Yesterday was a rather unusual day. Certainly not a typical May Day but that was to be expected as not only was the weather dreary, cold, and about as non-Summer like as it could possibly be (though it didn't snow, surprisingly,) but it was the day my sister would be confirmed into the Lutheran style of Christian faith, and my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration.
My sister had been sad that she wasn't going to be able to have a confirmation party due to my grandparents' seemingly deliberate scheduling, so I agreed to attend the Church service that morning to witness her Confirmation.
I had been wrestling with the idea the entire day before, how to go about such a thing, exactly. As I've mentioned before, it's pretty much common knowledge within my family that I'm Pagan, but it's more of one of those dirty-little secrets that no one talks about (like the fact that a few people in my family are homosexual, or the fact that insanity most surely runs strong in the women of our family, or, worse yet, why I've never met my Dad's paternal grandmother.) However, as I've not brought it up in nearly a decade and my family does like to repress, I'm under the impression now that they've merely dismissed that as some sort of age-appropriate rebellion that I've now grown out of (or something like that...) I avoided bringing it up again because of how fun it was the first time, so this really determined how to go about attending the Church service.
There should never have been an issue: I'm a Pagan Minister attending the service in order to witness this important Rite of Passage for my sister, bringing nothing but respect for her, my family, and their faith. But, I allowed myself to be filled with doubt and worry due to my family's abstinent refusal to see a reality other than the one they created. A dozen varying scenarios played through my head, including one where the congregation of that small country-town Church throw me and my infant daughter out. Obviously completely ridiculous, but, honestly, whose family doesn't have the ability to stress them out to the point of paranoia?
But, in the end, it was a beautiful service. I sat there, with love in my heart for those I was with, in the very same Church that my everyone on my mother's side had been Baptized and Confirmed in for the last three generations, the very same Church that my grandparents had been married in (nearly 50 years to the date,) and in which my mother had first married my father, and then, later, her highschool sweetheart.
I sat there in that Christian church, a witch among them, and felt nothing but love and the same powerful energy that I feel within a cast Circle, or when out in the woods, or when dancing with my children as we sing to the Wind. It was always the same Spirit and that was my focus while there. The moment I allowed it to be a non-issue it became so.
Albeit,the names by which the Divine was referred to were different and no one mentioned the word "Beltain" or the subject of fertility, it was still a good way to spend the morning on such a holy day, surrounded by family at a beautiful religious ceremony honoring the Ultimate Reality.
From there, though, the day got weird, but what else is to be expected when you get that many Polocks together in a small dining hall and provide them with an open bar? Ah, reminders why I like to live at least an hour away from them all.
But, as for a proper Beltain celebration with my husband and our children, we will be aiming for this coming Saturday as the weather is to be nicer [I refuse to celebrate Beltain indoors, that seems very fundamentally wrong to me -blame it on family tradition (and yes, that's the same family with which I attended Church -that's how double-faith goes...)]
Throwing the Bones