I am drinking my coffee and listening to acoustic music, in blissful silence. My son is with his grandparents, and my husband is sleeping in upstairs. I’ve slept in also (thanks to the time change) so it’s just 8AM now. My hearthfire is lit, prayers have been said, and the smiling faces of the Ancestors look upon me working. This is Samhain morning, and a rare respite from the daily routine.
Another chance is before me for reinvention — to declare, under the full moon and on this pagan New Year — that today that this is the day that I am going to become a good wife, that I will magically transform into some combination of 1950s housewife, homesteader, homeschool mom, fit weightlifter, well-read and well-spoken priestess, and still pull in half of our family’s income at a full-time job at the library. (It’s okay, you can laugh.)
Whereas I cannot achieve all of that in one declaration, what I can do is promise to myself that I will truly begin to live a deliberate, intentional life. I am 35 now, and I am quite happy having settled into delightful mediocrity, having abandoned perfection, and instead choose to find joy in small moments, simple magic, and the beauty of the hearth. I think back to 18 year old baby Pagan me, who scoffed at the older women doing just what I am doing now, where I thought, “but is there not more?”
And so, I offer a public apology to all of those who knew me at 18, 24, 30… I am sorry. I am sorry that I could not see what you did was valid, that I did not understand the magic of living a simple and normal life, that I did not see how our stories and our beliefs and our practices grow and change as we do. I am sorry for being insufferable, and for not understanding why we can’t just do it all, why we can’t just try harder, find more time, do everything that needs to be done. I am sorry.
I cannot go back in time and change anything. All of the work that I had previously done for my communities was done with the best of intentions at the time. I’ll continue to do my best-intentioned work now, with a new understanding of the challenges that we face in a society that does not place much value on community work, on resilience, on honest communication, instead hiding behind a façade of individualism and ambition.
This isn’t the post I set out to write when I sat down with my coffee — I had planned to write a book review — but I think it needs to be said. I hope that all of you reading this will show me some compassion and consideration, and continue living life with me.