A Gift from the Dead

I’ve been talking a lot about the ancestors since I started this blog, which is nominally about my relationship with Dionysos. I hadn’t planned it that way, but it seems to where my work is, lately. It makes some sense, because I do believe that a good relationship with the ancestors is part of a a good polytheist practice. After all, at core, polytheism seems to be about having strong personal relationships with the beings that move behind the various parts of the world we live in, yeah?

I took it as a sign that I’m on the right track, when I was given several things while I was away last month. I’d traveled to the Midwest to see my son graduate from high school and visit family in the area. While on that visit, my sister and brother-in-law gave me a box of stuff left for me when my dad died, a few years ago. It had been sitting in a closet, waiting to be shipped to me, but until I started doing ancestor writing on this blog, it had been forgotten.

I don’t know how closely my family reads this blog. Maybe my sister was reminded of the box when she saw me going on (and on) about the ancestors. Maybe They nudged her, once They noticed I was paying attention (finally). Either way…

The box contained a lot of stuff. Old sketchbooks and photos and such from my childhood and twenties that I thought were lost forever. High school yearbooks of mine, and my mother’s, and my father’s. Other random bits, including some of my mother’s writing I’d never seen.

The big thing was the photo book. It was probably made several years ago, for my grandfather’s memorial. Within it are reprints of old family photos, names and dates included, and a story about where my grandfather came from. My family tree, on my father’s side, going back four or five generations is in those words and pictures. Names half-remembered from family stories I’d forgotten. Information on where the family had lived before my father’s father and mother moved to the city after World War Two.

Things I thought I may never know, given to me from a forgotten box in a closet that had once belonged to my father.

The ancestors are always with us. They’re listening. If you ask them, the dead will tell you their stories, which are the prologue to your story.

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About Lon Sarver

Lon Sarver is a polytheist priest of Dionysos, living in the San Francisco Bay Area and contemplating (with a healthy amount of dread) making a second attempt at a career in Marriage and Family Therapy. View all posts by Lon Sarver

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