Feeling like you belong—like there’s a place for you and you can hold your head high—that is the best. It looks like we’re finding that here in Colorado. Last night was the second part of our house warming ritual. We invited the spirits that we work with to join us as we give thanks for the community we have found and our ever-growing love.

This ritual complimented an earlier house warming ritual where we blessed our space and set intent. In that ritual, our space was minimal. We had given up the air mattress, although I do not think we had yet slept on the newly arrived sofa bed. Our altar was minimal; most of our possessions were weeks away on a truck. Even so, we called out across the mountains, blessing our space as a place of love and a place where we would belong.

A few weeks later, we had much to be greatful for. Part of that is Denver: People are friendly and open. People offer advice more freely than in New England. Part of it is the energy of the place.

We’ve found a community here and that’s a big part of what we have to be thankful for. The kink community here is unashamed. It’s not explicitly spiritual, although for many in the community spirituality is important. Even those who do not walk an explicitly spiritual path seem to understand what I’m trying to do. And above all, it is a community focused on improving our skills at connection and intimacy. Kink here is a bunch of people getting together to be better at knowing themselves and knowing their partners. That is close enough to my sacred lover work that I have found a community of practice.

In all my years I never found this in Massachusetts. I found individuals. I found events in neighboring states. But here, I can be proud of who I am, I can be open about who I am, and I have a community that understands me.

I didn’t realize how much this lack of acceptance was holding me back until I found somewhere to be accepted. A spiritual weight I didn't even know I was stumbling under had been lifted.

Some of the gratitude is internal. The pandemic gave us a reason to challenge all our assumptions. Being in Massachusetts wasn’t giving us enough to be worth it as our friends moved further away from the city and we continued to struggle to find a community that understood us. All our physical connections had been muted by the pandemic. That allowed us to see that slowly over time, we'd stumbled into a place where we were holding onto things because they used to serve us. We had an opportunity to break with that and actually build something based around our needs and desires. As with any change, there are people and parts of Massachusetts we deeply miss. Even so, We are greatful that we took that challenge and have turned it into something positive.

And so we gathered to celebrate this gratitude and offer it as a gift to the gods. As the ritual started, I felt a desire to put on the crown. It is the lord’s time of year, and I felt his energy strongly. Yes, gratitude was foremost, but the desire to claim our success as something I would defend was also strong. I was nervous about combining the magic of the crown with gratitude. For me gratitude is expressed in words, and the crown takes away words and replaces them with feelings. It worked though. I found enough words. Then the rest of that primal magic came crashing into our celebration in the best of summer lust. Such a simple ritual, but such welcome power.