All summer long it has rained in South Carolina, a state plagued with drought since I moved here in 1986. When it’s sunny, the humidity is smothering. At the beginning of August, Osireion held a public ceremony to mark Wep Renpet, the opening of the year and flooding of the Nile.
In the beautiful woodland park beside the river where we hold such occasions, a local news station joined us as part of a story about minority religions (at the anniversary of the Sikh gurdwara shootings in 2012). A number of non-Osireion friends joined us, despite the heat and humidity; we sang, danced (not too much in the heat) and visited an altar with a large bowl filled with rosewater. Someone had the inspiration this year to add some ice to the water, making it a delicious sensual experience.
Some of the rain has eased up, though we continue to have a Gulf weather system stalled over the Southeast. The nearby river is high, swollen and full of mud, though ours is red mud, while the life-giving silt of Kem was black. Even though here in my state the growing season has passed its peak, this is a time of new beginnings for many of us.
The respite, vacations, festivals and laziness of summer now lead to fall semesters, the end-of-year holidays, and many projects taken up with new or renewed zeal. It’s easy to relate to the time of flooding in ancient Egypt because we are also enriched and enlivened. Even the name of the season, Akhet, reminds us of fresh starts since it is also the word for the horizon where the rising sun appears.