It’s been raining here. As in flash flood warning rains. And it’s hard to get my mind around the fact that this is Christmas time. I’m not sure what that means anymore. It used to mean going home–to WV–from whatever part of the country we resided. And “home” usually meant nice dinners and Christmas Eve candlelight service. It also meant “skiing” and catching up with each other. There were other things too. But not the things that bring a feeling of warm and fuzzy. And for some reason, those latter “things” seemed to have a heavier weight in my memory. Nothing really heavy as in horrible–but as in, you know, I’m ready for a different type of tradition–if tradition is what this is all about. I’m not really sure what it’s all about. But I’m liking the idea that traditions can change. That what we commemorate and honor can be chosen.
Always–forever I think–I’ve had issues with holidays. Holidays and birthdays and artificial commemoration days–like Mother’s Day for instance. Have never understood why one day only should be set aside to express joy, gratitude, beliefs. Why not ever day? Really. There’s that lovely story of American and German soldiers ceasing fire–was it on Christmas Eve? Ceasing fire and singing “Silent Night”–passing cigarettes back and forth. Acknowledging commonality and humanity. And then. Back to the fox holes. Back to the fighting. Back to the war. What? WHAT? Very confusing. For me, a better ending would have been to lay down arms, embrace and just say–“This is for the birds.”
But back to where I thought I was heading with this blog. I wanted to show the progress deer skin is making. It’s drying out. Almost dry and I will wrap it up and bundle it for tanning at a later date. But I want the fur to remain. It’s luxurious. Full of life and spirit. It’s also incredibly clean. And I’m so in love with the spirit of deer that sent the hide my way. This is something I can celebrate.
And last night at our day-after-solstice potluck/earth seeding time, I did include the piece of deer in the medicine bundle that was buried in the earth. And in my mind I was asking that the earth receive and benefit from the spirit of deer–gentleness. Peace. Compassion. And even though this was a ceremony-of-sorts–a ceremony recognizing solstice and traditions from “other” cultures, it felt sooooooooo authentic to me. So untouched by commercialism, cultural expectations and contrived events. I guess it just felt REAL.
I am going to WV on the day after Christmas. Travelling to visit family–my daughter-in-law and son who was born on Christmas morning 40 years ago. Just yesterday. How can that be? And I will see other family members and will be gone for 4 days. I’m travelling with cloth. The starfish cloth. And this new one which right now is little more than background for some thing. I’m waiting to see what that is.
And finally I want to mention this. That last night before the earth seeding, we had two give-aways of sorts. Things were wrapped. And the idea that whatever we chose was meant to come to us. One give-away was sort of a white-elephant. This is what I received:
and I know it typically means “warding off the evil eye” but it doesn’t feel like that for me. It feels more like a reminder to look below the surface of things in order to really see the deeper meaning.
But the medicine give-away, the give-away of items that had deep meaning for the giver–this was amazing. And because I was the oldest person there, the eldest, I chose first. Chose a red bundle wrapped and tied–and this is what it held:
the most beauty full of beauty full. A handmade knife, blade of walnut obsidian, hand flaked–and bound by sinew to a deer antler handle. And yes, if I had had this knife a few days earlier, cleaning deer would have been much easier. So I’m thinking about this. The timing. And wondering what might be coming next.