It was not very long ago that I realized Christmas was very nearly upon us. Where in prior years I spent a good deal of time throughout October and November planning gifts to purchase and scrawling out my wish list to Santa, 2016 just sorta snuck up and hit me in the back of the head with the season. My 33rd birthday kind of came and went and then I was here. Sitting at my computer with a flute of wine, an Air Wick candle pumping some fireplace scent into the air, realizing full well that I would not make the usual Christmas deadlines.
Sickness and absence and bills all swirled together in a tempest which made buying presents for my family an impossibility. We came to an understanding on this as it seemed the axe swung both ways this year. We still wish to give gifts but it will likely be over several weeks, likely also after the traditional day of giving. This will also be the first year celebrating the season spiritually in our home as I prepare words and offerings for all the days that remain in this month. In a way this season feels emptier than before. There are no wrapped boxes to be seen, no tree erected, no lights strung around the rooms. Yet there is another fullness to be found. The cup is not half empty, nor is it half full. But there are two cups to be filled this year. We’re making room.
As well the altar grows ever more crowded. What was once merely a space for things has become a holy site for great workings to flow in and out of this home. It is certainly what one might call unorthodox, a simple length of marble countertop cut out of a cluttered urban home, but I made room for it. Too, today’s acquisition of a wreathe of branches and a decorative crop of berries, pushed in where it could rest.
I am up far too late in the evening recording these thoughts but I wanted to remember this moment… The eve of the eve of my first Yule as a practicing Druid, looking back on how my life has changed. The many times I felt I had no more room and had to cut parts of myself out to make room for new parts. The pain and anguish I felt. The late nights and early mornings crying with my husband, my mentor, and my friends. How can I do this? Can I truly walk with the Gods, the Earth Mother, the Spirits of this Earth? Am I worthy of their eye? Can I be the man I was and still be the man I am? Should I strive to be the man I imagine? All too many times I felt too full. Far too full to grow.
As the darkest days come upon us and the fiery beard of Belenus takes the stage to rise again I look at the flame dancing on that marble countertop, look at the ornaments and tools and wares and remember where they came from, how they feel, and how they speak. I look at the runes and the stones and the sticks and they feel like seven lifetimes have been lived in less than a year. The space, the time, the self… Somehow… Somehow… We found the room.