I took 2 weeks off from everything at the end of August and broke my foot 2 days into my vacation. My long imagined adventures and accomplishments came to a grinding halt as I came to a hobbling halt. In what seemed like no time at all, and yet took forever, my vacation came to an end with the Labor Day weekend. It held no fun, just chores, food and naps, over and over. My return to the classroom loomed just ahead. Hours before bedtime, I tackled long postponed work items; billing, bills, banking, a to-do list for the week ahead. The sky darkened and it began to rain. Then it rained harder, and harder, until I could not stop myself from taking a seat on the deck, overlooking the forest and river. The wind through the trees was audible, a loud white noise. Thunder growled from the West. The rain beat its rhythm on the earth, slow at first, then faster and faster, harder and harder, until the world was wet. Wet air, wet ground, wet trees, wet beings…. And the wet was good, it was warm, it did not sting, it was benevolent and kind. “Wait a minute,” I thought to myself… “when water is benevolent and kind, it is not a rainstorm, it is a ritual, a consecration, come to make holy all that has forgotten holiness, and just in time for the beginning of the academic year, and the end of the Pagan year!”
I smiled to myself, and gave words to all that I wished to surrender: cynicism, doubt, judgement, generalized fear, procrastination, broken bones, dog drama and head-spaces that are not mindful… Then I sent the cleansing waters to others in my life, like if a shower and a telegram had a baby. I had no doubt that it worked.
When my cast became soggy, it was time to say goodbye to the magnificent rain forest in my own backyard. It smelled of clean wet air with a base note of mud. Hands to heart, I thanked the Elemental ruler of Water, Nixa, and her subjects the Undines. I thanked them like sisters thank each other after tackling a difficult task. We sort of high-fived. I returned to my dwelling, grateful and thrilled for the sudden ‘drive-by’ consecration, compliments of a rain storm and a bit of intentionality. A clean slate to begin the school year, and a clean slate to enter the season of darkness in the Pagan year, as the days grow ever shorter, and the Light more precious. Alpha and Omega, cleansed and returned to center, to balance, to receptive presence.
I could not have created this intentionally, for obvious weather-related reasons. This ritual required me to realize it in the moment that it showed up, not as a rainstorm, but as a consecration. Thankfully, I recognized the difference, because I’ve been working hard to remember the language of the land. The elements don’t just talk to people who have special abilities to hear them, they talk just the same as birds or bugs or people. With time, their expressions are as easy to guesstimate as any other foreign language. We can practice anytime we experience earth, water, fire or air in a glorious setting; just by sitting still, breathing deep and listening. We can simply use our intentionality to allow the fire to burn away, the wind to blow away, the water to wash away and the sweet earth to ground all that no longer serves us. We can trust ourselves and our imaginations. We can release forgetfulness and remember our holiness. It’s all available in our own backyards.