We are blessed to be often visited by fairies and elves leaving us baskets for solstices, equinoxes, and just because. The children run to our bedroom crying, "Someone left a basket on the table!! With books and giant acorns and wool ropes!!"
As the children grow older, we are drawn into thinking more deeply about our beliefs and what to pass on. I can see that whatever we do is what they believe is done, and I find myself bringing in, weeding out, passing through the sieve of discernment habits and rituals.
My family roots are Jewish and strong. I was bat mitzvahed and confirmed in the synagogue and celebrated every holiday with delicious food (we're talking homemade gefilte fish and kreplach here) and copious relatives, all talking and laughing and yelling at once. I've studied and practiced yoga for over 20 years, delving into the Hindu teachings that are at the foundation of the practice. I've been drawn to Buddhist teachings, finding that they always remind me of the simplicity of breathing and accepting the present moment. The practice of Chinese medicine has brought me into the Tao. I've also studied and practiced earth-based spirituality goddess traditions for the past 20 years, from studying with a witch in Boston, to practicing magic and ritual every new moon with a sweet circle of women for years, to helping create spectacular costumed rituals for 300 people.
Whew. Now that I wrote that, I see why this is something that is up for me as the children become ready for some more directed spiritual development. Our family motto thus far has been, "Celebrate everything!"
Well, never fear. We're not going to lessen our celebrating and certainly none of these traditions is off the list. We practice yoga, belong to a synagogue, and all that good stuff. What is exciting is that this equinox holiday we began to join with other families to celebrate the Wheel of the Year. We gathered round a harvest potluck, invoked the elements, and howled around the bonfire.
It was sweet to witness the diversity of our circle--we attend the local synagogue, our friend is a member of the Unitarian Church, and other churches were also represented at our circle--and see that we could still circle in honor of the sacred natural rhythm. We loved going to Rosh Hashanah services, hearing the shofar blast, and doing a family Tashlich in the local lake. We could feel the connection of Rosh Hashanah to the equinox, as it should be.
Our group is fledgling. If you're a local reader interested in joining us, please do! All are welcome. We're not using the "W" word yet, but maybe we can whisper it around the Samhain campfire :)
Maybe the sieve I'm using isn't so fine. Nothing seems to be getting weeded out. But intentions are growing clearer and brighter, illuminating the moments. Until the moments are all that are left.
* And since I've recently been "accused' of talking only about food, I'll keep my good record and share these corn, zucchini, cheese empanadas with you.