Did you know that the Romans celebrated their New Year on March 1?
Mars, the God of War, oversaw the start of their calendar. Makes sense, because ROMANS.
As part of their ritual, they celebrated Terminalis, the God of Borders, Transitions, and Neighbors.
I came across these facts randomly several years ago, and had the bright idea to use a random holiday as an excuse for a party.
It was great in DC, so I repeated it in Portland, as a way to meet my neighbors in the rather cold, anonymous apartment complex where I live. It worked out okay a couple years ago, but was less pagan-ritual and more corporate-ice-breaker vibe…
So this year, in line with my intention to be more open to the mysteries, I deliberately invoked the pagan side of the holiday in my invitation.
I invited people I thought would be into rational discussion of neighbors. Borders. What being a good neighbor meant. What having a border meant.
My definition of neighbor expanded to include those within a few miles, since the people I’d met two years ago had moved on. We talked about the definition of neighbor.
I got 4 No’s and 2 Yes’s and 5 Lack of Responses. Portland.
My two Yes’s showed up and we had baked goods, wine, tea, and enlivening, enheartening conversation. It was brilliant. More evidence that quality over quantity is what counts.
It also affirmed my intention to Let Go of the effects of my generosity this year. For 2017, one of my intentions is to offer what I can, without the expectation of returns. This means not holding onto disappointment when no one comes on an outing, not seething with resentment when someone says they’ll come then blithely doesn’t show, not refusing to offer my generosity because I don’t get the feeling I desire.
It’s hard, but I’m learning. And my two Yes’s helped that little monster in my brain relearn the importance of a few deep connections, rather than the buzz of a crowd or the validation of popularity.
What borders around you need tending? What neighbors could you invite to your (metaphorical) hearth?