By the light of a post-eclipse moon so bright I could find my way down the frosted hillside without a torch, I stood alone in the meadow. The stars of Orion sparkled to the South.
Ten years I have lived in this place, ten years I have striven to tend and connect with the land. Tonight the valley lay before me in all its stark midwinter beauty, softened and silvered by moonlight on frost.
Something prompted me to make an offering, to commune with the Genius Loci, to give back in some way. I knelt and watched, and listened, opening my senses. What could I offer at this time?
Then it came to me: I could sing. The perfect gift in this perfect moment.
I sang, softly at first, a chant composed by my dear friend Donald Engstrom-Reese:
"Beauty before me,
Beauty behind me,
Beauty to my right side,
Beauty to my left side,
Beauty above me,
Beauty below me.
I have beauty surrounding my life."
I sang the chant three times, a magical number, ending with a whispered blessing:
"Blessed be all beings, seen and unseen, that inhabit this land. Blessed be all that have walked this land. Blessed be the Spirits of Place. Blessed be, Blessed be, Blessed be."
Then I walked back up the hill. By moonlight. Blessed Be, and a Happy New Year to all.