A few updates on what will probably be our busiest month of the year:
The work day at our new nemeton went well, with eight of us planting the pipe for the bile’, digging a small well, and setting up a square fire pit (the proper shape for an Indo-European sacrificial fire). The other commented on the horse smell at the new site, which I guess I would never have noticed, living in the country and being so used to those smells! Hopefully folks won’t e too put off by it. The site itself looks perfect for our rites, other than the lack of tables and chairs for the socializing area. Hopefully people will be able to bring some for the first few rituals, and eventually we’ll have a few donated that can stay on the site. New nemeton equals learning experience, obviously, and we’ll figure it out.
One thing we still haven’t managed to do is get the old bile’ from the Botsford Preserve and get it to the new site. Sean thought he could fit it into his van, not grasping quite how tall it really is. (Answer: between 16 and 18 feet.) I’ve borrowed some heavy-duty straps from Gen’s dad, and I’m still holding out hope that someone with a large vehicle will be able to help us out by carrying it on their roof. The problem then, as I realized when I visited the preserve last month, is just how old the blasted thing is. It’s got a long crack running along its length and the wood is spongy, so I honestly don’t know if it could even survive the trip. For now, we’re going to go ahead with the Maypole dance next weekend and have the May King/Queen hold a six foot pole above their heads to become the Maypole. And hopefully we can find a woodworker of some sort who can make us a new bile’ from one of the fallen trees at the new site. (I was hoping one of the local lumber yards would have something suitable, but they don’t carry anything longer than eight feet. And I had such high hoped for Fingerle, I thought they carried everything!)
Speaking of sticking things into the ground, we’ll be planting our Grove wheat at our An Bruane session on May 2nd. I’ll be buying a raised garden bed from Aldi, of all places, so hopefully the weeds won’t take over the plot like they did last year. While An Bruane is usually for Grove members only, I think we can open this one up to anyone who wants to participate. If you want to get your hands dirty by re-enacting the agricultural practices of the Ancients, here’s your chance! And since I bought two bags of seed this year, we should have some to send home with people who want to try growing it in their own gardens.
Last thing to mention: We just had the Runic Divination class that everyone told us would be an awesome thing for us to do, but nobody signed up for it and nobody came. I’m not sure whether to blame the topic or the nice weather outside. I’m certainly having a hard time believing that more people want to hear me talk about ADF than want to hear Rod talk about the Runes. We may aim to do another class on something in the fall. Or not. We shall see. (At least it gave me a reason to clean the basement, right?)
I hope to see many of you next weekend for Fire Watch, the Dawn Rite, or the Beltaine Rite! If I don’t, then have a wonderful springy holiday all the same.
Rev. Rob Henderson
Senior Druid, Shining Lakes Grove, ADF