Most of my life has been spent in the forest where I live now, spent wandering through the nearby meadows, playing in the seasonal streams, delighting in a world that continuously held me in awe and was so much larger than I could wrap my head around. So many times I have moved away and so many times I found myself returning to this land, returning home.
And now, after spending a glorious cycle here, watching the ice break, the snow melt and awaken the wild onions, the trees bud and leaf, the underbrush yellow and wither, and now the snows return once more, I stand at the edge… the edge of being here, being home, and striking out to never return. At least, not to ever return and have such an intimate relationship with this land again.
All of my happy memories of childhood are of being here, and all of my memories of escaping and recovering from the bad times are here. This forest held me close, helped me to heal so many times. And, I realize now, poised with one foot out the door, that that may be why I was called home once more. As a good friend observed, this land wasn’t done with me yet, and I wasn’t done with it either.
This past cycle has marked the most intimate experiences in my relationship with this land, more so than when I would run crying into the forest, a moss covered log soaking up my tears while the wind made the trees dance. Shush…. Shush…. There is always peace to be found amongst the trees. There is trust here. The Land knows what to expect from those who walk upon it. One’s character is revealed through every foot step.
It’s common within the witchcraft community for practitioners to hint at their relationships with spirits, to remark at the complexity, the success gained as a result, the lessons and techniques learned. This past cycle taught me that emotional bonds most certainly can be had with spirit entities that defy personification. With every step, the Land curls up and over my legs, wrapping Itself into my core, the Wind caresses my hair, and I feel that trust once more. Of course, trust isn’t quite the right word, as it is more reflective of my perspective than anything, but… I know that if I have need, if I am sincere, the Land will listen and, most importantly, the Land will answer.
It’s taken a life time to get this far. It’s taken a cycle of daily offerings and conversations to get this far.
And now I have to say goodbye…
I’m excited to start this next chapter of my life, I am so grateful for everything I have learned and been given this last cycle, and I am heartbroken to leave this place for good. It needs to be done, it’s more than time for it, but I will miss the Land.
It’s nearing time where I must put together a proper goodbye. The forest is curling in on itself; the Land is sleepy and grows distracted.
It never feels as if there is enough time at the end.
Throwing the Bones