I have tried to make my life as cozy and comfortable as possible. I don’t like clutter, I like to have things I love close at hand. I like nothing better than settling into the sofa with a book, a glass of wine or coffee and losing myself in some place fantastical. I love to lose myself in my magickal life sometimes….but many days, real life takes over and tosses me like a ship in choppy seas.
My mom called this past week. She wanted to know if we would be coming home for the 4th of July. My partner and I wrestled with the decision. You see, as comfortable and cozy as a trip back home should be…it is the complete opposite. It seems whenever we do visit, that all we get to experience is rush and stress and a plethora of other issues surrounding it. We have to consider the dogs….do we board them, take them with us, ask our roommate to take care of them while we are gone. Then there is the fact that it just isn’t cheap to drive 6 hours to visit for two days. There is also the requesting of time off from work…..that is like pulling donkey teeth. When a business is short-handed, it doesn’t matter how many PTO hours you have…..it becomes impossible to escape, if only for a day or so.
So after the stress of breaking the news to my mother that her first-born would not be coming back to small-town life for a few days….I escaped out to the pond with Friz. It was a bit overcast this afternoon, so it wasn’t too bad sitting out by the water watching the cranes and the chipmunks and of course Mama Crow. I must smell to high heaven now. I come to start carrying different treats in my pockets for the different animal friends I have made. I pulled out a piece of raw meat that I had stashed for her just before going out. I threw it in her direction. I feel that she is coming to trust me more and more. She visits just outside the courtyard now and always comes along when Friz and I visit the pond.
As I sat there listening to the noises around me, it dawns on me how much I have changed over the years. I think it is peculiar that the place that once meant comfort and soothing to me (my own homeplace) has come to represent stress and hurriedness. The times I sat out at by the pond behind the barn or wandered into the woods back behind the property seem only a distant memory sometimes. I have made my nest where I am now….and I realize that even that, someday, will change.
My magick has even changed over the years. I remember when everything had to be just so. I have found that I love a more relaxed approach to magick….I have found that it makes things progress more naturally. I also find myself drawn toward more natural and ancient elements…bone, fur, feather. I find that working with that which nature provides holds a stronger magick. Now, I do not go out and kill anything just for the purpose of using it in magickal workings. I patiently wait until it is offered to me by nature and the animal itself.
On many of my walks, I find remains from all kinds of animals that I incorporate into magickal workings. After I cleanse the skull or feathers or whatever I may find (just on the off-chance that whatever I did find met with a violent end, I want to offer the spirit of that animal a chance to move on)…I love the feeling of being so in touch with nature and the elements and those who sacrificed for those magickal workings. Over the past couple of weeks, I was gifted with the remains of a crow and a chipmunk. One skull will be gifted to a friend and the other will find a home on my altar.
As I sat by the tree at the pond today and watched Friz and Mama Crow. I couldn’t help but think about how honestly animals live their lives. I have tried to do the same thing…..I have tried to be no one except for who I have become over the years. I have tried to live a life of purpose and one of integrity. When I go home, it feels as though I am being asked to put on a mask for the time I am there. Let me clarify…I have never ever been one to hide who I am….gay, witch…however you want to see it. The way it is put at home is, “Isn’t it bad enough that people know you’re gay? Do they have to know you are a witch too??” I explained that as long as they were talking about me, then all the rest of town was getting a rest. They didn’t seem amused.
It isn’t that I don’t want to go home. I have learned to create home wherever I am at the moment. At this moment in my life….home is centered around my pets and having them be as stress-free as possible. It is about me being able to practice my Craft whenever I feel the want or need.
Last weekend, I took a little visit to the old house that we lived in just before this last move. This was the house where I had my herb gardens and I used to camp out in the grove of holly trees and work magick. As I pulled into the drive, I found a sign stating that the property was to be bull-dozed for a subdivision. The yard was overgrown….all the beautiful herbs I had planted had become mounds of tangles. The grove of holly trees had knee-high grass all around it. I took out my pocket knife and made a massive herb harvest….feverfew, lavender, rosemary, monarda, yarrow. I laid them all out in the trunk of the car on newspaper and then I walked gingerly (to keep from stepping on snakes) to the holly grove. I sat in the crook of that old familiar tree and rested my head against it. I thanked it for all the wonderful magick it had worked with me. As I walked back to the car, I gathered some branches from around it…maybe a wand or two will come out of them.
Yes….things are constantly moving and changing around us….the wheel of the year is never at a standstill. It is up to us to determine how we will use those changes in the magick that has been gifted to us. Is our home a finite place? No. Home is wherever we are…surrounded by whatever it is that encompasses our spirit.
No….I cannot truly go home again. I am already there.