Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," beginning of summer vacation edition! Is that my pulse I feel, tapping gently in my wrist? Oh! I'm alive! Not yet defeated by my work!
A few weeks ago I took stock of my backyard shrine (The Shrine of the Mists, dedicated to all deities who have been forgotten by humankind). It needed some attention. The pebble base was dirty and hard-packed, a consequence of being buried under snow for five weeks. So I pulled out all the treasures: the crystals, sea glass, marbles, jacks, bits of pottery, minerals, geo-cache trinkets, Marcellus shale from home. All of this I put into a bag.
Yesterday, Mr. J and I went to the Jersey Shore. I got about six pounds of pebbles from the sea glass beach. It was my idea to add the shore pebbles to the base before cleaning the treasures and returning them to the shrine.
This morning when I opened the bag of shore pebbles, I noticed something right away. The color skewed to dark gray. There were tons of dark gray pebbles.
Life is a mixture of light and darkness. We don't want either to prevail. So I sifted the pebbles and removed a number of the slate-gray ones ... but not all of them. Just enough to make the mixture more polyglot. Then I washed the treasures and placed them overtop the pebbles.
This shrine contains rocks from Appalachia, crystals from Arkansas, sea glass from the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, a broken ceramic horse head from my uncle Earl's midden pile, a trident-shaped miniature fork from a beach in Absecon, and marbles from the thrift store. There's a dragon made by The Heir long ago -- that's it on the left upper corner. And a little faerie ball ornament that I bought at a local landscape place. But this is not an inert monument. Mosquitoes lurk in its recesses, and pears fall on it from the tree above.
I've been toying with the idea of solar-powered lights, but just now I light a candle at dusk and place it in the center of the shrine. Depending upon the mosquitoes (who have as much right to the place as me), I say prayers for whoever needs them, petitioning the ancient bored deities and praising Them.
This little shrine is easy to maintain, and if I move I can take it along. It's built on a brick base, and the rocks are not secured. I don't plan to make it any larger. The only expense is the candles, and I get those at the thrift store mostly.
Okay, digressed from the sermon a bit. When I had restored the Shrine of the Mists to its better-than-ever glory, I found myself staring at a smallish pile of very negative-looking slate-gray pebbles. What to do with all that negative energy? I mulled and mulled. Then I flung the pebbles randomly into the overgrown ivy at the edge of the yard. In this way I dissipated the extra darkness in a non-threatening way.
Keeping a shrine is a marvelous thing. There's a place of peace in my yard. It glows at night. The deities it serves are happy with its Neolithic simplicity. May there be peace in all the Quarters. May there be peace at my shrine.