell them to myself, like beads on a rosary, over and over, a mantra of pleasure, and warmth, and joy.
This has been a wonderful year. I’ve had a string of wins at work and, well, I’m a lawyer; I really, really like to win. I’ve gone on a few wonderful road trips with a dear friend who decided a while back to start dragging my Moon-In-Taurus ass out on some excursions. I’ve eaten spectacular meals on Capitol Hill, in Columbia’s shadow, and talked, as my Gemini Ascendent self loves to do, with dear and brilliant friends, about books, and politics, and religion, and art. I’ve had beloved friends over to sit on my porch past dark, eat food I cooked, drink wine I selected. I’ve picked flowers from my own garden for bouquets and picked way too much food from my own garden to feed myself, my family, the local food bank. I’ve seen breathtaking art in DC’s museums. I’ve picked crabs by the water with my extended family on an October day that sparkled like hard cider. I’ve spent time with a gifted shaman, great teachers, my favorite blogger. I’ve done deep magic with my deep Circle, I could go on. But one of my happiest memories is the day that G/Son was sick.
G/Son stayed for a week with me this Summer, just after he’d been playing with a little boy who lives near his other grandparents. In just a few hours, G/ Son, like his friend, was down with a fever. It wasn’t really a big deal in the grand scheme of childhood maladies; I’d seen his dad through worse. But he was miserable and he had no appetite. Skinny by nature, he lost a bit of weight and worried his Nonna. The second day in, I picked a lot of basil and made pesto, which G/Son calls “green noodles.” I made it garlicky, with Frances Mayes good olive oil. G/Son ate two bowls. “Nonna, can I have more?” The next day, we had pho for lunch with his ‘rents and his fever broke.
And that’s my best memory of this secular year. The magical herbs that I grew, the food that I fixed, feeding that little body that I love, making that little boy better. It made me feel my own place in the river of time and I was, to borrow a phrase from Pillars of Time, with my son’s son’s sons and with my mother’s mother’s mothers. May it be so for you.
What will you carry forward with you into the growing light?