My five-year-old daughter’s eyes were wide and round above the small hand she held across her mouth, not trusting her ability to hold her breath. Each of the children held a wish in their minds, eyes focused on the shrine.
Our processional had wandered about the yard, passing sunset, blackbirds, ancient maple trees that remembered a time before the farm fields had appeared around the house. We ducked under lilac bushes, fat with buds, wound around the rusted windmill, and back into the house. From room to room we quietly stole till making our way to the shrine set for Her, only ever Her. We had offerings and so many thanks to give.
So abruptly that it might have been missed, the tiny flame that held on so strongly went out. Muffled giggles took its place, filling the room with warmth and cutting through the reverent mood that had held us all captive.
A new processional began. The children left the room, hands now empty of candles and white wool wrapped stangs. They chattered to each other about how none would dare reveal their wish -or else it wouldn’t come true. I smiled, watching them wander off to their rooms to get ready for bed, wondering at their future.
Polytheists children raised in a household where witchcraft and spirit work is the norm… Their world is a different place than I’ll ever know. Even the stories the 3-year-old tells are proof that the world for them is so much more, so filled with Beings and possibilities. Already, they have a mythic way about them, and yet they speak such profound truth with the simple ease that only children can.
This was their first Mounykhia -combined with a late Hiketeria due to complications with timing on our end. But, the festivals blended well together, as both focus so strongly upon giving thanks. Next year, however, we shall try more strongly to give each its own day.
As we’ve gradually expanded our religious calendar this year to account for annual holidays, the children have been excited -more special baking, more sacred rites, more family feasts, so very much more to be excited about. This Spring is so full for them, as these new holy days have filled these past two months and will keep the next just as full. And just when the pace of new sacred celebrations threatens to ebb …the baby will be born. It is a very full time, indeed.