About a week ago I decided I would really like to celebrate Samhain, Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve with Pagans. Or at least with people who have a tradition of celebrating the 31st of October as more than a night of candy and fright. I was looking for reverent and reminiscent.
I knew there were a couple of pagan groups online, so I thought I would jump on Facebook and see what I could find. That is never a good idea for me. Because FB means scrolling which starts with the “oh how fun to catch up on friends’ lives” and ends with contrasting opinions and sniping.
In short, I kept getting distracted.
And then SJ Tucker announced – or I finally saw the email from SJ Tucker announcing – her Halloween concert. Yay! And with it was a notice that she would be providing the music for a Samhain Service offered through UUFF.
So I happily clicked on the link to see what UUFF was and what the service was about.
"UU" is for Unitarian Universalist - a diverse spiritual denomination. I had attended and sung at a UU Church in CO; in fact, I helped lead a pagan service once. So I was comfortable with the the format the service would probably follow.
The "FF" for is Fellowship of Fayetville, a town in Arkansas. Which makes sense because SJ Tucker lives in Arkansas.
The service was titled “Healing Hallows”. And it was going to be on Zoom.
Now, it’s been awhile since I’ve done a Zoom service. Lakewood Church is “televised” live, and while I certainly participate (singing and standing and sitting) it’s still more of an observer thing than a being involved thing. And I can eat my breakfast or run to the bathroom whenever I want and no one can see me. On zoom, I feel it’s rude to turn off my video unless requested.
But I have also been practicing trying new things and being myself (as opposed to trying to figure out what others expect me to be and working myself into a frenzy); I told myself I could go pee whenever I wanted. I had the choice.
So I found the link and put it in my calendar and I got to church on time. I even dressed up a bit (because I wanted to, not because I felt I had to).
And when I signed in, I was greeted by name. Which was a shock! I had expected a little bit of anonymity, especially in a church I didn’t know and had never attended before.
But I took a deep breath and settled in—after a few minutes of playing with gallery view and speaker view and etc. and so forth. Cuz that’s what I do.
And it was beautiful. It was exactly what I wanted for this day. And it was heart filling because I felt that I was not just participating, but contributing to the actual service. It was personal.
I was so happy.
And then, my day got even better.
I received my order of a large tea pot and accessories a day earlier than I expected.
I won a door prize on the SJ Tucker concert I was watching (she said my name!) and I heard some new songs.
It was an amazing day.
But the biggest gift, here at the end of the harvest season, is knowing that most days can be like this. I just have to be open and say “this is what I want.” I don’t have to look very hard, or make gargantuan sacrifices. I don't even have to "work for it". I just have to open my heart and allow.
Which I do. Happily.
May every day be a blessing and may there always be something beautiful in our sights.