It’s late, but it is Monday, after all, and that means it’s show and tell day!
Today’s photo comes to you courtesy of… my phone!
This is the little stream in the forest near my home. There’s a flat white rock that extends a little bit out into the water, which I like to sit on and study the forest as part of my nature awareness training. I think most of the water in this stream is stormwater runoff, but there’s a fairly steady amount of water moving through it at all times. It gets vicious sometimes, this little stream, after heavy storms, and right now there’s a trail-marker post in it, carried downhill by floodwaters.
This is a slightly frivolous post in the midst of the many “How do we–or do we–define ourselves as Pagans?” posts out there. In some ways, it’s right, though, and expressive of my opinion on the subject. Sometimes we just are what we are, whether we like it or not. This stream is composed mostly of runoff, and it probably ends in a retention pond. Despite that, though, it’s fearsome and winsome and many other -somes in between.
Whether we like it or not, to much of the world, including some of ourselves, we are Pagans. Do I think of myself as Pagan? Sure. Is that good? I’m not sure. Is it bad? I don’t think so. Why not own what we are, or at least what we’re called, and flow into the ocean (or the retention pond, whichever the case may be) with grace and power? Here’s a quote from Anne of Avonlea, which I think speaks to the issue:
“I think her parents gave her the only right and fitting name that could possibly be given her,” said Anne. “If they had been so blind as to name her Elizabeth or Nellie or Muriel she must have been called Lavendar just the same, I think. It’s so suggestive of sweetness and old-fashioned graces and ‘silk attire.’ Now, my name just smacks of bread and butter, patchwork and chores.”
“Oh, I don’t think so,” said Diana. “Anne seems to me real stately and like a queen. But I’d like Kerrenhappuch if it happened to be your name. I think people make their names nice or ugly just by what they are themselves. I can’t bear Josie or Gertie for names now but before I knew the Pye girls I thought them real pretty.”
“That’s a lovely idea, Diana,” said Anne enthusiastically. “Living so that you beautify your name, even if it wasn’t beautiful to begin with… making it stand in people’s thoughts for something so lovely and pleasant that they never think of it by itself. Thank you, Diana.”
Yep, I just quoted Anne of Green Gables. Some may quote philosophers, others may quote sacred texts… I quote novels, be they childrens’ books or great literature. Why? Because I take wisdom where I find it.
Let’s beautify our names, shall we? Even if we can’t agree what it means or even who it means, let’s agree that it stands for something good.