My latest, The Parentalia: Honoring the Ancestors and Beloved Dead , at PaganSquare.
A Perfect April Day
The Kalends isn’t over, but we’re taking a moment to rest in our day. For me that means I get to do what seems to be becoming a job, but is still basically a hobby (This is my justification for it today, since I have always tried to not “work” on the Kalends, Nones, and Ides).
Yesterday over at my blog on Witches & Pagans’ PaganSquare, I wrote about my plans to observe the Kalends with my 3-year-old daughter for the first time. The day is only half-way over, but I’ve been so moved by how the day has unfolded that I couldn’t wait to post.
My daughter had breakfast, and I had coffee with a few peanuts. I fast for the Kalends, Nones, and Ides from sunset the night before, but my health issues require I don’t do a full fast these days. I don’t feel that 3 is old enough to fast, but I explained why it was I wasn’t having my normal breakfast to her.
After breakfast we went out to find a stick to make our windchimes with. We put it together while I explained that it was to bring good fortune and help protect us.
We went out to our front step. I gave her the little broom she has, and together we swept off the step, making sure it was clean for where we were going to set up our offering. We sat down the offering bowl. Then we carried the tray off offerings out.
I showed her how to cover her head with a veil, and offered her a silk scarf I had picked out for this moment. It’s a smaller one I bought years ago, and it was the perfect size for her. She was so excited to have a veil to wear like mine that she kept it around her shoulders for quite some time afterwards.
I showed her how to hold her hands while praying, upturned to the sky. She didn’t keep them that way, but I’ll be sure to demonstrate this position each time I pray in front of her to reinforce it.
And then came the offerings and prays. I poured a little water into her special pitcher for her to put into the bowl, and she had picked tortilla chips (one of her favorite foods) to give to Janus, Juno, and the Lares today. I offered the prayer and then directed her to pour and place chips into the offering bowl for each.
I admit that I am rarely moved to tears during rituals. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever cried during a formal ritual. But as I sat there watching her pour and offer, her sweet face peaking out under her veil, I felt my heart grow 10 sizes with joy and pride. My eyes welled up with tears.
We hung up our windchimes.
Afterwards we sat on the front step, watching the birds. She asked me while looking around, “Where are the Gods?”
I chuckled. I couldn’t help it. She was clearly disappointed They’d not manifested in a way she could clearly see. So I quietly explained that the Gods show themselves as birds, as the feel of the wind, that They are everywhere. They are in the plants and the flowers. They are inside of us, and They are the love we have for each other.
As I explained this, my arm wrapped around her little body, I understood this on a whole different level than I had before.
I thanked her for teaching me that lesson.