This past weekend, I made a trip down to the NYC area. The main reason for going down was to visit my grandparents, as my grandfather was in ill health a few weeks ago... he's doing better, and isn't really in bad shape for being 96, but it was good to visit them. I then spent the night with my friend Sharon down in Raritan, NJ. This gave me the opportunity to meet a few of the Grove of the Other Gods, ADF druids. Really great people, and great conversations over dinner.
Sunday, I went into the city to do a surprise visit to the Inis Ull - Apple Isle Grove, ADF Lughnassadh. I say surprise visit because I didn't notify any of them that I was coming, until about an hour before the ritual... mostly to surprise Robin, and he was. The ritual was held on the great hill within Central Park. This meant that I had to take the train in from NJ, then subway up to the park. This just reminded me how I wish we had functioning mass transit in more places in the country... while NJ Transit and the MTA may not be the most enjoyable rides, they make life so much more convenient. Sharon and I got some lunch at a place serving Mediterranean food (really good, hole in the wall off of 103 and Broadway), then we went to the park.
Robin was the one to find us on the hill and brought us to the tree we were holding ritual at. Here we are, off to the side of a very public and very used place within one of the largest cities in the country. If you ever wanted to experience holding public ritual, this is the place to do it as all the world was going to see us. Since the ritual was moved from the original day of Saturday, there were some people that couldn't make it, and since I'm a priest, I got put to work doing various parts with absolutely no warning. I don't hold it against the grove though, this stuff happens, and I was happy to help out. The ritual went well, with the focus being a journey to meet Lugh and hold audience with him. Of course, I come out of that with homework, that's how the gods work with me.
Afterwards we had beer/dinner at a local pub, and shared in more fellowship. By the time Sharon and I left, it was much later than I expected... we caught the 8 PM train back to NJ, which meant I didn't get on the road till 9, and home till midnight.
I highly recommend that if you get a chance to celebrate a high day with the NYC Grove, please do so. They are a great bunch of people, and they hold good rituals. Next time though, I'm bringing portable shade and sun block. Many thanks again to all.