Last week, our grove had the pleasure to host the current ArchDruid of ADF, Jean “Drum” Pagano for a few days in our little corner of the world. To say that I found the experience to be both humbling and deeply inspirational, still wouldn’t do this visit justice, but I will do my best.
You can only learn so much about a person by interacting with them online. Over the years I have always been pleased with the Mother Grove’s general leadership, but it was a wonderfully reaffirming experience to have a leader of our faith travel to the Maritimes, with a sincere interest in learning who we are, and how we represent ADF in Nova Scotia. To find that leader to be intensely knowledgeable, deeply considerate, and without a demonstrable hint of ego, just further reaffirmed my confidence in both my personal path, and the direction of our organization’s leadership.
After picking up Drum from the airport, we proceeded (in somewhat typical Nova Scotian fashion) immediately to a local pub, and dove right in to wonderful discussion of everything from religion and politics, to our grove’s borderline obsession with bacon.
Despite some fairly wet weather, we were determined to do some sightseeing the following day, stopping at the Atomic Cafe (an excellent, Druid-owned coffee shop), York Redoubt (a historical site and national park where we frequently conduct public rituals) and Peggy’s Cove (a classic NS tourist spot). After a quick supper at the home of the amazing hosts Brian & Karen, a few of us joined Drum for a live radio interview on the local pagan program “The Witching Hour”. Despite the late hour and busy day, Drum still happily continued the conversation and questions that spun out from the interview at a local coffee shop.
Saturday was again a flurry of activity with a quick visit and breakfast at the Halifax Seaport Market, followed by two wonderfully informative free public talks on the history of Druidry, and devotional work as a part of pagan practice.
Following the talks, we toured the Halifax Public Gardens, before continuing on to the home of our members Marc and Lily, for a ritual of welcome and a potluck.
A special thanks to Brian and Karen Larter, without whom, this visit may not have happened – and who opened their home not only to Drum but also to the tagalong van den Hoek family, and were most excellent hosts. Thanks also to Marc and Lily Meadows, who opened their home to the whole grove on Saturday for a fantastic ritual and potluck. Thanks also to Kelly Moore, Don Adams and Dan Negus, for bringing us on the The “Witching Hour” on CKDU radio.
We are so grateful for the opportunity to have hosted a member of the mother grove. May we continue to grow stronger together… “as fast as a speeding oak“ ;)