Eight of us gathered, socially-distanced, under the trees at the edge of a sheer drop-off overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. For generations the spot was known in the community as a beloved spot for picnics, church socials, and whatever celebration was happening. The property has belonged to the Floyd family for many generations.

We were there to support Jenny Floyd in honoring what was and embracing what is. She shared with us pictures from when she was young playing at the family beach. She said the forest and dunes sloped gently down to the water and you had to walk a long way on the beach to get to swim. Now there is a 10-foot eroded cliff that requires a steep set of stairs to get down to the beach. We were lucky to be there at low tide so that there actually was some beach to get to, otherwise it would be under water.

We started our ceremony in “the park” by honoring the four directions and then sat and listened to stories of happy gatherings from the past. We also shared our challenges with the current world situation, we laughed and we shed tears. It was good to be together, our first time since the start of the pandemic. Then we walked down the lane to the stairway to get down to the beach. It was emotional to see how many trees had tumbled down with the eroded land. Jenny said the damage from climate change has accelerated in the past five years. We made a RadJoy Bird out of items we found, including using a bone from a sea turtle shell for the bird’s head and a tail made from phragmites. (Keeping the phragmites tradition alive for Earth Exchanges in our area!) It looked a bit like the great blue heron that waded in the water. A little further up the beach, we built a beautiful fairy house for the Elementals to celebrate the Summer Solstice! It brought us all so much joy!!!

We ended in a Circle sending prayers to people we knew, to the water and land, and to a world in need of healing. As we climbed the stairs and reached the lane, we saw an osprey fly to its nest. It was clutching a fish it had just caught and the fish’s tail was still flapping back and forth. It looked like the fish was swimming through the air! We laughed at the idea of how we are all swimming in startling new ways these days and the best thing we can do is enjoy the view!