The Summerland Gathering: Aug. 24-27, 2006
As most of you know, I was consecrated as a Dedicant Priest in Ár nDraíocht Féin at Summerland 2006.
Here are some things that stand/stood out about the whole event:
On a related note: the Study Program stuff I'm working through is going
- My parents came. This doesn't really sound like a big deal to most people, I imagine, but the fact is, I was able to share something like this with my family, a luxury that not everyone has in this community (in fact, few people do). My father called it, "fascinating. . . in a good way," while my mother noted it was "cool." We will count this as a smashing success.
- My Grove was able to attend. Not just a couple of members, but a large number of members. My theological reasoning for wanting to be consecrated at Summerland was because that's where I took my Dedicant Oath. But really, I wanted to be where my Grove could come, where they could stand beside me.
- The rite was embarrassingly about me. Of all the things that happened, this really weirded me out the most. I thought I was showing up to a Unity Rite, but it seems like every invocation mentioned me. I was, I think, too confused by this to be anything else. But I was completely startled by invocations asking the Nature Spirits to guide "this young man being consecrated as priest today" and such things.
- To an extent, the ritual got in the way. Around noon on Friday, something happened in a conversation that sent me into my usual working defense, and I started working on study programs for ADF. I mostly failed to fret about the ritual, bought my sacrifices at the last minute, and didn't script a thing. I wanted to work, not be recognized.
- But damn, the ritual was good. The ritual was a very good ritual: well put-together, well-run, and amazingly clean. I got a lot out of it, and I felt again like I did in that first rite with 6th Night, and like I have at the Summerland Rites in the past.
- I saw my name with the word "Reverend" in front of it for the first time. This actually happened two days before the main rite. What most people don't understand is that I've never seen a title appear before my name. Not once in my entire life. To see the word "reverend" written out and placed deliberately in front of my name was. . . amazing. I cannot possibly describe what I felt when I saw it.
- I found a picture that says it all. There are several good pictures on my camera from the rite, but one in particular shows me everything. I can barely look at it without thinking about it and how amazing it is to me.
- I realized that I haven't done much. It sounds silly to say, but as I was being told to look at what I've done with this Grove and in ADF, all I could think was, "I did nothing without you. I did nothing without the Kindreds. I did nothing alone." I'll stand by that.
- A Grove is not a list in the ADF Office; it's written on our hearts. I cannot stress that enough. I know what my Grove is, and I know it deeply and desperately.
- There is more work to be done. I thought a lot about this: I'm busier than I ever was before, and I can feel it gearing up for more. And I look forward to it more than I ever have before, too.
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