Religion, The Great Adventure

Flirting with the Sun

Image by Nebojsa Mladjenovic

“Stay a little.”

“I’m right here,” she says.

“You look like you’re leaving.”

“I will be.”

My legs pump faster. It’s an evening ritual. Our little game. I race to make some still-distant town and she’s ready to slip away under the hill.

“You really should have learned by now.”

“I have, I have.”

“You say that but you do this every night.”

“This time I’ve learned. I’ll get an earlier start tomorrow. I swear.”

She really is waiting: she hangs above the hillsides just as high as forty minutes ago, or was it eight? I never check time on these final jaunts. I set some obscene distance goal and burn my legs into it. Like all men I think I’m special; like any cailín she’s seen my type before.

How many priests thought she’d listen just because they knew the right words?

Minutes pass. I look over, and maybe she’s lower, but she’s still shining golden. I grin and say she’s beautiful. She goes behind a cloud.

At some point the road curves away. “Wait there for me, Aine.”

When I can glance back, she is resting on the edge of her covers; she is wrapped in an autumn sunset veil, and blushing; and my sweet goddess Aine is my final lantern, and my beloved goddess is my final light.

The Great Adventure

Happy Solstice

Happy Midsummer all! My start date for the Adventure was planned for today. As I indicated a while ago, that date would move if needed to accommodate recovery time from my injuries. And so it is.

The injuries are healing nicely—I probably could start biking 50 miles a day today with no problems. But I want to get back into my daily training habit, and stretch and strengthen everything to make sure there will be no relapse. That’s just good policy.

I will instead start my Adventure on July 4. I’ll watch the fireworks in Duluth, MN that night and then start from Lake Itasca the following morning.

In unrelated news, today’s a major holiday for me: Midsummer. In some Irish lore, the goddess Aine (pronounced like the band Enya) died last night. At her death, all of the elf mounds in Ireland opened their doors and the Good Folk marched with lamps up to the highest hill to mourn her. In folk tradition we light lamps and bonfires the evening before the Solstice and party. I’m the only polytheist out here on the farm, so I held my own little fire ceremony last night. It was raining and beautiful. It was grand.

Tomorrow I get to see my Vodouisant friends Urban and his wife Saumya. It’s a special time of year for them, too.

The Paps of Anu, sacred hills of the goddess Aine in southern Ireland.

I hope all of you are having an amazing Midsummer, hopefully with no Shakespearean dream hijinx or, if so, I hope you got lucky!

Anyone do anything special for the holiday?