So, the sun is finally out here and, while I think I’ve gotten better at seeing the life around me in the winter, there is no doubt that I’m happiest in the explosion of energy that is the summer. I’ve been outside, either running, or with the kids, or just taking walks so much in comparison to the deliberate, intentional, almost obligatory trips I made outside in the winter.

But I sometimes feel like I’m being less pagan. I’m not going to my tree to meditate — partly because I have kids who want to come with, now, and partly because he’s a nice tree and often has other human visitors — and, though my praise of the Earth Mother often bubbles up reflexively, I’m not often trying to talk to spirits of place.

On the other hand, I’ve decided that I’m not ashamed to be seen cleaning up other people’s mess (and you do get a lot of strange looks), so I’ve become that guy who picks up garbage in the park. Because if I were rooted there, I’d like it to be clean.

Somehow, I find myself feeling guilty about not spending more time just being part of nature, speaking to the organisims and spirits I find around me.

I find a little comfort in those times in the thought that the relationships I know and understand best — family, marriage — aren’t about contemplating the relationships. I have a great family, but what makes it great is not the time spent contemplating “Aren’t we lucky to have each other?” What counts is living the relationships.

And that’s something I’m doing. Sure, it’s something I can do better, but it’s something I’m doing.

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