Birthday and Easter Celebrations

Easter Card From One of My Service Users
Happy Easter! 

There I said it - out loud and I didn't spontaneously combust or fall writhing to the floor at the wrath of any deity who feels slighted by my Goddessy sharing of seasonal joy! I've got a bee in my Easter bonnet about that sort of thing at the moment, having witnessed some online snobbery and arguments raging on about who is right with their 'true' understanding of Ostara /Eostre /Easter /Ishtar with people calling each other out and screaming they've got it wrong - as if any of us can know any more than our heart tells us and what resonates within us! I'm right with me and that's all that matters. 
I was made this lovely Easter card by one the gents who attends one of the day services I manage and put it up the minute I got in, delighted that he wanted to send me seasonal blessings in his own way, whatever his faith or customs. 
Ready to Celebrate...
As per usual I was looking forward to relaxing and spending some time with my family, a delicious meal or two, a couple of glasses of wine and of course lots of chocolate! This year of course we had the added blessing of 14 of us along with 2 dogs spending the whole weekend in a beautiful 17th century farmhouse and cottages at Nutley Edge to celebrate my Mum's 70th birthday. Luckily she took the surprise of some more additional family members joining us very well and I am still here to tell the tale! 
The Neighbours
We were surrounded by symbols of Ostara and Easter, some very tame chickens, who kindly laid us some wonderful fresh eggs for breakfast and some fabulously plump pregnant ewes that came right up to the edge of their field right next to our cottage patio to investigate us in the mornings as well as hundreds of wild rabbits than ran backwards and forwards all day long much to the keen interest of the dogs Scrumpy and Marley.  The fields were beginning to burst into life with wild flowers, the banks of the railway tracks when we visited the nearby Bluebell Railway steam train were covered in primroses and the soft drone of the odd passing
Mum's Cake - Daisies are her Favourite Flower
bee was reported too - all signs from Goddess that the land is refreshed and life is regenerating - whatever and whoever you believe in!

As well as making Mum's birthday cake, I had let myself in for catering for all 14 of us, something which evolved into some amazing team work with cousins and bonding with my Brother's girlfriend Nikki, especially whilst cooking up family feast of roast lamb, when we managed to over parboil some potatoes for roasting, ended up with 100 percent more mashed potatoes than we had anticipated, had to hastily peel a few more as well as creating what we jokingly called 'Nutley Mess' - adding some spare shallots, garlic and herbs that I had thrown in the car at the last minute, which became known as 'sad potatoes' and were devoured! Luckily I had already made a gluten and wheat free nut and vegetable loaf for the veggies amongst us, that has been the source of requests for help from Goddess when I had called her in on the Friday
Marley Enjoying the Warmth of the Fire
I made it - it's odd that whenever I do that before cooking, there always seem to be plenty of oohs, aahs and appreciative noises - She didn't let down this time either! 

Trying to find any time, space or more importantly peace for daily rituals was difficult to say the least. I managed to sneak a few precious quiet moments by the fire with the dogs to catch my inner balance and ground myself in between catering for and socialising with everyone. The fire which seemed very appropriate for the season and the energy of the maiden Goddess, also very quickly became the focus of the farmhouse for everyone else, if I remember rightly 'hearth' is Latin for 'focus' or the other way round! Either way, they are definitely connected and it's not hard
My Morning View
to see why. I also managed to find a few moments of peace and for some reflection on the patio of our cottage first thing in the morning before the entire clan awoke - who couldn't find a tranquil few minutes with view like this over the fields and Forest with sheep, chickens, rabbits and a cat called Charlie for company as well as some horses grazing in the distance and various birds of prey hovering over head?

All in all, a totally fantastic celebration was had by all three generations of our extended family, most importantly Mum loved it and will probably forgive me by her next birthday, just! It was truly beautiful to watch all the family members chatting with each other over the course of the weekend, those related by marriage as well as blood, finding common ground and topics
So Very Mead!
to discuss, sharing laughter and jokes, reminiscing about the old days and making new memories that will one day be the youngest family members tales of their youth to tell their grand children as the wheel continues to turn. We told the four 'children' now aged 18 to 23 (who weren't too big to get involved in a hunt for over 40 hidden small chocolate eggs for the record) tales of our varying childhoods, stories of our Grandparents our Parents and  our Uncles and Aunts stories - characters from black and white photographs brought  to full colour and to life around a fire like our ancestors must have done before us for millennia..

Apparently I am already a Wife, Daughter, Mother, Sister, Niece, Cousin and Godmother (Goddessy Wild Woman - we decided was a better description) of Myth and Legend and was given a bottle of Spiced Lindisfarne Mead by Emma my beautiful little cousin and Goddess Daughter (instead of God Daughter) as she has become, who saw it when visiting Holy Island last month and thought of me - Awesome! How Blessed am I with these wonderful people in my life?

I Hope You All had a Wonderful and Blessed Easter Holiday x x x


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