Spent this morning at the church work day doing landscaping maintenance. It was a beautiful morning, warm and clear and not too humid. There were eight or ten of us plus the Buildings and Grounds chairs doing the supervising and we got quite a lot done: rhododendrons pruned, evergreen shrubs trimmed, most of the lawn mowed (until the mower quit), garden art put out in the fellowship garden (a lovely little space behind our admin building that the back door of the fellowship hall opens into) and weeds pulled and a heaping big pile of mulch spread all around.

I spent over an hour digging out the sprouts and suckers around a large tree that desperately wants to become a shrubbery, but can’t be allowed to do that where it is growing. Pruned back, the old dirt and weed cloth laid down, then cardboard and new weed cloth over that, and covered the whole thing with some inches of mulch. We are buying time. That tree is not going to be there forever, but it’s going to be there for now.

I am made of ow, but it is nice to get the place cleaned up once or twice a year. And I appreciate having the opportunity to do it, because I probably won’t be available to do that next spring.

I gave back my keys on Thursday, since I’m no longer a committee chair. Very mixed feelings about that; it’s the first time in four or five years that I haven’t been responsible for something around the place. Am almost not sure if it wouldn’t be easier to just uproot and move on, all in one swoop – but no, I’ve done that before; I need to make different mistakes this time around. And I need community to do this thing I’m doing. I will not be here forever either, but I am here for now and doing what I need to be doing, knowing that this too will change.

I was thinking about sacred magic, the commonalities between sacrament in the churches that do that, and the ritual weaving of energies that are the work of the witch in sacred circle. They are not as different as people sometimes want them to be: same water, different bucket; same light, different window. The heirs of the Protestant Reformation lost a lot of that sense of wonder and mystery when they pulled away from the Roman Church and its sacred art and mystery ritual and embraced the Enlightenment way of thinking about the world – literal, empirical, scientific, rational… All attributes that have made modern thought the way it is. But if religious fundamentalism is the reactionary child of modernity, a twisted effort to embrace as literal fact the old truths expressed in myth and mystery, so is modern pagandom a re-embracing of mystery and magic in defiance of rationalistic norms – and also an answer to modern thought.

You can cut it back to the roots, but mystery keeps growing back into the world. No matter how much cardboard and weed cloth you put in its way.

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