(Those of you who expected new material this week either forgot where I work, or forgot it was Mother’s Day. If you forgot it was Mother’s Day, shame on you. >8) This is reprinted from our most recent issue of Shining Lakes News. I’ll have a new article next week.)
(Oh, and if you’re new to Our Own Druidry, or want to learn more about it, make sure you sign op for my Modern Druidry class this coming Sunday afternoon. Registration info and ur schedule can be found here.)
Another High Day is here, and if recent High Days are any indication, we’re going to have dozens of people crowded into the Friends basement for the rite. Many offerings and much praise to the gods, lots of interacting with each other, lots of happiness. And then we’ll all go our separate ways to our homes, and a few of us will see each other a few times during the next six weeks, but except for Coffee Hour, no Grove event between now and Beltaine is likely to have more than four people attend. There are worse things than having a Grove with lots of people come to High Days and nothing else, sure. But as Senior Druid, it’s my job to expect more of us.
Once upon a time, when the surface of the world was still molten and dinosaurs roamed. . . No, wait, it wasn’t that long ago. It only seems that way to my ancient eyes. But back in the earliest days of the Grove, we used to have these special events called “intensives.” It was a chance for everyone in the Grove to spend a few hours together and talk about, well, whatever was on our minds. We’d vote on a couple of topics to cover, about what direction we’d like the Grove to go in, or what was bothering us about what we’d been doing. In the days before most of us had e-mail, this was the only good opportunity for all Grove members to tell the officers what they wanted the Grove to do, where they wanted our focus to be. (And I’m told that most people aren’t comfortable using e-mail for that sort of thing; my being a computer geek means that’s never been a problem for me, but I do know the limitations of the medium.) But now the flow of the discussion, when it manages to flow at all, is more like slow molasses than Ana’s rushing headwaters.
This is one of the great disadvantages of having so many Grove members not living in the Ann Arbor
area. I remember when I lived in Ypsilanti and my home was one of the furthest from the middle of Ann
Arbor. Now I live in Ypsilanti again, and my home is one of the closest. I’m certainly happy that we have so many people who have chosen to be members of our community, but I know this means that we just won’t have as many people attending our events as we did in ye olden SLuGgie days. Guild Day is on hiatus because people just weren’t attending, and the same has happened to our ADF Dedicant Path study group. Certainly the price of gasoline is a factor here (and one that’s only going to get worse this summer), but I still think that if we can figure out the one or two events that people would make the extra effort to attend, we can actually have meetings that get a regular attendance of more than four.
To that end, I’d like to propose that we schedule an intensive for some time this fall. (Summer gas prices and people’s travel schedules would make an earlier one unworkable.) With enough lead-time, hopefully we can pick a time and place where we can actually get a good turnout. Please do let me know what days of the week and times would be better for you, and maybe we can get the waters of inspiration flowing faster once more.
Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF