Last night, I found myself walking in pastoral moonlight at the invitation of a friend. It was a spiritual walk through grove and field, with much talk of theology and mystical views. We strolled ahead of a predicted wind storm. I could smell the charging air. Weather was indeed afoot.
As we walked through a grove, I was struck by how ALIVE the flora seemed. I swear I could feel the trees and plants bursting from their winter quiescence into an exultant sentience. I commented as much.
“Oh,” replied my friend, Christopher. “That’s because we’re in the midst of Beltane. It isn’t just a one-day celebration. The party is still going on.”
In contemporary times, Beltane is celebrated on May 1 – also known as May Day. It is a Celtic festival that marks the midpoint of the spring season. It is characterized by bonfires and birth, by the making and the springing forth of new life. It does make sense that the world would feel especially alive right now.
We walked into a open grass field. “Can you feel it?” I said.
“Indeed,” he replied.
“I have the strongest impulse to roll in the grass,”
“Well, then, why don’t you?”
So I did. I took off my coat, lay down in the grass and rolled and rolled and rolled. When I finally whumped to a halt on my back, I was so dizzy that the cloudy sky spun for several minutes, making me nauseous. But I laughed delightedly, and the spinning – and my stomach – slowly calmed.
I arose and staggered around. (I have a cranky inner ear.) As I wobbled home, I felt as though I had tumbled in long filaments of spirit-stuff, which were now swathed about me in a light, gauzy cocoon.
The feeling persists today. I wonder what will be born of this chrysalis?