It is the day before the night before Christmas. The week has been a busy one. So much energy expended in preparation for the Solstice Celebrations, and Yule, and now…Christmas. I was raised celebrating Christmas the way most children do….Santa Claus, reindeer, lighted trees, presents. I still enjoy sharing those traditions with my partner and family.
My partner and I travelled to North Carolina this past weekend to celebrate Christmas with my mom and dad, nieces, grand-nephew and my aunt. For some reason, it seemed that everyone was having trouble getting into the holiday spirit. My mom kept telling me that she needed to finish her shopping….she needed to finish decorating…she needed to…she needed to. I told her to stop. I told her that the only thing she needed to do was spend time with us. Gifts have never been something that were necessary to make my Christmas a happy one. Growing up, we were never well off, so presents were always inexpensive or handmade. My parents always concentrated on the magic that Christmas held. My prize possession, to this day, is a hand-crocheted Santa Claus that my mother made. She would set it next to my bed every Christmas Eve and tell me that he would watch over me and help the real Santa to find his way. Santa always found his way to me…so there was no reason for me not to believe in the magic that the handmade Santa held.
I remember hearing bells outside of the window in the nearby pasture and then moments later noise on the roof. We were always encouraged to believe in those things that you may never actually get to see. I decided that this was my year to pass on that tradition. My little grand-nephew, Dakotah is a beautiful, little blonde, blue-eyed energy ball. You can look into his eyes and see such a wonderful heart….a heart full of fascination….a heart that believes in all the magick that the world can hold. I decided to introduce him to the magick that I have held in my heart for so long.
Yesterday before I started the long drive back to Atlanta, I bundled Dakotah up and took his little hand, and we walked together to the back woods behind the pasture. I wanted to introduce him to the most magickal place I ever knew. As we walked further and further from the the house, we heard something behind us. Dakotah has this little habit when he hears noise. He puts his hand to his ear and whispers, “Sound!” He looked around us and we see this baby goat following us. My dad raises pygmy goats. The babies are no bigger than grown cats. My dad’s goats are overly tame. He works with them the way you would a dog.
I had taken this same little goat with me to the woods the day before, so it wasn’t surprising to me that he would be right behind us today. Dakotah was enthralled with the fact that we had a special guest. He walked slowly with one hand in mine and the other on the little goats head. It was a sight to behold.
We headed toward that clearing that was so familiar to me. I could see the excitement in that little wild child. In the distance, I could see the clearing with the pond. I picked Dakotah up and the little goat walked beside us. Dakotah got excited. I talked about the fairy folk to him and about the Lord and Lady. I talked to him about the horned God. He looked at the little goat and said, “Horns?” I said, “Yes, just like that little goat.” As we sat against a tree…with me leaned against it and him in my lap, he said, “No shoes.” He is so much like his great uncle. I told him that we could dance instead. He so loves to dance. We stood up and danced around the tree….he was laughing at the top of his voice. It was wonderful hearing the woods around that old pond ringing with fresh laughter. His laughter echoed and he stopped, put his hand to his ear and said, “Sound.” I laughed out loud. He apparently thought it was funny too, so he joined me.
He reminds me so much of myself at his age…..intrigued and mesmerized by everything. Able to see the magick that is swirling around him….I love the magick that children are able to see. It is sad that as people become adults, that they forget, sometimes, how to see the magick around them.
I also watch the way he interacts with animals. With people, he can be a bit rough, but when he is around animals, he is just as tender and gentle as a soul can become. My mom’s chihuahua is petted gently by five tiny fingers. He stands in front of the cage of African Grey, Harry, and respectfully carries on conversation with him. Who would have thought that he would converse with the feather and fur people. He walked beside that baby goat with his hand on his head and you would have thought they were a part of each other. Total silence as they walked side by side.
The one thing that I wanted to share with him this Christmas was not a toy. It wasn’t the loudness and revelry that the holiday brings. I wanted to give him a bit of the magick that I hold dear. I wanted him to experience the wildness that only nature can provide….the stirring that only the Lord and Lady can give….the companionship of the fur people.
He gave me those same gifts.