The Fullness of Peace

I’ve been exhausted. I was chalking it up to how incredibly busy I was and not really paying a lot of attention to what I was very busy doing — mostly because i was just so busy doing what needed to be done next.

This past month, I have been more deeply… more immediately… involved in people’s lives than normal, working to be present to people at the place where life begins and the place where it ends and some of the magnificent places in between. When it comes in a wave as it has recently, it’s demanding. When you’re needed, you show up. I lean on the Lady, others lead on the Lord, others just the great gift of Life. But you lean, because you’re never enough alone. (and yes, i lean on my community.)

And while it is tiring to be that present to people’s lives, it’s the most exhilarating thing in the world.

As a priestess, I think a lot about the prophetic claims of the job: the need to speak about the many ways life is denied by the institutions to those cast as outsiders and to the most vulnerable. It is a privilege.

But what brought me to this whole priestessing thing was ritual. I love the celebrations. I love being asked to attend at moments of great importance and to lend the reminder that Love and Life are what matters. I love the time spent talking to the people involved, conceiving what will respond to their needs, crafting the vessel and the words and performing the ritual.

I enjoy the weaving together of community. I am pleased when I can help their Joy emerge and grateful beyond belief when I can give voice to their sadness and sometimes comfort and Peace in the midst of their loss.

It is also wonderful when these periods end and you can sink into your favorite chair, or pool or a meal with some friends. Or as I got to do last night, walking the labyrinth and a ritual celebrating the Full Berry Moon… Part of this work is not just the leaning, it’s the privilege and the demand of pouring out of self. I am grateful. and today? I’m tired.

Luckily, the Joy and the Peace will slowly, slowly fill me back to the rim with Life and Love. I just need to give them a chance. And until there’s a little more of me, I’ll quietly give thanks. And as the very wise Jack Kornfield said, “After the ecstasy, the laundry.” or as Buddha’s mother said, “chop wood, carry water.” The first of many loads is churning in the washing machine and I’ve got a day full of little chores to make my little paradise lovely again. A little peace and quiet to recharge the batteries. Peace be with us all…

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