Often at this time of year, I talk about “Danu’s blanket”, referring to our Grove’s primal mother goddess. Since we associate her with water and the cold, her blanket is the snow that comes to the land and quietly lies upon it for the winter. I’ve always thought of this as a sign from her that it is time to slow down and focus on more inward- (and indoor-) focused activities.
Sadly, now that I’m working a job that involves being outdoors all day, my employer doesn’t necessarily feel the same way about the snow. >8) Working last week was actually fairly easy, with only a light dusting of snow to deal with, and temperatures at least close to freezing. After suffering through the heat of summer, I suspected that the cold wouldn’t bother me anywhere near as much, and so far I’ve been right. No, today’s problem was the huge snowfall from the weekend, making it just plain difficult to walk from house to house on my urban routes, or driving up and down long driveways on my rural routes. Well, if nothing else, trudging through Danu’s blanket five or six days a week will make me appreciate the chance to do indoor things more.
The blanket did work out well yesterday, though, as it gave me and Mom a chance to decorate the tree that we got the previous weekend. Most of my ornaments are in storage, but I made sure all of my Grove ornaments were accessible so I could put them on. Giving out ornaments as the return flow for our Yule rituals is one of my favorite of our traditions. Taking every ornament out and placing it on a branch reminds me of that ritual (yeah, either my memory is that good or I do obsess that much about our rites) and just how long we’ve been coming together to honor the gods and celebrate the seasons with each other. Looking at a calendar or mentally browsing through memories is one thing, but seeing the evidence and holding it in your hands is something more.
So what indoory things should I focus on for the immediate future? (Besides posting this article?) Well, getting ready for the ritual in five days, of course. Gen has already found some great ornaments picked out for us to make at the Fire Lighting on Friday, but I do need to buy a small live tree for the ritual, and supplies to make the various bits and bobs we’ll decorate it with. (How many bags of cranberries do we need? It’s like, three, right?) And getting my robes and altar items packed up, and I need to get an article ready for the newsletter. And now that I have a working HTML editor on my computer, I can get those Web updates done – and since it expires in 30 days, I guess that’s a good motivator to get everything done quickly. >8)
But alas, now I have to get to bed and prepare for another day of hiking through the snow. I’m sure Danu’s teaching me a lesson of some sort, but darned if I know what it could be, besides “you need to get a better job”. Wish me warmth, everyone!
Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF