It's the first really raw day of the season, even though we are, still, a few weeks out from the Winter Solstice.
Last night, I tucked G/Son in, and, just as he was falling asleep, he murmured, "Nonna, I hear the wind."
I said, repeating one of my most-used magical incantations, "Yes. It's windy and cold outside. And we're here, inside our snug cottage: safe, and warm, and dry. You're under warm covers and you have on soft pajamas. Safe and warm and dry." I rub his back while I say it, and all that I have goes into hoping that all his winters are thus. [I never claimed high magic; the hedge kind works for me.]
This morning, after I drop G/Son back at his house, I come home and begin to prepare for the Dark Moon. A December Dark Moon: windy, and cold, and raw. The wind is whipping the last several hundred leaves off of the oldest oak. The birds who know me best sit huddled in the now-leafless euonymous shrub by the deck, knowing that I will show up to put out seed. The grey and black squirrels, who are now feeding pregnant bellies, sit on the edge of the cedar fence, waiting for the peanuts that disappear mere minutes after I put them out. My garden is, by now, almost all bones.
And I, bent under how much reading and writing I have to do today for work, take off my coat, put on some ritual items, and begin to prepare a meal for the dark, three-headed Goddess of the Crossroads. And, all of a sudden, I am fully engaged, fully present, fully here, even if what I am here for is "mere" commitment. I take comfort in T. Thorn Coyle's discussion of the fact that:
“Even when you’re just going for maintenance, progress ends up getting made.” I remarked that this seemed true for any practice.
While riding my bike to my next appointment, I pondered this. Why was this true of so many things? Physical health, meditation, writing, dance, job skills…? What was it about maintenance that would end up facilitating growth? My answer was commitment. For all of these, we are making a commitment to ourselves and to our projects. We are stating that something is important enough for effort, and even if we aren’t going full out, we still end up building muscle, so to speak. We end up learning something. We are showing up to ourselves and for ourselves.
. . .
Someone once said, regarding the Pentacle of Autonomy that I write about in Kissing the Limitless, that he wasn’t sure everything began with commitment and then flowed into the rest of the points (honor, truth, strength, and compassion). Didn’t we sometimes start with desire, or something else? Here is one answer: It isn’t that commitment starts every single thing, it is that commitment starts the action of our will. Commitment starts the flow of deepening. It takes what might be a small impulse, or even a daydream, and makes the first step toward channeling this into manifestation. Commitment is the goad to our spirit, and the cheerleader, and the stalwart support. Commitment is the thing that keeps us showing up.
Mighty Mother of All Change! You who stand at the crossroads, You who look in all directions! When I am full of time to come to You and when I am overcome with work, when I am able to spend hours at Your feet and when the world is too much with me, Bright-Coiffed One of Liminal Space, You whom I meet whenever I work for change, Heroic Hecate, all my worship is Yours on this windy, Dark Moon Day.
Picture found here.