Hey, everybody! It's been a week and a day and although I'm water-logged and think I STILL have sand in a few crevices, I thought I'd share what happened for me at the water. I hope you'll share in the comments or, even better, write about it on your blog and let us know about it!
We arrived on the island around 4:30 in the afternoon. Jeffrey started grousing almost as soon as we got there about going down to the beach (I had promised him we would) and so as soon as we got everything unloaded, we threw off our shoes, grabbed Nevvy, and headed down the boardwalk.
It was the perfect time of day when we got there: the water was cool, the air was warm, and the light had that crisp, rosy glow of late afternoon. At first, the kidlets were content to splash around in the surf, running away from the waves as they crashed in. But, because they are human boy children, eventually it became too much for them and they went nuts, rolling around in the waves like little dolphins.
As I watched them, standing in the shifting sands, I took a mental snapshot of how the water shone on their cheeks and backs, how their faces lit up in sheer happiness.
And then, for no reason, the chant I'd come up with for the evening ritual popped into my head. "Stop that," I told it sternly, "You need to wait til tonight." But it persisted, niggling around in my brain as I watched Nevvy and Jeffrey act like...well, kids. "This isn't profound," I said. "This isn't a MOMENT. I don't even have my Mother Stone with me."
But it came to me that, somewhere in the world, some of y'all were already chanting or dancing or praying quietly and that now was a fine time for me to join in. After all, I was a Mother in that moment, too, watching my baby and my family, enjoying their joy but still watchful, still ready to rescue if needed.
So, under my breath, I sang the little chant (more on that later.) I did it over and over again and I felt good about it: strong and deep and connected to others like me all over the world. I couldn't wait for the night to fall so I could feel that feeling all over again.
Accordingly, after the kidlets were snug in bed, Will and I headed down to the beach. Two things here: it was pitch black and Will was recovering from a severe ankle strain. I was so happy he joined me, even if in his head, it was just to offer some manly (if limping) protection against phantom dangers. The fact that he accepted what I wanted to do meant the world to me.
In my pockets, I carried my Mother stone and a huge, ancient shark's tooth I'd found on the island years ago. Depositing Will under a deserted tent, I headed down to the water and knelt down just out of reach of the surf. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and....
The chant which had carried me through the afternoon had apparently decided to take a little vacation. I remember it now (Water above and water below, water from whom all our lives flow, peace and love I give to thee, strength and love to heal the sea), but that night, it was gone. I tried, a few times, to get it going, but nothing doing.
Hmm. Okay, then. I'd just do something else. I tried envisioning a golden light inside me. Nope. A white one...nada. A pink one? Dang, where was my glow? Stuffing my talismans back in my pocket, I stood up and went to the surf, laying my hands just on the surface. I sent out a question (What the heck am I supposed to do here?) and I got back JOY.
I felt, despite the horror and worry I'd felt for a month and a half, a pulse of pure, unadulterated joy race through me. It brought me to my feet fast and I looked out over the dark water and laughed. I felt like I was at a slumber party with a few hundred friends and we were all at that giddy place past the gossiping and airing of grievances where the only thing left to do was just laugh and laugh and laugh. I threw back my arms and closed my eyes and yelled, "Wooohoooo!" And then I took off running through the surf. I danced and spun and raced through the water, feeling like a child. Feeling like a woman. A mother. It was freeing and lovely and totally NOT what I thought it would be. And it was okay. It was RIGHT.
Of course, then I had to make my way back to Will in the pitch dark, which made me giggle some more. When I finally got back to him, he pointed out the couple in backpacks who had gone and stood by the water, then returned to the drier sand to smooch. I wondered, as I sat in the sand with my own sweetie, if they were meeting at the water, too. It seemed indecorous to ask, what with the smooching.
I thought a lot about the experience over the week as I walked along the beach. Why had the chant gone awry? Why had I not had a more soulful time down by the water? Finally, on the afternoon of the last day, I realized that I HAD. All of the rage and horror and sorrow I feel is appropriate and real. But it's the joy that Mother Ocean gives me that must carry me to action. And it's GOOD to be happy. It's good to feel connected with friends as a woman and solo practitioner.
This realization made me think, "What if we kept it going?" The idea has merits: every New Moon, we meet at the water. We offer healing and strength and love and, maybe best of all, communion to our planet. But, I worried...was it asking too much? Is it being greedy? Is it making too much of a ritual out of something that maybe needs to be less ritualized?
Last night, I came back home and read more of your comments and realized that some of you had "missed" the ritual and that you still wanted to be a part of it. And I thought that while all of us directing good energy at our planet and its waters is good at any time, maybe that communion I sensed on the New Moon is even better. I haven't talked to my sweet SS about this, but...what do y'all think? Could we make it a "thing?" Should we? There are risks involved in it, as well as rewards.
All I'm saying is that if you want to meet at the water every month, I'm in. As it is, I got so much and GAVE so much last Saturday that I think I'm going to continue it on my own.
Thank you so much, my friends. I am awed by your friendship and love and power. I truly enjoyed meeting you at the water.