For once, this is not a craft-based post, though in a roundabout way, it is a creative one. Today is May Day, or Beltane and I am acknowledging that here. It is one of my two favourite Pagan/Celtic festivals (the other being Samhain, at the opposite side of the year's wheel) and this year more than any other I have reason to celebrate it.
It is a celebration of everything that is bursting forth in the Spring, a festival of the abundance that is beginning. It is a time in which I like to look at my life and decide what I wish to manifest in it in the year to come. Two years ago I was living in a rented house, feeling somewhat in limbo as we were still searching for our dream long-term family home. We'd recently seen a wonderful house that was our fantasy come true, but it was going to be sold through sealed bids and we really didn't think that we'd be able to raise enough funds to secure it. That Beltane was the first time I made a labyrinth. It was nothing fancy, just a spiral of pebbles in the garden, but I walked it with the hope that we would find our perfect home - whether it be the one we'd recently seen or not - and be able to settle at last. At the end of that month we heard that our bid had been selected and that the house was ours. We got the keys in July and moved in in August. It has turned out to be even more perfect than we'd thought at the time: the local community has been very welcoming and there are several other families in walking distance with small children for our children to play and grow up with - all of whom we get on well with. Not only that but we recently secured planning permission to build an eco-house at the bottom of the garden for my parents so we're even managing to recreate the extended family model of day-to-day living that is becoming more and more rare these days.
Last year, Midi and I built a slightly more substantial labyrinth in the garden of our beautiful new home out of small boulders. She then spent quite a while walking round and round it, predominantly naked but I did manage to get a few moments to walk it myself. At that time we'd decided we would open the door to the possibility of having another child, but that if it didn't happen within 9 months or so we'd stop and be happy with just the wonderful daughter we'd already been blessed with. It took us years to conceive her so I had little faith that we'd get pregnant in the time frame we'd set ourselves, so I walked that labyrinth seeking a sense of completion in my family. I opened my heart and my body to whatever form our family was meant to take.
Two weeks later I found out I was pregnant and our beautiful three month old son is sleeping beside me as I type.
This year, I celebrate all that we have manifested already, and desire nothing more than a year of happiness and contentment for my family - whether that be immediate, extended or family-by-choice - and friends. I haven't made a labyrinth this year, but have simply spent time outside in our garden and woods, enjoying the sun's warmth, the energetic antics of local wildlife and the fantastic blossom that dresses our many fruit trees. I feel so, so blessed, and today more than most I am reminded of that and am extremely thankful for it.
For some, when they think of concrete, words like “cold”, “hard”, “industrial”, “uninviting” come to mind. While if this material is overused in a space it...