Daily Archives: August 13, 2002


So I was reading Ceri’s wail about summers in Montreal, and I got all homesick too. Then I had the brilliant idea of the two of us being homesick together.

So Ceri’s coming over! Yay! We will lounge in front of fans, moan about the seashore being too far away, eat cool salad and runny Brie and, in general, be transplanted Maritimers. This is good, because after the intense weekend, and the news about the Megan-dog, and the heat, I’d be useless today anyway. Writing? Ha. Reading? I can’t get into anything for some reason. Going for a walk? Are you insane? It was 28 degrees at 9:45 AM.

I forgot to mention that when I came home from Pennsylvania, my cats had apparently been on a Virginia Woolf reading binge, because I found my entire Woolf collection on the floor, along with a Tad Williams book and Patricia C Wrede’s Enchanted Forest Chronicles.


As if I hadn�t already learned this year that life is a cycle and things come and go, our family dog has just been diagnosed with cancer of the spleen with internal bleeding. I called my parents right away when the e-mail landed in my inbox this morning. Poor Megan; she�s always had a delicate digestion, and we�ve always known something was wrong, but these x-rays have finally proved it. She�s eleven, and still puppyish, and a goofball; she loves car rides and going to market and new people; but she has her days where she�s listless and has no appetite. Mum and Dad are taking her round on her daily walk this morning, then they�re going to the vet to say goodbye.

I hate not being able to say goodbye to my family pets in person. Our thirteen year old grey kitty Bo�sun had lung cancer and was put down not too long ago as well, and it ate away at me that I couldn�t stroke her and kiss her one last time. Now Megan the Wonder Dog will be missing the next time I go home as well. I know it�s life, and I know that out of death comes life, and I know that death is not final for any kind of energy; my issue is with the difficulty of closure when you lose someone you love unexpectedly. At nineteen one of my best friends died in his sleep of an undetected brain aneurysm, and apart from trying to make head or tails of the death of a young man in excellent health with a promising future, I struggled with the fact that I hadn�t said goodbye to him. Two nights before he died we had been at a birthday party, and when I left he was engrossed in a conversation, so I didn�t want to intrude to tell him I was leaving. I have always regretted that decision, and it became an obsessive thought in the weeks that followed his death: not only had I not said goodbye to him that night, I hadn�t been able to bid him farewell before his death, either, like everyone else. As a result, I always track down my parent�s pets when I depart to give each of them a kiss and a cuddle, because I never know when I might return to an empty chair instead of a warm cat, a quiet front hallway instead of a dog going insane with joy because I�ve walked through that door.

I told my mother to give the Megatronic Dog a kiss and a pat from me this morning. I�ll say goodbye in my own way tonight. She�s been a good friend, lots of fun, and good for my parents as well since they no longer have a child in the house; she will be missed. After her walk and her car ride today, she will have an endless supply of Snausages and rawhide bones with nary an upset tummy to be seen, many geese to chase, and she will duel and dance with the sprinklers of the Summerlands.

Retreat Recap

I�m back! Why do camping trips always seem like something you need a vacation to recuperate from?

We were one hundred and seventy eight Pagans, in a group campsite that had a couple of Boy Scout troops at the end. We all had coven banners up with animals on them by our campsites; by the end of their stay, they had marked �Lewisberry Coven� under their troop number on their site signs. It was so darned cute. Apparently we weren’t all that bad: when at the end of our main ritual we gave a wolf howl, they howled back (as Scouts are taught to do!). At the end of the weekend, though, their sites had been taken by a Baptist group. When one of the Pennsylvania people had to fetch something as we were packing up, she moaned, �Please don�t make me go past the Baptists � they�re singing, and playing the flute�. The contrast was hilarious.

Something I discovered: my stomach doesn�t like American food. I think it has something to do with the water. One of my fellow Canadian campers also pointed out that the US has different food regulations, so even if it�s the same brand of something I consume with no difficulty in Canada, the US equivalent might have different ingredients.

Their roads are so good! Smooth, well-marked (except for the construction, and the very sudden exits off a 65 mph highway onto a hairpin 35 mph exit ramp), and the two directions are separated for the most part, so you aren�t staring into the headlights of oncoming highway traffic. We drove the I-81 and the I-83 down through New York and Pennsylvania; I don�t know if other interstates are comparable or not. Driving home, in fact, I was inspired by the helpful and repetitive signs to create a little bit of Highway Haiku:

Watch For Falling Rocks
Buckle up for Safety Please
Bridge May Be Icy

Our border crossings both ways were nice and smooth too. If you cross into the US, make sure to smile and wave at the eight visible and likely many more hidden cameras that record you and your vehicle from every imaginable angle. (From my husband as the border guard steps out of his shelter: �God! When did they start arming the border guards? That gun is the length of his thigh!�)

My husband and I had the honour to stand as temple summoners/wedding guards/quarter officers at a marriage (no, we had no idea � we would have brought nicer clothes if we�d had any inkling!). This was an on-site request from the High Priestess and Clan Mother, who had never seen us in ritual before and could have been inviting disaster; as it was, we rose to her trust and the occasion. We ended up being honoured quite unexpectedly for it later on in the day, thereby yet again proving the �what you do returns to you� concept quite nicely to our minds. So, to Tracy and Ken, congratulations! It was an honour to stand at your backs.

We were welcomed at every turn. It was a group of balanced, strong (in more than one sense of the word), happy, secure, and relaxed people, all which was a nice change from the Pagan community in Montreal. No one was snippy, no one was criticising; the internal politics were straightforward and dealt with on a level that I wish all groups could operate on, Pagan or otherwise. It never degenerated into a happy-clappy hugfest; sure, things got teary at times, but they were tears from being moved at the knowledge that these people would stand behind you no matter what, whether you�d been a member of the Tradition for ten years or ten days. This unity is unique in a Tradition: generally groups hive off and sever contact from a mother group. My Tradition reunites yearly, re-affirming strength, maintaining continuity, and creating a sense of family. I am honoured to have been chosen to be part of it, and to have grown as much as I have within its context. My spiritual path, although I don�t talk about it much, is of great importance to me as I move through the challenges life presents: it is strength; it is celebration; it is balance; and it is joy. And now, it has been proven to me that it is family, as well.