It really is a shame I didn't get any good shots of the revelers dancing in a circle, rosemary wands in hand, singing the Hail Mary, around the Traveling Virgin. You'll just have to take my word for it, it was spectacular.
For so many reasons, the evening was what it was: a spontaneous, eclectic, celebration of family, friends, the earth, Mary, ritual, community, religious traditions. For reasons like: because my sister is my mother's daughter and is a hostess without parallel; because we love any excuse for a gathering/party/celebration; because we are Catholic and do love our rituals; because Jeanna is a perfect Master of Ceremonies; because it was her birthday week and she had the Traveling Virgin (the most beautiful statue of Mary I have ever seen not in a church that travels from house to house in a pale blue wooden box with an opalescent cross on top) and we had to include her; because ushering summer is a celebration in itself, isn't it?
As we were cooking and gathering, the babes in suits and birthday suits got the party going with a raucous swim. Children do not need to be directed to have fun. It truly is their nature. Must. Find. Way. Back. ...or I can just follow them, how simple!
Kimberly, Henry, Frida, Allie, Magdalena, Augustus, Ellie and Lulu, Black-eyed Susans and summer love
How did we get here? I remember when I first moved here and was ready to walk up to any mom who looked relatively cool on the street and try to get her phone number. (I actually did that once, to a group of women at a splash park. But that was an exercise in humility and, well, we'll just talk about that another time. Ahem.) And then I saw them. THEM. First I saw Kimberly with her three, then Mandy and Jen together with Kimberly and god knows how many children. And I said to Jeanna, who are those mamas? They're my tribe, those are my people. And heaven heard my prayer. And here we are, not quite a year plus one rockin' homeschool group later, up to our elbows in amazing families and mamas and babes and big kids and newborns and papas. Celebrating solstice. Celebrating abundance, as Jeanna says. Celebrating life and family and the joy of being in community.
Augustus, still for but a split second
and Magdalena, taking her time
The children were in the pool, they were out of the pool. In the pool, out of the pool. We were eating outside, swatting away flies under the oaks and Spanish moss, then we were eating again. We were laughing, and laughing some more. We jumped over a candle, wrote down our most fervent wishes for the next six months until winter, danced around the Virgin, said our wishes out loud, burned the paper they were written on to send the prayers to Heaven, laughed some more, and finished with yummy cake and brownies. I drove home with drowsy babes, late, full of love and appreciation, contemplating - as I am want to do - how glorious we have it these days.