May Day. Beltane. Beltaine. However you say it, it's here.
I celebrated by leaving some flowers on my neighbor's porch, anonymously. And I made up vases of flowers to bring in to my co-workers.
I could be celebrating with my coven tonight as well, but won't be. I'm sick. Sniffling. Sneezing. Coughing. That kind of sick.
I was wondering, though, if I had not been sick, would I have gone to the celebration? Or would I have come up with an excuse?
I'm not sure.
I do know that I've been questioning my coven membership.
I'm an introvert - I expected I would be a solitary practitioner. As it happened, though, I connected with some others in my age group who follow the tradition I belong to. We formed a small coven, and made a commitment to meet for every full moon and Sabbat.
For the last few months, we haven't kept that commitment. Life has gotten in the way. One woman feels a need to support her husband in his lodge endeavors. Another member had an extreme health challenge. One member is young, and often has prior commitments with boyfriends or friends or the other things that come with being young and having a full social calendar.
When I look at each member, I feel love for them. And admiration. They have places in my heart, that is for sure. When I look at the coven as an entity, though, I sigh.
I suppose I'm disappointment that we haven't kept our commitment - although of course, Life does get in the way. The health challenge for the one member is real. The need of the other coven member to support her husband is real. These are understandable interferences. Still... they perturb me.
I hate admitting that - but there you have it.
I received an email on Monday asking me if I could host Beltaine tonight. One day's notice. It felt like a test. It might not have been - yet it felt like it. "Will she host?" The answer is no.
My garden (the place they asked me to host the celebration at) is a mess. The chairs are still covered. There are leaves and debris (seed hulls, leaves, fallen blossoms) everywhere. The fire pit isn't put together.
I could have moved it into the house, but my toilet is leaking. And inevitably, someone will need to use the bathroom.
It just wasn't the right time for me to host.
I failed the test.
Someone stepped in for a "short" ceremony. Another health challenge for someone else makes it important to have a short ceremony. Short can be good - I'm not complaining about that.
But... I'm sick. And I don't want to make anyone else sick.
Yet... I'm also thankful I'm sick. I have a real excuse not to go.
I'm not sure why I feel so much resistance lately. I think it's because two of the members have admitted to talking about me behind my back. Oh of course it's in my best interest. Still, it leaves me feeling unsettled and uncertain.
Why do they have to talk about me? Am I doing something wrong? Are they unhappy with me? Concerned about me? Or for me? My paranoia kicks in and adds to my resistance.
Also... I'm not pagan. It doesn't feel natural for me to celebrate the Sabbats. Full moons speak to my witchy side. The equinoxes speak to my witchy side as well. But the others? I hate to say it, but I'm not interested.
I feel as if I should be - but I'm not. I don't get a thrill knowing it's Beltane. I don't get excited about celebrating Imbolc or Ostara or Mabon. Halloween and Yule excite me - but only because they're so closely tied to the holidays I celebrated as a child.
I don't know what all this means for the future. Will I bow out of the coven? Will I stay?
Today, I don't have an answer. I do know that I need to think about this and really get to the heart of the matter. Until then, I wish you a Happy Beltaine.
Spring is here. Blessed be!