Afterglow

ROS Fire Circle 2014aby Lyra Hilliard

Return with me, for a sweet moment
onto the top of the mountain
that holy place where we remember who we are.

What is your favorite spot?
Where on that expansive site do you stand firmly
on the ground, feeling the pulse of the earth shoot
through your body, realigning your bones and the muscles that bind them,
reawakening your sense of connection and trust?

Where do you remember the wind
kissing your skin,
dancing through trees’ leaves, gently
dipping branches to bow to you?

Where does the water speak to you–and how?
Is it the lake shrines, beach times, streams winding
softly over rocks or roaring near sun-flecked cliffs?

Where does the fire invite your
soul to dance, your
blood to rise, your
armor to melt?

Where does your body remember its power?
Where do you breathe deeply, love freely,
raise your neck, stand tall, feel your
shoulders straighten as your hips and heart reopen?

Everywhere?
Me, too.

Go there. Return with me, for a sweet moment.

Return to the place teeming with renewal
Each being sloughing off its winter sheath
to gently reveal the sweet skin beneath
each birth, bud, and blade a radiant jewel

on the crown of that mountain that
pulls us, molds us,
holds up a mirror to remind us
how stunning we are.

I see you, too.

I see smiles of relief and release at the gate
I see sparks in your eyes of knowing and becoming
I see open palms and outstretched arms
I see you kneeling to kiss the ground.

I hear hushed excitement broken
by djembe slaps and throbbing djuns,
by a chorus of voices rising up through the night
pierced
by inimitable shrieks of delight.

I feel the vibrations of your feet underneath my own,
my breath quicken as shadows yield to painted faces
my heart pound as I stand between two sisters to
sing you and welcome you home to the fire.

Here, in this temple, I see beauty Everywhere.
I see you shine and risk, rise and kiss
the flames with your voices and drumbeats, your
flying limbs and whirling feet, your tending and
serving and burning through layers
that no longer fit to reveal
the you we’ve all been waiting for.

I see you, and I bow before your sovereignty.

Return with me, for this sweet moment.
Come home with me, to this fire,
to this temple, to this mountain, to this
community
of beloveds.

And say yes
if you will return again, for
many, many more moments
in the flesh
So that we may play and pray and remember ourselves for
many, many more fires
to come.

© Lyra Hilliard 2014

Photo by Rowan Oakthorn

 

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3 thoughts on “Afterglow

  1. Beautiful words Lyra. Missed you all this year. Ireland was calling my name. See you in the future. ~nancy neff

  2. I need to be made whole again by that magic… hopefully next year.

    You are correct: it’s ALL my favorite… but if I had to speak about just one, then it would be at the Maypole, doing community announcements, because it amplifies how much we all matter to one another. We all share in the joy and pain and events of great import in the lives of each other, and that community is what has always drawn me to our sacred gatherings. Sure, maybe we have different faces for the gods we worship; maybe we draw our traditions from different cultures; maybe we have differing views on sex or drugs or society or the afterlife or whether talks about “Gardner” refer to spells or planting… but we still all come together to offer love and support over the things that matter: births, deaths, successes, pleas for help, transitions, hope, and even some mud.

    That support is the greatest magic I know of.

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