Today I got to spend a lot of time with M, my oldest bonus daughter. She’s going on 13, and she’s been asking lots of questions regarding how I practice my faith and what it means to her. It was really nice, actually. She’s been doing a lot of research on her own, and coming to me with her thoughts and whatever else she wants to know. We get to have a lot of unstructured conversations about it, usually when we go to the Farmer’s Market.
I mentioned to her that Midsummer, or Litha had passed (in fact, today was the last day), and some of the things we did to celebrate. She asked me what a ritual for Litha would look like, which was the first time she’s really been interested in the spiritual side of things. She started looking at my books and her research because she wanted to fly like in Harry Potter, and talk with her cat. She’s moved past that in these two years and I’m pleased that she’s making her decisions that guide her in a direction she’s happy with.
I explained to her that there’s all sorts of way to do a Midsummer celebration, and it was great to fall into my Paganism 101 stuff that I haven’t really been seeing in a while. She asked me how I would do it, and I told her “Well, really every time I cook dinner for us, I’m doing a ritual”.
She asked how, and I got to explain my point of view of what magick can mean, and how I work as a hedge/kitchen type, celebrating my roots and family traditions. While I love the props that can come from high ceremonial magick, I don’t have the time or space to go full-out, casting circles and calling quarters like I did when I was younger. The ritual for me starts with gathering the ingredients. Preparing the tomatoes, mixing the meat, chopping and dicing the veggies. Then cooking with the thoughts of what I’d like to accomplish. In this case, my thoughts focused on gratefulness that we live in an area where I can help celebrate the harvest of farmers and share in our fortunes.
So today, she’s helped me prepare a meal from harvested goods that we got at the farmers market. We picked up some tortellini that was on sale (because as good as I am, I’m exhausted from cleaning out part of the garage and don’t want to fuck with fresh pasta). We’re using fresh tomatoes, garlic and onions grown by local farmers, fresh mozzarella from a local dairy, eggs from my husband’s aunt’s chickens, basil from the garden, and the meat for the meatballs is also from a local producer.
We visited a local “Real Food” store and picked up some soft white wheat, which M got to watch as they ran it through the mill to turn it into flour. She was fascinated by it! We’ll use it tomorrow to make a honey cake, with raw honey from a local beekeeper.
I say all of this and I know that you can read it and think “God, what a pretentious twat” and I totally get that. But it really makes me happy that I have gotten to a point in our lives where, with minimum effort, we are getting back to locally sourced food. I’m able to trace where the food on my plate comes from, and the kids know what it means. Sure, the pasta comes from a mass producer for Lidl, but I feel very good about everything else. I’m showing them that a life with the goals I have, living mindfully and being purposeful in our choices, is obtainable – and fun. I hope you had a wonderful Midsummer as well, and get to share in the harvest this season – no matter where you get it from!