Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Story: Meagan's Summer Solstice

By Kathryn Dyer ©1996

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Meagan. She lived with her mother Elizabeth, her father Michael and her brother Corwin. One day, Meagan was playing with her cat Starweaver. She was excited. Soon it would be Midsummer Day, the longest day of the year. Meagan knew that it was also called Litha. She and her family would celebrate all day with a picnic and a ritual at the farm that one of the coven members owned. Meagan had to be careful not to mention the word coven around her Gramma Lee and Granpa Scott because they were Christian and might get upset about Meagan and her family being pagan. Meagan wished that her grandparents understood how nice all the pagans that she knew were.

It was hot and Meagan was getting thirsty. She started back home to get a drink. On the way home she saw a woman in a nurse's uniform coming out of her friend Mrs. Hanson's house. Meagan slowed down. She had become friends with Mrs. Hanson after leaving a May basket on her porch. She wondered who the woman could be.

Meagan sped up and ran the rest of the way home. She raced up the stairs and into the kitchen. "Meagan!" said her father, "you know the rule about running. We only run outside where we aren't likely to get hurt if we fall down." Meagan stopped by the refrigerator. "I'm sorry Daddy. I saw a lady in a nurse's uniform down at Mrs. Hanson's house and I was going to call her and see who it was. I was coming home to get a drink anyway." Michael nodded, "It was thoughtful of you not to stop at Mrs. Hanson's house. If she's sick, she might not want company. I tell you what...I'll call Mrs. Hanson while you get a drink." Meagan poured herself a big glass of herbal tea while her father went into his office to make the call. She looked for some cookies but didn’t see any.

Just then, Meagan's mother came in the door carrying several net bags full of groceries. Meagan's family always used cloth or net bags at the grocery store to help save the earth's resources. "I'll help!" exclaimed Meagan running up to her mother. "I'd rather you went to the car and helped your brother bring in the rest of the bags please," said her mother. Meagan went outside and found Corwin testing bags to see which were heaviest. "Here," he said, "these are the perfect weight for you." Meagan took the bags and took them inside. She helped put up the groceries. Meagan wondered why her father had not come back and told her about Mrs. Hanson. She asked her mother if she could take Mrs. Hanson some cookies when they made a new batch. "Sure honey," said her mother, "that reminds me, we should probably make three batches tonight so that we'll have enough for the picnic on Saturday. In fact, you might ask Mrs. Hanson if she'd like to go on a picnic sometime with us. She isn't pagan and I don't she'd enjoy going to Litha"

"I'm afraid Mrs. Hanson isn't going anywhere for awhile," said Michael from the doorway, "I just talked to her on the phone. It seems that she's broken her leg. That's why she wasn't home last week, the doctor had her stay in the hospital so that it would heal better. She's home now, but he still wants her to take it easy. There's a nurse's aide who's going to come bathe her several days a week but she was wondering how she was going to get her meals. You know that she doesn't believe in convenience foods so I offered to bring over a helping of what ever we're having until she's back on her feet. I hope you don't mind." Elizabeth walked over and hugged him hard. She smiled up at him, "Why should I mind? You do most of the cooking! Besides, it was very kind of you to think of it."

So that night after dinner had been made Meagan and her brother ran down the road with some reusable containers. Corwin rang the doorbell twice and unlocked the door with the key that their mother had given him. "Hello! Mrs. Hanson?" he called into the house as they brought in their packages. "I'm back in the family room," they heard her call from the other end of the house. Corwin carefully locked the door behind them and put the key into his pocket. They carefully took their packages into the family room. There was Mrs. Hanson sitting in a recliner. She had a table on either side of her, a wheelchair near her and a TV remote in her hand. She smiled when she saw them. "I didn't know how serious your father was about his offer," she said, "I really a appreciate you bringing me something to eat." Mrs. Hanson was surprised when she saw what they had brought her. They had a drink, some casserole, some vegetables and some cookies for dessert.

"We made lots of cookies today because we're going on a picnic on Saturday," said Meagan, "I wish that you could come but it's a family thing and mommy says that not just everyone can come." Mrs. Hanson smiled and patted Meagan's hand. "It's very sweet of you to offer but I don't think I'd feel like it right now anyway. I tell you what, after I'm feeling a little better, perhaps you and I and your friend Cindy could have a picnic on my patio." Meagan nodded. Mrs. Hanson said that she would call Elizabeth and Cindy's mother Anna when she felt up to fixing a picnic. Corwin smiled, "I'll do you one better, why not just let us know when you feel like eating out on the patio and we'll have a potluck picnic!" Mrs. Hanson frowned, "What is a potluck picnic?" "Oh!" said Meagan, "that's when everyone brings one thing that they are good at making. I like to bring ice tea but I have to make sun tea because I'm still not old enough to pour hot water over tea bags. I don't want to get burned." Mrs. Hanson thought that was a good idea.

Meagan and Cindy planned for their picnic so that they would be ready when Mrs. Hanson felt better. Soon she called their parents and made arrangements. They decided to have their picnic the Sunday after the Litha celebration. Soon it was Midsummer's Day y. Meagan and her family packed up a picnic basket filled with good things to eat. They had brought yarn to make God's Eyes. Meagan and Corwin decided to look for sticks at the farm to make the God's Eyes. Meagan knew that they made God's Eyes to celebrate ate the sun at the height of its power. They spent the day playing, eating, singing and dancing. It didn't seem like very long before it was time for ritual. It seemed strange to have ritual while the sun was still up but Meagan's parents said that they would not be done until the sun went down. First the grownups all got dressed in their robes and went from field to field to bless the crops. Meagan and most of the other children stayed behind to set up the altar. They put candles in containers around t he altar and helped put the smaller stones around the fire pit while one of the grownups put bigger stones.

One of the children had found a dead ash tree earlier in the day. Everyone was excited because they could make things from the wood without harming a living tree. Meagan and Corwin both had pieces of the tree to make a wand with. They brought them into the circle with them. Soon the other coven members began gathering. They were excited. Tonight they would also have a handfasting! Jeremy and Sybil had been handfasted for a year and a day at the last Litha celebration. Tonight they would be handfasted 'for as long as love lasts'. It was time for the ritual to begin.

Meagan was still very excited when it was time to go home. She had had a good time and she still had a picnic with Corwin, Cindy and Mrs. Hanson tomorrow! But it was very late and she fell asleep in the car on the way home. Her father carried her into the house and put her to bed. Starweaver curled up beside her and purred. It had been a good day.

(Above taken from here).

8 comments:

The Coexist Cafe said...

This is such a beautiful story, thank you so much for sharing. :)

Toriz said...

Stephanie:
No problem. When I found it I thought it was a beautiful story too, so I wanted to give others who may not be familiar with the Meagan stories an oppertunity to read and enjoy them too!

AliceKay said...

Nice story. I read what you posted, but I don't know what "handfasting" is. Could you explain?

The Coexist Cafe said...

@AliceKay: I don't mean to shove in to explain, but lemme try. :) A handfasting is typically a bringing together (marriage) of two people for a year and a day. Kind of a "trial run", if you will. The second handfasting is held after that year and a day for "as long as their love shall last."

The act of handfasting is typing the couple's hands/wrists together, with each knot made to the cord being a specific blessing for the couple.

A handfasting can also be incorporated into a more traditional wedding ceremony; for instance, my husband and I were married in an interfaith Jewish-Pagan ceremony, which included all the Jewish elements and Pagan ones (like a handfasting). :)

Intense Guy said...

Its odd how this story sounds so far from the "mainstream" but it shouldn't be - it has all the elements (minus a lot of strife) that a happy family/neighborhood should have within it.

Rita said...

Sweet story, Tori!
I hope you guys saw some sun yesterday and had a good solstice ceremony. :)

Toriz said...

I'm glad you all enjoyed the story.

I've ffound the whole Meagan story collection, so I will post them around the time of each of the holidays they are about until I've posted all 8 of them.

Stephanie:
No worries; you explained perfectly, and I have no issues with you coming on in and explaining before me. Saves me the job. :)

AliceKay said...

Thanks for the explanation. :)