I see You in the early hours of the morning when I wake up before my alarm
Or when I roll over and hit the snooze button one too many times
Or when I wake up unable or unwilling to get back to sleep
When the house is cool and dark
When the light through the shades is still watery, weak
When darkness pulls back from the land like a lover
Reluctant to leave the warm embrace of her beloved
Soft and slow, taking its own sweet time
Dawn begins its careful ascent above the tops of the mountains
Peaks long since rounded and softened with the weariness of age
Trees catching the golden light one leaf at a time
You are the scalding coffee and the sizzle of bacon
The bright sunshiney eggs and the tiny furry head
Belonging to the not so tiny dog (not anymore, at least)
Who rests her head in my lap hoping for a scrap or two
Or six or six dozen
Thoughtfully dropped from my breakfast plate
You are the morning paper and the rumble of school buses
The chorus of birdsong that speaks in a language of territory
And mating and family and migration and life
You are the diurnal insects beginning to stir with life-giving
UV rays finally spilling down into our valley
Lighting up the flowers like neon signs
You are the little brown bats returning to their roosts
Softly chirruping to each other as they settle in barns
Steeples and attics and rafters and belfries
You are the luna moth and the firefly
Curled up now in safety until the return of the moon
You are the glorious warmth of the heavens
The riot of life even in the middle of winter
The force that turns the flowers to the sun
You are the ripening of the dogwood berries
The long-awaited frost on the pumpkin
The morning glories and hummingbird bush
Curled happily along lampposts and wheelbarrows
In a haphazard spill of color and scent
You are my cup of coffee doing battle
With sleep still nipping at my heels
You are the whisper of a dream-fueled haze
Pushing me across the threshold of my home
And into the startlingly clear light of day.
You may have noticed a few changes to Sage and Starshine over the past few weeks. For example, there’s now a brand new layout for the first time in over three years. Shock, horror, outrage! Secondly, I’ve actually got a functioning About page set up. I’ve also started collecting my series of essays (such as they are) Better Know a Celt and The Devotional Lifestyle. If there are any things you’d like to know about me, any deities you’d like to nominate for Better Know a Celt, or topics you’d like me to cover in The Devotional Lifestyle, feel free to let me know.
Another project I’ve undertaken is trying to wrangle the tags and categories of this blog under control. You can see what part of that look like in the aptly named Tags and Categories page. As I’m a library student I’m fascinated with organizing information and making it useful; however, as a library student I’m also swamped with graduate classes and job applications. So, expect to see more changes to the tagging system over time, as I can get to it/remember that I wanted to get to it in the first place.
I have enjoyed the sudden burst of creativity August gave me that seems ready to flow into September. I’ve started graduate school now so you may hear less from me; alternatively, I may use blogging as a means of avoiding work. Who knows? Always something new and exciting going on around here.
I wrote this prayer as gratitude and in payment for an oracle given to me by Camilla over at Foxglove and Firmitas. My experience with Apollon is fairly limited (thought certainly worth its own post at some point), though I continually find myself thankful for how His children, spouses, and devotees seem to keep cropping up in my life.
This prayer is specifically licensed through Creative Commons to allow anyone to use, modify, and/or share the text so long as they also allow others the same privilege and so long as credit eventually comes back to me. This is my gift for Apollon and His people, whoever they may be.
Sweet Apollon, I lift to you a breath of thanks
I bask in Your holy light and terrible love
There is trembling and fear in Your presence
Quickly morphing to barely understood awe.
Brother to Artemis, may Your aim strike true
Your archer’s form is pure perfection
As You nock Your arrow, draw swiftly back,
And let fly beneath all the glory of Helios.
Son of Leto, Your care is both tender and bold
May Your heart comfort us within Your embrace
Just as the Aegean lapped softly against
The shores of Delos, isle of Your birth.
Smintheus and Parnopios, You are pure
You are a thousand times pure; is it any wonder
That bringers of healing so often command
The powers of plague and pestilence as well?
Akesios, Maleatas, You tend to humanity’s wounds
Stitching up what is torn asunder, setting bones
Stirring white blood cells to action, encouraging
Society’s healers to good works and good deeds.
You are Alexikalos and Apotropaios
Nothing sullied or uncouth is within Your sight
As you destroy specters, monsters, disease
So too do You banish and turn away evil.
As Kitharodos You are the Singer to the Lyre
Play us a haunting tune, a calming melody
We seek You in cadence, rhythm, and rhyme
Come to us in the brilliance of Your music.
Pythian, may You always inspire and confound
You slew the rotting serpent at this holy site
Here, Your sacred precinct, where You now
Protect the omphalos, navel of Gaia Herself.
Sweet Apollon, I lift to you a breath of thanks
Illuminate my soul, play to me Your lyre’s tune
Cast evil and sickness from my body, that I may be
Worthy of even a glimmer of Your light.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
At the end of this post I’m sharing some of my favorite photographs from the past few weeks. I’m also adding a new Photographs category to my blog to showcase my budding photographic artistry. But first I’d like to ruminate on how the simple act of taking more pictures ties into my spiritual life.
Recently I’ve picked up the habit of actually using the camera on my phone and taking pictures of the natural world around me. I snap pictures of interesting plants at the nature center where I volunteer – in between chasing after small children delighted to be let loose in the woods. I document the slow but inevitable shift of seasons in my neighborhood as evidenced by the changing color of leaves and the sudden explosion of bright red berries on the dogwood trees along my street – in between fighting with my dog for control of the leash with one hand while I try to steady my phone’s camera with the other. This photography, coupled with my new devotional habit of picking up trash along the sidewalk, has really encouraged me to slow down and notice the world around me. I find that I’m less anxious and bored on my walks, no longer needing music or podcasts to numb my brain so that walking is a bearable activity.