When I was back home last, I was able to sneak away and re-live some moments that were distinctly mine. I disappeared for a few hours into my woods. These woods were the woods of my childhood. These were the woods where I first experienced the Fae. Where I first heard the call of the wind and the earth. These were the woods where I first communed with the water spirits and where I would sit at night and watch the fire, which I had built for warmth, dance around me unabashedly. This was where I learned to, at first, mimick that dance and later was the same place that dance took root in my spirit. All of this reminds me of the scene in The Sound of Music when Maria was reprimanded for climbing the mountain outside the convent. Mother Superior asked her what would happen if she had gotten lost. “Oh, mother, I could never get lost up there, that’s my mountain, I was brought up on it,…It was the mountain that led me to you.” I feel the same way about my woods. They are the woods that brought me to Goddess.
When I visit home, it is very hard for me to get a minute to myself. I have often hungered for time to visit my woods. This time the visit would be filled with more Magick than I had ever experienced there. As a child, we often fantasize about things Magickal. We eventually dismiss them in our adulthood as something that could have never happened. I visualized many things out there as a child…..I saw myself as Merlin of Camelot and the old pond out in the middle of the woods was, of course, the home of the Lady of the Lake. The many critters that would scurry past became the dwarves and fairies and gnomes that I just knew were supposed to be a part of day to day life. Oh if I had only known then……through the eyes of a child. Children believe without seeing. It is only in adulthood that we are told that we should see to believe.
As I said earlier, I was able to sneak out to these woods on a hot, muggy Saturday evening. I laughed to think that most of the adults in the area were afraid of those old woods. They were horrified that a wildcat might come after them….or what about an old coyote. As I entered the edge of the woods, I could feel the years melt away from me. I could feel the Magick of my enchanted forest whirling and twirling around me. Once again, I could hear the fae shuffling through the leaves around my feet. I walked a little more gingerly…..couldn’t step on them. I got into the center of the grove of oaks that I used to play around. It was like seeing old friends. I could hear the very breath of the trees as they welcomed me back. Just like it is with our oldest friends, we picked up right where we left off. I settled in against the largest tree and could feel the energy coursing through me. I began to call the beings around me….and should I have even been surprised….one of the biggest old crows settled into the tree across from me. We both chatted and cackled and laughed…..back in the distance I could hear the brush of what I was sure was deer slowly but gracefully checking out this wierd human sitting in their midst. At that moment, Cernunnos came to my mind. I called on him and thanked him for the ability to be in his midst. I remembered to bring out offerings for the fae and for the God and Goddess of the forest. Such a peaceful time.
Suddenly, though, I felt the Wild Man stirring up inside of me. Thankfully those woods are isolated….but then again, I really didn’t care whether or not I scared the neighbors. I jumped up and stripped off every stitch of clothing I had on and made a running jump for that pond out in the middle of those trees. It is probably a good thing I don’t scare easily because when I jumped in, I scared something out of the water…..still can’t tell you what it was…it moved really fast. So here is a 46 year old man splashing in this pond like some kind of crazy person. I was laughing and giggling like I was 7 again. It really was such a wonderful time. I stayed in that water until I started to prune up real good…..felt so good on that muggy evening. I am sure the Lady of the Lake was ready for me to go by then. I trodded up the bank and back to my oak tree. I found some rocks and built a little circular pit….got me some sticks and leaves and thankfully had taken a box of mama’s kitchen matches. I built me a small fire to dry myself out. I watched those flames dance and move and enjoy themselves that it just got the best of me. I got up and started dancing with them! Then the thought popped into my head what I must look like…..an old, fat, hairy nekkid man dancing in the twilight by a fire. I got tickled and started to laugh out loud…..then it hit me…..I am doing the exact same thing the ancients used to do. I was doing nothing more or nothing less than enjoying the world around me which had been created by the loving hands of a Wild Horned God and Powerful Goddess. In that moment, my heart connected with all the witches and sorcerers and wise men who had ever existed and I could feel that power rising. I could feel that energy breathing all around me. At that moment, I felt as if I was flying into the branches of my friend the oak tree. It was a moment that I never wanted to forget…..just me, those woods, the fae, the wildlife, and the God and Goddess.
At the end of my time in those wonderful woods, I got dressed and thanked the elements and the Lord and Lady, and moved slowly back to the farm. My heart, that night, constantly giggled and laughed in remembrance of all that had transpired. In that moment, I think I realized….sometimes you just have to say what the hell, strip down and go running nekkid in the woods.
**I hope that you will visit my Facebook Page. It is Weathered Wiseman on Facebook…**