Summer Daze

Last night’s Game Night was a rousing success! We doubled our attendance from last month! Granted, that means we had six people there instead of three, but still, double is double, especially during the summer when I generally expect our attendance to decrease. We managed to play two games of Carcassonne before adjourning for the night. Oh, and there was pecan pie. I think the pie may have had something to do with the increased attendance. We’ll have to bring punch next time and see how that affects things.

I know I’m not supposed to play favorites with nature, being a Senior Druid and supposed to love all aspects of nature and all that, but summer is definitely my least favorite season. Granted, there are things I like to do that can only be done during the summer months (Cedar Point, baseball, the farmer’s market down the street from my house, reading by sunlight at 9 o’clock at night), but ultimately the heat is always a downer for me. In the depths of winter I can always put more clothing on. In summer, there’s only so much I can take off, and even less that I can take off if I’m in public. And summer also brings an increase in family commitments and out of town trips for our Grove members, and so our attendance drops noticeably. Sometimes I thing that paganism hibernates in the summer, much as bears do in the winter.

The summer solstice rite also seems to give me more problems that any other High Day rite. Besides the obvious issue of trying to do a ritual outside without drenching my robes in my own sweat, it also seems to be the ritual most likely to get rained on. Last year’s downpour isn’t one I’m going to forget any time soon! (And this morning’s extended forecast on the Weather Channel calls for rain Friday night and scattered showers on Saturday. *sigh*)

And of course, the most disastrous High Day rite we ever did was in the summer of ’98, when our attempts to reenact the wedding of Lugh and Ana met with nothing but resistance from the gods, and we had to end the ritual with no return blessing (still the only time we’ve ever done that) and later restructured our yearly liturgical structure because of it. Yeah, in hindsight trying to force the gods to do something (even something they had agreed to do in years before) was a bad plan. On the bright side, it did prove that we actually can get several bad omens in a single ritual, and that not every ritual works. If you’re going to take part in The Grand Experiment That Is ADF, you do have to expect a few of the test tubes to blow up, and try to learn from it. So this year, as we’ve done for the last ten years we will honor Bel and Danu at the rite this coming weekend.

But enough pessimism, I still have a ritual weekend to get ready for, and a newsletter article to write, and a Call for Nominations to put together, and e-mails to answer, and all the usual hectic pre-ritual stuff. Hopefully I’ll see many of you at Botsford this weekend, and hopefully we’ll be dry the whole time!

Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF

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