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The Beltaine Storm
Article ID: 13291
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,008
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Author: Lady Abigail [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: May 3rd. 2009
Times Viewed: 7,881
Early spring always seems to hold its own special magick. The earth giving birth to life all around, the trees appear to be bursting into green so quickly that you can watch the leafs grow as they reach for the warmth of the sun after a long hard winter.
Living with my Great Grandmother was one of the greatest blessings of my life. Some days my memories are like the echoes from my childhood. This was the time of year we have our celebrations of spring. Beltaine, May Day, for myself it was the time to celebrate the new beginnings and what is coming to life.
Sometimes as a child it was hard to get out of my big downy soft bed in the early mornings. I loved to hear my Great Grandmother kindling the fire in the woodstove to make breakfast. I would lay there watching the shadows form across my room, as the sun would rise and peak slowly over the mountain crest and gleam through my east window. I could hear the birds calling to each other and soon our rooster would join in the song to the sun. At times, the music of the morning would call my attention so much, that I would move my pillow onto the windowsill so that I could watch the dewdrops dancing in the new day on the leaves and bulbs of spring.
Although this morning seemed exceptionally quiet. The sun was not shining in my window. The sky was dark with just a bit of rain delicately falling against the glass pane. As I looked out the window, I could barely hear a little distant thunder rolling across the sky. The colors of the trees on the hillside were dark as they were starting to change, as the bark began slowly to become wet from the dripping leaves. Yet, it was beautiful, the bright new green against the dark sky.
I had to check my clock to see the time, since I didn’t hear my Great Grandmother in the kitchen or smell the sweet aroma of breakfast cooking. It was six thirty and not so early for those who lived on a farm to be up. Especially on May first, the day of our spring celebration and planting day. We had gardening to do, seedlings to get into the ground and seeds to plant. For not only was it spring it was the full moon and planting by the full moon would assure a good harvest.
Slowly I got out of bed and tiptoed into my Great Grandmother’s bedroom. She wasn’t there, I didn’t really expect her to be in bed at this time of the morning but since the house was so quiet I checked. Her bed was neatly made and there was a small carpet covered bag on it. It seemed to be packed with some things for some kind of a trip. I walked down the hall toward the kitchen I could see the kerosene lamp on the table burning. In its light I saw some papers of my Great Grandmothers chartings. (Chartings were done by the moon, the weather and the dates to know and support foretelling of important events and happenings.) As I went into the kitchen, I could feel the air coming through the open kitchen door. It was heavy and moist and felt kind of like taking a bath when you are trying to mix the cold and hot water together to find the right temperature.
I could see my Great Grandmother standing on the wood plank porch in her long dark skirt with her crisp white apron blowing back and forth in the wind. She was looking intently at the East valley. “Is something wrong?” I asked. My Great Grandmother looked at me and with a worried smile says, “Storms coming. Won’t be long until it starts, but it is going to be late into the night till it‘s over. So we have to get ready.”
I loved storms, so I couldn’t get myself to worried. But knowing that my Great Grandmother gave complete respect to Mother Nature, I knew to give value to whatever kind of storm was coming.
Quickly we packed up some food into a basket, dried fruit, biscuits, sliced ham, sausage and beans. Then in a tin box, we placed extra candles, matches, milk in a blue jar, water, tea and herbs. My Great Grandmother told me to go get the bag from the bed she had made ready for us. As we began to carry everything down into the root cellar I stopped, the wind was motionless and the air was still and quiet. Perhaps there would be no storm. I hoped that, I hated the root cellar. I hated being under the grown.
It took a couple of trips to get everything into the root cellar. It was down the garden path on the side of the barn. As I cleaned and made up a makeshift bed, my Great Grandmother went back to the house to make sure she had moved things to the floors and opened some windows. She said rain she can clean, but broken windows are harder to be replaced.
When she came back we left the heavy wood door open so we could see to finish our cleaning and for the fresh air. The root cellar always seemed musty to me. It was the place that we kept all the extra canning and such because it was a cool place and would keep them fresh longer. It also had fruit, potatoes and turnips on the floor still from the winter. The floor was hard packed dirt and the walls were made of stacked river stones, like on the lower walls of the barn. The door was kind of small but really heavy made from thick cut wood so no winds could break it. There were no windows and no light but for our kerosene lamp and once the door was closed, it was like stepping into nothingness.
We had our breakfast of salt biscuits and ham with cold milk. That was one of my favorite summer breakfast meals. We were playing cards when I noticed the silence, not like before where there was very little sound but now there was not a sound; no birds, no dogs barking, nothing. My great Grandmother walked over to the door and up the stairs to see. I don’t know what she saw but she called in the dog and cat into the root cellar and pulled the big door closed placing the cross bar in its middle.
She sat back down at the table and said, “It’s going to get loud, you will hear the wind and her power, but we are safe in here. If you listen closely you can hear the Goddess singing and sometimes even crying in the wind.”
I never thought of the Goddess as crying. In my mind I saw her joyful, powerful and strong. Never crying, that would make her weak. So I asked why would she cry, why would a Goddess, the Mother of all things cry?
Outside we could hear the wind beginning to blow as the rain started to fall. My Great Grandmother sat with me on the bed and held me tight, smiling with her face of wisdom and love. I watched her black eyes as she explained in her loving way why a mother cries. I will never forget her words.
The Mother Goddess is the mother of all, the mother of life and the mother of nature. But most of all she is a mother, giving birth to new beginnings and new life. At times giving birth can be painful, but it is a pain that is worth the changes that come. Sometimes, she becomes hurt by how her children behave, how they treat her, but she always gives them love and always forgives. Yet she is Mother Nature and sometimes she likes to move things around to remind us who is really in charge.”
We could hear the winds, rain, hail and what sounded like wood breaking all around us. I listened to the winds long into the night and I am sure I heard the Goddess crying as she gave birth to all the changes around us. The storm would last until the early morning. But it would be morning’s light before we come out of the root cellar to see what was to be seen.
Once we heard the rooster crowing we pushed the heavy door open and walked up the stairs into the rising new day’s sun. Things had changed all round us. The house was fine except for a few boards missing off the side and some of the tin roof was wrapped around a tree. Lots of rain had gotten in the open windows and a few pictures had blown off the walls. But like my Great Grandmother said, it was easy to clean up. The trees looked strange because all the leaves had been pulled or beaten off during the storms, nature’s way of pruning my Great Grandmother would explain. The yard was covered with big tree branches and the oak tree by the barn was pulled up and left in the back pasture. That freaked me out because it was only feet from the root cellar. But my Great Grandmother said she was thinking of putting a flower garden there and that tree had been in her way, until now.
It took some time to clean up from the storm, but we faired well that first day of May. We celebrated our Spring High Holy Day, what we call Beltaine, the next night with family and friends. The fire we burned was high and bright as we gave special blessings for all the changes and the gifts our Mother Goddess gave us in all the new beginnings. For myself, I gave thanks for a Great Grandmother of wisdom and understanding who would share her love in teaching me.
Be ye all blessed during this magickal time of new beginnings…
By Lady Abigail
High Priestess of Ravensgrove Coven
Greenfield, IN area
Copyright © 04282009
Copyright: Copyright © 04282009
High Priestess of Ravensgrove Coven
Greenfield, IN area
Location: Greenfield, Indiana
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