Saturday, July 31, 2004

Lughnasadh Harvest

  • Image courtesy of

  • What a beautiful Lughnasadh morning! I thank You, Great Mother for the gift of the Sun this first harvest holiday! Horned Lord, dance as You may, for there could scarcely be a better morning to celebrate!

    Joyous Lughnasadh and Lammas to all my friends and family!

    This is the celebration of the first harvest, so I would like to talk about some of my harvests from both Alcoholics Anonymous and Wicca. If you have read my story then you know that when I entered AA I was bankrupt intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, economically (not literally there, my wife had done some amazing juggling to avoid that). I wanted to die and I was seriously considering ways to go about killing others. I do remember daydreaming about going to work with a gun and just shooting people.

    AA gave me a set of tools that I could use to solve problems. Before AA my tool kit essentially had a hammer and some pliers. I could handle a limited number of problems well, everything else was beyond my scope. Fortunately, I could lie like a rug, and that allowed me to hide how over my head I was. With this new tool kit, I could deal with a tremendous number of problems, and just as with any other tools, the more I used them, the more proficient and efficient I became at using them. Hand saws, clamps, drills, screwdrivers, levels, sawhorses, you name it.

    There were still many problems that were beyond my ability however. AA gave me one last set of tools. These were different from the other tools though.

    These were power tools.

    I could hardly wait to use these power tools. See, the set of tools I had been given so far had been great—I had been able to start fixing my job, my attitude, my mind, etc. But these tools were completely inadequate for the big jobs: my marriage, my parents, my sister, my in-laws and my pets. I just knew that if I used those power tools, I could start fixing those things. But my AA friends and my sponsors put a stop to that. They told me that I did not actually get to use them.

    See, that is why I don’t go to topless bars. I get to look all I want but I can’t touch? Thanks but no thanks. Sounds like a recipe for misery for me. I’m a hands on kind of guy.

    Then I learned how the power tools really work. You plug into the power source and then the power source not only brings the tool to life but helps you guide it. In fact, the direction of the work is shaped by the tool; not by the person operating the tool. Even then, the operator, me, has a vital, integral role in the project and its outcome.

    Power for the tool and direction for the project comes from the Goddess. These tools plug directly into the Divine. Hammer of the Gods, indeed. And this is where the Goddess and Wicca enter my life.

    For the first time in my marriage I approached my wife with the attitude that she was her own person with her own hopes, dreams and disappointments separate from mine. I started to assume adult responsibilities and work to be a full partner in marriage. At first, it was worse, much worse, than it had been when I was drinking. I hated my wife, she did not trust me at all, couldn’t she see how hard this was? Couldn’t she see I was trying? I was so angry and so was she.

    But why shouldn’t she be angry? I had lied to her countless times over the years, and now I am angry she does not believe me. Lisa must have been so frustrated, wanting me to stay sober, but not wanting to live through the tantrums and explosions along the way. Yes, I was taking on more responsibility, but the flip side of that was she had been responsible for years. Now I want a medal for doing the things she had done for years without even a thank you?

    Time, patience and love allowed us to grow back together. Marriage counseling did not hurt, either.

    My first harvest came when I realized that I was falling in love with Lisa all over again. I think she fell in love with me again too. But it took time, in fact we still work on it today. Now the labor is mostly pleasant, we have fun tending and nurturing our marriage together.

    The harvest I have gathered from my parents is different and harder in a different way. I had not spoken with my mother in years, literally years. They lived in a different state and the relationship had to begin slowly, via telephone. That first Yule, I flew up there to visit them. During that visit I had to make amends and my stomach was sick with it.

    Telling my father I had stolen money from him for years was the hardest thing I think I have ever done. There is an old AA saying, what do you get when you sober up a drunk horse thief? A sober horse thief and that is hardly any better than what you started with. I did not want to stay a thief. I still send my parents a monthly check for my amends, and I will for at least another year.

    I would be lying if I said I was close to my mother, but we talk, about once per week on the phone. I am feeling much closer to my father, I feel that I am a part of the family. It is a rich harvest.

    Some harvests, despite great promise, do not materialize. They wither on the stalk and part of life is learning to live through that. My sister and I had been alienated for years. Upon becoming sober I contacted her and for a time I was filled with a great hope and joy that we might have a close relationship. Lisa and I spent holidays with her and her family and we enjoyed it.

    For our 10th wedding anniversary, I asked Lisa to be Handfast to me on our tenth wedding anniversary. She said yes and amongst the people invited was my sister. When she learned about my faith, my sister did what I was afraid she would do.

    She severed all ties to me and wrote me a nasty letter telling me that I was going to burn in hell. That is the last I have communicated with her. I send Christmas and birthday cards, but it is like they go into a black hole.

    That hurt, badly.

    It is in the hands of a Power greater than my sister or I. If any healing can come, it will come from a loving Goddess, not from my sister or I. I hope it does come, and I hope it comes before the funeral of one of our parents. That is one of my fears, that it will take death to bring us together.

    It does bother me though, that my in-laws can say to me, we love you as you are and my sister cannot.

    Briefly, my last harvest is the one that comes from my faith, and that is that I am in a coven with a group of really neat and wonderful people. Sometimes I wish they thought more like me, but most times I don’t. It is the differences that make us so rich, the similarities merely bring us together. Our unity comes from a willingness to accept each other as we are.

    Tonight I will meet some new folks; other Wiccans and Pagans, I can hardly wait.

    Briefly, for my friends, here is a celebration of their harvests:

    Lyn and Brad, for their upcoming marriage

    Matt for his new job

    Carol and Tod, for their new house

    For Laura B’s health, may she recover from her problems

    For Loni to see her father

    For Jim to see his new grandson

    Goddess, please bless us all in our endeavors. May all we do bring love to those around us. Our soldiers around the world, be with them. May we be on the way to sowing the seeds of peace. Please be with me today, all through the day, help me to stay sober all day long.

    Thank You. Blessed Be!