Yesterday while I made my list of ideas to how to celebrate Beltane this year I had a sudden vision of cows in a feedlot, immediately following with the thought: “What does a fertility festival mean to us now, anyway?”
In the age of overpopulation, cloning, GMOs, etc…what does healthy fertility look like? When I read over and over again that Beltane is a celebration of fertility, of abundance–well, isn’t the general problem that American’s have too much abundance?
Then, I counter that thought when I consider the droughts that have plagued Central Texas more and more frequently. Our crops are dying. Gardens struggle. Lakes and reservoirs are so dry that boats sit on rocks instead of floating on water. By August the population is hidden indoors; when we go outside the heat shrivels us. Then I long for the days of May, though hot, at least they’re still green. I long for the days when the air is damp with fecundity. The celebration of Beltane as a seasonal marker makes sense, then.
So, I wonder if the question to consider now is…when fertility can be bought and abundance is a problem …what’s healthy fertility? Part of Beltane is sex, and part of sex (this is simplified, I know) is a partnership, a give and take. The environment gives and I take more often than I give back, so what can I do to give back? Mulch, compost, recycle, shop wisely, but what else? Honor it? Is that enough? What more?