A True Beltane Story
New Brunswick is
an old, odd, urban city filled with its own collection of lunatic homeless.
tall guy in a fur coat that stands on the corner and asks you for change
in seven different languages.
Theres the guy I call the town crier who consistently
roams through the city at six a.m. shouting that the communist
hungarian hippie gypsy gangsters are taking over the city and
its unconstitutional! Theres a guy who loves coasting
down the hill to the train station in his wheelchair in rush hour
Usually we treat
these homeless, the result of Reagan defunding the psychiatric hospitals,
as outsiders: we leave an offering of a quarter and go on. Were
aware, however, since our encounter with Pan a few years ago (see Druids
Progress # 13) that the Gods find the homeless a convenient conduit
for their own special magic.
It was Beltane
Eve, a few years ago. Green Man had organized a ritual, maypole, and
games in Erica and Patties backyard in Morristown, about an hour
away. Everything was going according to plan, E & P had decked out
a polyurethane maypole, and there were about 50 people coming, including
folks from New Moon in New York City. All of the festivities were to
take place outdoors. The weather prediction, however, was for lots and
lots of rain throughout the weekend.
Norma and I were
walking back from somewhere when we spotted a homeless guy sitting on
our buildings outside stairs. Usually we dont offer anything
to people sitting on our stairs, because we dont want a crowd
sitting there when we get home from work, but the guy said hello, and
said, out of the blue, Listen, for a dollar,
I can change the weather.
Well, having heard
him say that, and faced with the prospect of entertaining 50 people
in Pattie & Ericas living room, I reached down into my pockets.
I had two quarters. Norma had no money at all.
got fifty cents, I said.
take a dollar, he replied.
So, I ran upstairs,
grabbed a dollar and took it down to him.
He said, Thank
you, good night, and have a beautiful weekend.
Ill bet youre
wondering if it rained.
The storm veered off into the Atlantic, and we had a fine, sunny Beltane,
with games, merrimaking,
morris dancing, maypole and Druid ritual. Pretty good deal, really,
for a buck.
Ill bet youre
wondering if I made all this up.