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Happy May Day! We have a new tradition at our house. May Day=Yes Day. Because our oldest is Mae. Today we did some bike riding, and some naked sprinkler running, some tent play, bonfire, and The Smores of Beltane. HP is outside with the girls in the tent now, but I had to sneak in here to poem. Which is fine by me. Temperature really dropped out there when the sun went down. Do you think they’d notice if I slept in my own bed? The bed all to myself vs. small tent with four bodies seems, well…but no. No, I’ll go out to the tent, in honor of Yes Day.  It was an amazing day, nearly 80, a deceptive, tricksy day, though, I know, a day that gives you a fake phone number after the best dance ever. I know this won’t last, and there’s a good chance we could still get snowed on before summer arrives for real, so our little backyard fire rite feels like it honors the spirit of the day.

Check out this gallery of the Festival of Beltane in Edinburgh. (The Fire Festival). They are gorgeous. Or, check out this footage (caution, there’s some blurry nudity, topless firedancers and the like):

Looks like good times in Edinburgh. But, it makes me wonder at such a festival. It feels gaudy, somehow, these modern festivals we have to mimic ancient rituals of belief. And rituals that really had significance, too, like asking for safety for our main food source as they were moved out to summer pastures. But maybe that’s presuming too much? Maybe such rites always had that sense of unity between the sacred and the profane, the blessing of the livestock, yes, but also an epic blowout because winter is long and hard? So, our playacting is more of the same, but without any real sense of the sacred part? If it weren’t so late, and I wasn’t expected to out in the tent, I’d come up for a word for that. Similar to carnivalesque, but more, something that combines spectacle, carnival, ritual, and drunken twenty-something travelers with access to face paint and torches.

Anyhow, I do have to get on with it. So, a Beltane poem.

Beltane

This is how the centuries filter the rite when the May Queen and The Green Man unite to pass through the gates of fire,

after the conquering and conversions, after the loosening of belief, after worship turns away from Earth, the ribbon breaks

free of the maypole, and the garlands are trampled in the street after the spectacle. But, to light the Beltane fires grants

us permission to be filled with the promise of heat, to be grateful of the blooming, to stay out late once more and move

with all the desire of the new growth.

No, the muffling of ages does not stop the dancing.

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Okay. That was hard and I don’t even like it. A real fire festival poem tomorrow, maybe. Now I’m supposed to out there in the cold and squeeze into the tent without waking anyone. Uh. Happy Beltane! I ate a smore for you!

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