As many of you will have gathered from the pictures shared among the group, the night at the livery was a grand success. Briseilid, Strider, Vyvyan, Danceswithweasels, Taleteller, and Greenfingers arrived, just as it was getting cool enough for the horses to get out of their fencing gear. Cthulhudrid showed us around, told us the history of the place, introduced us to some equine nobility (writer’s note – is it still “equine” if it’s a pony?), and then we picnicked under a young oak while the cat watched us with suspicion. Conversation moved through talk of mentoring and the role of that relationship through the grades, to discussion of the intricate labyrinth that is the Ovate grade, with many stories of the local military training school and the wacky hi-jinks that Cthulhudruid has had to put a stop to. I particularly like the image of him storming the base in order to report the disgraceful behaviour of a couple of the lads. Bet they learned their lesson!
And then, on the night of the solstice itself, a small group gathered at the Grove for Alban Heruin. In attendance were Vyvyan, Greenfingers, Strider and myself. Vyvyan led the ceremony, and though it was a very intimate gathering it felt like the energies of the season were really present. We chanted, we called forth the powers of fire in association with each element, we witnessed the strength, courage and hope in one another, made offerings of fire and drank water blessed with the power of Midsummer.
Then back to the car for a feast and a good natter.
Afterwards I slept better than I have done in weeks – it felt like something had broken.