We of LlynHydd Grove celebrated Beltaine today. I say “we” because this was the first time I really felt like I was part of the whole thing, rather than a guest at someone else’s party. I think it was because I got there early and helped to set up. I didn’t actually help all that much, because Muin really had everything well in hand and while I tried my best to help, he is of that uber-competent type that has everything done before the opportunity to “help” actually arises. Still, being part of searching for our Maypole in a pile of brush and having everything all together before most people arrived gave me that sense of “we.”
We lost our leader, Oakwyse, who for reasons of his own has decided he wants to be on a more solitary path for a time. While I’m sorry to see him go, I’m happy to say that Muin stepped up and filled the role splendidly – he’s knowledgable, capable and has a big booming voice, so he’s really right for the role. I was wondering if the grove would fall apart with the loss of Oakwyse, but what I saw today gave me hope that things will continue quite well.
We had a larger than expected turnout, with lots of young people who helped to give the whole thing an appropriately playful energy. We also had another Druid grove doing their Beltaine at the same site an hour before us, which was a pleasant surprise – the Spiral Spirit ADF Protogrove. They were a much smaller group doing a much quieter kind of ceremony, and one of them stayed for our larger and, um, noisier ceremony. The Maypole dance was fun and colorful and somewhat disorganized, as Maypole dances usually are, but our Maypole looked great by the end, as Maypoles usually do.
My other group was supposed to do a Beltaine ceremony yesterday, but it didn’t happen – our member who usually opens her house for us to use as a gathering place had other obligations so we were left without a site. I think that group is in the process of falling apart. We have a gathering planned for the end of May but I’m not sure it’s going to continue past that, or if it does it will do so in a much altered form. These things have their lifespans, and while I’m sorry to see it go, I’ve changed enough since we started to be ready to move on. These changes have happened as a result of work I did with that bunch; it led me to a much more focused path and I’m grateful for that. I seem to have focused myself right away from the group, though.
I really like LlynHydd – I like the people who come, I like the kind of energy we have, I like what we do. I could see myself shifting my energy over in that direction, but I’m not sure how that will work out in a practical sense – we’re so scattered geographically that meeting any more often than the 8 holidays becomes kind of a hardship. That’s the biggest thing I find lacking with that group – all we do together is outer, festival-type work – we don’t do any kind of inner work together. I wonder if there is a way to change that.