Hecate is at the crossroads, watching as I approach. I’m scared because of course I’m scared. I have no idea which way to go from here; I only know that going back is not an option. I must go forward but I have no idea what I’ll find when I get there, what I’ll need to help me when I get into trouble, what monsters there are and what heroes, who the Gods are of the new place and if They’ll like me, and worst of all, if I made the right decision in leaving everything behind.
I’m thinking of my ancestors right now, how they must have faced the same questions as they came to the United States from Ireland, for some of them (most of them) never to return, or even see the homeland again. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about moving out of the Bay Area because it’s insanely expensive to live here, and I don’t know if I can afford to live out my life in this place. What’s killing me is that my people on my mother’s side are all buried about fifteen miles from where I’m sitting right now, and if I leave, I’ll be leaving them behind. My ancestors from Ireland must have thought the same thing, maybe only briefly as they boarded the ships to come here because grief over the welfare of the dead is a luxury when faced with the grief over the welfare of the living. But then it occurs to me that migration is a trait of all beings on this planet: we all wander around trying to find the best places for ourselves and our families, and when we run out of room or resources (or both), we move on. We’ve left our dead buried all over the place over the last 150,000 years or so, so wherever I end up, chances are good there will be ancestors there for me to meet and revere, to aid and bless and honor and connect with.
I bring this all to Hecate as I approach her, and I notice now that I’m weeping. I can’t help it. Leaving has never been easy for me; I’m such a child of place and stable belonging that moving on is always a rough go. I remember moving-in day at college when my Mom drove me up to the freshman dorm, and right as the car pulled up to the curb and the young man waiting to help us unload the car grabbed for the door, I whispered, “Take me back. I’ve changed my mind.” So now I give this to Her, and I pray that She’ll help me focus forward, on the new life beginning, on the dawn at the edge of the hill up ahead of me. Help me have the strength to move on.