Mark Green's Atheopaganism Blog

Living an Earth-Honoring Path Rooted in Science

May Eve, the Darkness Before the Splendor

So it’s Walpurgisnacht, the night before May Day. Traditionally, a sort of transposed Hallows, with ghosts and spirits loose in the world before the brilliant dawn of the May.

I sometimes think of May Day as the dawning of the World. There is something so grand and magnificent about dawn at this time of year, with the bird chorus and dew-spangled grasses, the cool-but-not-cold that will fade to kissed-skin temperate breezes. It’s luscious, and filled with wonderful memories for me.

This year, May morning will fall squarely in the midst of the work week and there is exciting stuff happening at work that I must attend to, so I won’t do as I usually do and take May Day off. I even have a board retreat for work this weekend, so I can’t celebrate then, either. So tonight is kind of it.

Thus, I have decided to build a fire in our outdoor fire pit and sit outside for awhile, enjoying the stars and Moon and sounds of night, remembering good times celebrating this season with friends and loved ones.

It’s weird to have become old. This holiday was so sexy, back in the day, with love and adventure and healthy pleasure, with gales of belly laughter and the good company of friends.

Now, though, many of those bonds and circles have been shattered by the inevitable stupid human tricks, and here I am, at my computer, conjuring memories of what it was like to be young and pretty with flowers in my hair, staying up all night with friends for May morning.

I am fortunate to live in an area with a lot of Pagan activity, still. There are Beltane Maypole celebrations scheduled for this weekend, when I will have to miss them, but it’s good to know that there are people dancing with ribbons yet, that the tradition carries on.

So here’s to May Day, to Beltane or whatever you choose to call it, the Gateway to the Good Times when the Earth is mild and kind and the scent of flowers carries on soft breezes. I will burn my fire tonight, watch the sparks soar up and know that the Bale-fires of antiquity are still alight today. That joy and pleasure and fun and community have not been forgotten.


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