Saturday, May 01, 2010


Today (or some other calender's equivalent) was known as Beltane to the ancient Irish. It was a seasonal festival, and coincided with the movement of cattle from the lowland pastures to the higher summer pastures. It was a time of feasting and celebration, of beginnings and endings. It was a time to share embers from the communal fire, and re-light all the fires in your home. And given all the connotations of the "lusty month of May," it seems more than one kind of fire might be lit. These and so many other folk customs of so many cultures have been all but forgotten by the modern world. And yet when we draw upon the pool of knowledge from our ancestors to fuel our imaginations and our stories, it is these old folk customs that we draw upon, often without fully remembering them or understanding their significance.

Thoughts to ponder on this May Day, when we consider that there are really no new stories, no new plots, no new concepts in the world. There are only fresh ways of looking at old tales and truths, and the illusion that we have come up with something original. In these modern days of rushing here and there, of getting caught up in the hustle and bustle we call life, we tend to forget where our most basic experiences and truths come from. We are all the jumped-up products of a much earlier model of existence--one that took its cues from the seasons and the land itself. If we take only one moment to ponder anything on this day of ancient celebration, maybe we should ponder whether even now there might be some inspiration we can take from our ancestors and their ways. Even in this fast-paced modern world, surely there is time to re-light the embers of inspiration and reaffirm our connection to whatever we hold sacred.

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