Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," beseeching peace from the Four Quarters, for without peace can no work be done!
What does one do with 24 unused water balloons?
That was the question facing me when my Druid Grove's Lughnasadh ritual had to be sandwiched between raging thunderstorm cells. We had our worship, but the fun and games had to be postponed. So, home I went with all the water balloons I'd filled for the day.
Yesterday I told my daughters, The Heir and The Spare, to invite a few friends over for a picnic. Guess I should have been more specific, because tonight the backyard was lively with a dozen college-bound or high school-bound youngsters, all learning for the first time what Lughnasadh is all about!
We didn't have a dragon to toss, so we made do with an octopus. Heck, they've made a tradition of this in Detroit, so I knew how it was done.
Then they did the water balloon toss ... twice ... and they all wanted more water balloons after that. Except for my boss's daughter, who took a shot to the face and got drenched. (Expecting pink slip tomorrow.)
We ate hot dogs and potato chips and watermelon. Then ... oh, great Sacred Thunderbirds! Along comes the Good Humor man, and everyone paid for their own dessert!
We retreated to the back yard. I had sent all the party-goers to the woods nearby to fetch home some kindling. We had a bonfire (small), and around it we had a traditional (at least for my Grove) round of toasts with sparkling cider.
Here's how it works. You offer a toast, take a sip of the sparkling cider, and pass it to the person next to you. They, too, offer a toast. This keeps going on until someone finally drains the cup. That person has to pay a forfeit.
Tonight's loser was my daughter The Spare, whose forfeit was to kiss the foot of my daughter The Heir. When I told the assembled faithful that they could have made The Spare kiss everyone's foot, they begged for another round of toasts!
Oh, readers. Such sweet toasts. Friends who have been together since sixth grade, now bound far and away to colleges ... fond memories ... silly comments ... the occasional "to my friends" and nothing else. And me, of course, keeping it all Celtic by saying, "May there be peace throughout the world."
Even Decibel the Parrot had a good time. Decibel likes noise and confusion. So do the faeries.
Speaking of faeries. I had left my faeries (Puck, Princess, Aine) up in my room. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. After watching a picture frame and two bowls smash, I realized I'd better fetch them all into the action. No more glassware was harmed after that. Lesson learned. Again.
You would never know it, nor would the friends of my daughters, but I'm in constant pain with my bum hip ... sometimes it freezes completely ... but when there are two dozen water balloons just sitting in the trunk of the car, the hip is of no consequence.
The peace of the Four Quarters I send to you. The wisdom of the Salmon I send to you. We must all leap with our last bit of strength to ascend the top of the waterfall, but oh, what a joyous trajectory through the air!
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS