Thursday, August 1, 2013

Lugh the Comforting

It's Lughnasadh!  Where has the summer gone?

For me it has been days and days of homework, driving kids to camps and swim meets, working, plus searching for a clinical internship for my counseling degree.  Full time grad school, work, kids, the usual...  I started this week in a clinical internship at a huge local agency providing services to families with kids on the autism spectrum, working as a clinical counseling intern!  Yay!  It took months to find the right place, but I am very happy with the internship I have (and it's paid, yay again!)

Thus for Lughnasadh 2013 I have so much to be thankful for!

And despite ongoing puja to Bridget, today I am sending thanks to Lugh.  Ok, a little overlap in the Celtic pantheon, but Bridget doesn't mind.  Lugh the warrior has always had a close Bridget relationship (warriors and blacksmiths have a close bond after all).  But I owe Lugh, and am dedicating my post to him today (since I don't have time with driving kids and work and school to stop and buy a beer and pour it out to him!)

Three years ago, Lugh's presence came to me at one of the hardest times of my life.  Back then, my ex was threatening me and the kids again, a long pattern in our then relationship.  Years of lawyers and therapists had told me there was nothing I could do, and I had struggled for all that time, with great support from good friends, to give my kids the best childhood I could.

Back then, though, the threats were increasing and I was struggling to get my kids to a safe place, and part of that was just starting my adult school career.  I was overwhelmed and frightened - not for myself, but for my children.  They have never deserved a parent who threatens the other or their interests or schooling!  No one deserves that!  So on Lughnasadh 2010 I sat on my then front porch and poured beer to Lugh in his honor, as you do, worrying about my children, and worrying about how to keep them emotionally and physically safe.

But that night, with fireflies in the summer sky, Lugh came to me.  Well, ok.  I felt his presence like a balm and a protection....   He sat down on the porch, at least in my imagination, clinked my beer bottle, and told me to hold on because he was going to help me.  He reminded me that there are many kinds of battles, and battling to give my children the best I could was a worthy endeavor.  He promised to send me warrior help.  And he promised to stand by me.  Having Lugh on your front porch is a miraculous thing, and though this was all a sense of presence and faith, it was amazingly comforting.

In fact, for these past three years, I have thought of Lugh as Lugh the comforting, and not so much Lugh the Long Arm or Lugh the Shining One as is traditional.

Now on Celtic reconstruction lists where I mentioned this visit, I met major skepticism.  Lugh, the men told me, don't visit middle-aged, gray haired moms (dreds or not).  Lugh, they told me, is only a God for warriors and fighters.  Why they asked, would Lugh talk to little old me?

But Lugh - despite their skepticism - sent me help.

I found a lawyer who finally said that as an adoptive mom I also have rights, and who has stood by me in court.  He helped me get child support despite my ex threatening to give only what she chose - if and when she chose.  Child support meant I could pay my own way through graduate school and not drop out, and still know I could keep my children safe and homeschooled.  I have also worked and paid my own legal fees, as well as supporting myself.  All possible with friends who have sent me clients and support...

And Lugh sent these friends - good ones.  Friends who stood by me while I struggled with a legal system still unused to lesbian divorce, autistic kids, homeschooling, and special needs.  Lugh helped send professionals who have spoken up for how much my dedication and commitment to homeschooling has made a significant difference in the children's lives, supportive teachers who have spoken of how much my support for my children has helped them succeed, and friends willing to stand with me in court and speak up about my ex's years of threats and abuse.

Again and again Lugh has given me courage and strength to keep going even when the "general wisdom" said to give up, to give in, to accept my ex's abuse, to put the kids in school, to ignore their special needs.  Lugh whispered to hang on.  And the memory of Lugh's comforting shoulder has stayed with me these long and hard and also amazing three years.

Faith is what helps us stand firm and struggle on when the odds seem stacked against us, when there seems to be little hope, when even those who should help us tell us there is no help.  I have always been a fighter - I have taken on many an insurance agency to get services for the kids, and taken on many schools to ensure them a good education.  So I guess Lugh saw me as a good bet.  Yet faith helped me hang on and keep a little flame of vision about the future I want for my kids and for myself.  Faith whispers against the dark.  Faith says there can be more.

So today I send Lugh a candle, some reverence, and good friends promise to pour some beer in my name.  But most of all I send Lugh thanks.

There are many ways to be a warrior.  Lugh supports them all.

Happy Lughnasadh everybody!  Pour a beer for me!