Last weekend, Becoming made its fourth annual pilgrimage to the source of the Potomac River in West Virginia. Our intent was as it has been each year:
to honor and bless the source of the waters that run through the land on which we live. We ask humbly for her to return and bring abundance to our land and our lives in this coming year.
As we drove from our cabin at Lost River State Park, I wondered if there would be a pool of water beneath the boulder or would everything be dry like last year. All winter, I have prayed for snow. I have visualized streamlets and imagined saturated mud. Everytime I wanted to curse the inconvenience of snow, I instead offered up a blessing in gratitude.
Was I heard? Did it work? Would the voice of one lone pagan in the city make a difference?
I’m not hubristic enough to believe that the forces of nature are bent by my desire, but still I cried when I saw water in the pool. Not as much as years past, but still there.
We lined up along the sides of the stream and made our praise offerings — songs, poems, heartfelt words, waters from other sacred rivers.
Water for water, music for music, poetry for poetry, life for life, a gift for a gift.
May our offerings be accepted.
The weather was overcast and foggy as always, but it’s not a Becoming Rite of Spring Blessing until and unless it rains on us. As I stood on a stone at the edge of the pool, in order to place our love-charged, heart-shaped stone directly into the pool, we asked for the spirits of the river to accept our love, our blessings, our offerings, and our gratitude. I dug away some of the leaves and mud, and water filled in. The source was there, but under cover. As soon as I plunged the stone into the pool, the skies opened and rained upon us. Yes! Yes! I believe that our offerings were accepted.
There is no shelter at the small park around this sacred spring, but that didn’t stop us from having a fun time with our lunch. Some of us wandered around the trees, while other sat on the tailgate barely sheltered by the hatchback. We ate our sandwiches, listened to music honoring the nature around us, and laughed with each other as we increasingly got wet.
Yes! Yes! Spring has returned and the waters will flow through our land, giving us life and blessings.