And I’m back. We’re all settled in to our new place, which is really just a new place in an old place. Southern Indiana, while not my birthplace (I hail from the Ozarks of southern Missouri by birth), is the home of my family and near the place where my parents grew up. Throughout my childhood, through college and the last few years, when I’ve lived in four different states in four years, Indiana has been the constant, the one place I came back to almost every year. My older brother is buried here. It has, somehow, become home.
I can feel the very land refreshing me. Perhaps it’s because I’m an open pagan now, but I’m very aware of the land spirits and the spirit of the land. Returning here is returning to my roots. It’s like homecooking, the recipes your mother made and your grandmother made: you can live without it, but life lacks a certain richness and comfort. I feel my spirit drawing strength from the tall, straight trees, the greenery, the little streams, the rolling hills. I am at peace again.
And I have news! Though it takes six months to become an official member, I’m working with Black Bear Grove. This is quite exciting, since I’d never even met another ADF member in person until this past weekend. I attended a discussion of the Core Order of Ritual and had a wonderful time. I was worried because I can be painfully shy, but I felt quite welcome and comfortable and managed to contribute to the conversation. It was a little strange to learn others’ interpretations of what it means to be a druid and to hand over the reins of ritual to a stranger, but I think I can learn a lot from a community.
And more news: though our new apartment is woefully close to a highway, it’s also in the middle of an endowed public forest! There are hiking trails a mere three minute walk from our door. I was worried about where I would take my offerings in the middle of the city, but here I found wilderness in the city. I’ve also started growing some herbs on my balcony, so I’m bringing nature into my home.
That’s it for now. I plan another post, probably for tomorrow, about support from loved ones and how to deal with too supportive parents…