There’s been a theme in my life the past few years, and the theme is “enough”.
I decided to offer to do the liturgy for this ritual when it was apparent that our usual fearless leader might be otherwise occupied with a little human. I didn’t really expect that I would have the energy, nerve or any sort of necessary attribute to prepare for and perform said rite, but I used to do the whole public speaking thing fairly regularly, so I figured: hey. How hard could it be?
Coming up with the theme and the Kindred of the occasion was a struggle. I had help in the end, but I literally beat my head against the wall trying to come up with ideas. Which is partially my fault I admit; I said I wanted to do this ritual, and I was going to figure it out myself, damnit!
And then I had to write the thing. Which I did, in three or four inspired hours, but finding the courage/energy/wherewithal to sit down and write the thing took forever. And for this Type A, hyper prepared Druid, it felt awful to not have a plan for so long.
So we get to the actual day of the rite, and I’m kind of bummed. I worked really hard, and as much as I love the grovies that were already there (and you know I do!), and we would have had a great time just the four of us, I kind of had hoped for a bigger group. If I was going to put myself out on a limb, I wanted it to be all or nothing. I was afraid I was going to have a repeat of other gatherings I’ve tried to organize in the past, especially with my professional organization. Hours of work: no one shows up. I’m fine with everything, up until cars start to pull in. There’s one, then another. Then another. THEN ANOTHER.
By this time, I have reached full on panic attack mode, and am finding it hard to breathe, let alone recite all these chants. Regardless of the fact that I had them written down right in front of me, and the fact that I had tons of back up help from my fellow wonderful grovies. I can’t breathe… I am totally going to faint…
But I realized something. Not only was I surrounded (and I mean surrounded; there were 14 of us in total) with smiling faces, eager to participate, no one seemed to mind my struggle. Things got a little easier. My pace slowed down (or at least it felt like it did), and I had a chance to move into a place where I could actually enjoy myself, despite all my perceived flaws in performance. I felt, for the first time I can remember, that no one expected me to be perfect, that I wasn’t being judged, and I was “enough”. I was going to be fine. There was enough of a ritual here to make it worthwhile for people to attend. I have enough of a voice to be able to do this. There was going to be enough food to go around at the table later. There were enough donations for us to pay for the space. And there was more than enough good conversation!
Turns out, I can handle big groups, and new people, and conversations, and make new friends. It doesn’t sound like a lot to some people, but I’ve rarely had the opportunity to break bread with like minded people. And this grove has basically dragged my ass out of some very dark places, when I’ve felt completely and entirely alone.
So as much as the actual liturgy went fine, and we did our thing, and we had a meditation, and we gave praise to Manannan, that wasn’t really the important part at all. The important part is that, even for a brief time, we became a community of supportive, intelligent, kind, generous, open minded and open hearted people. The people I have met through this protogrove have become dear friends, and all of our newcomers to the table just reaffirmed my faith in this good thing we’re doing. You were all accepting of me when I had my heart wide open and out on the table in front of you… I SANG, for cryin’ out loud. I haven’t been that vulnerable in so long.
So, thank you to those of you who attended. Thank you for coming and taking a chance on us. I hope you all come again. At the very least, hopefully we were helpful in assisting you find your path, whatever that will look like. But mostly, thank you for being living, breathing proof to me that the universe works in mysterious ways. You are all the reminder I needed that when we work hard at something, we will always have enough.