The Spirits of Place Within Me

mont_tremblantAfter having had wonderful conversations with an old friend of mine, and currently reading “Pagan Visions for a Sustainable Future” the concept of the spirits of place has gained an even greater standing in my Druidry.

I have always loved the hills and mountains, the forests and rivers where I grew up in the Laurentians.  These ancient volcanic hills, softly rounded ,weathered and tree-covered sing to my soul.  They are not only a part of the landscape in which I grew up in – they are a part of very own self as well.

The water that I drank flowed from the rivers than ran between the mountains, fast in the spring with snowmelt, crashing over rapids and making its way southward through towns and villages.  This river fed the many lakes, along with mountain streams that flowed down the granite hills, bubbling and jumping merrily through moss-covered stones.  This is the water that I drank – it was a part of me, the rivers and the lakes, the mountain streams.

The clouds that scudded the hilltops gave rain that added to those mountain springs and rivers.  Those clouds were a part of me.

The sandy plateau in the midst of these mountains is where our house was built. It was the literal foundation for a very happy childhood.  Upon this soil I grew up. I tasted it upon my skin after a day spent outside, I inhaled the scent after a summer rain, smelt it on the cat’s fur when she came inside after rolling in the sand.  This soil is a part of me.

The sunlight beaming down upon my warm skin as we sat on the lakeside beach, slowly browning or freckling skin, drinking it in – that sunlight is a part of me.

The thunder and lightning storms that raged across the skies in the heat of August, restoring the balance and refreshing the body after the humidity of the day – those storms are a part of me.

The dairy cows in the lowlands fed by the river and other rivers gave us milk and cheese as we were growing up.  Those cows, the grass they fed upon, are a part of me.

The mulch thick and deep in the forest floor in late autumn, with mushrooms poking through and the wonder of life all around – that is a part of me.

Though I may now live thousands of miles away, all these things are still a part of me.  If we think about it even further, the minerals in our blood, the iron from stars in galaxies far away are a part of us – there is everything in us and we are in everything.

Go deep enough, feel all these things in your soul, have your mind blown time and again.  It begins to make sense, offers some comfort in our sometimes senseless society.

Words can give us glimpse – it is in the experiencing and relationship where the magic happens.

 

 

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6 thoughts on “The Spirits of Place Within Me

  1. Awesome post…I feel a lot of the same emotions in regards to the Rocky mountains. While I live a long way from them here in Texas — every once in a while, I take the opportunity to go and explore a new corner of those mountains. In six days – that will be Glacier National Park (the furthest north I will have ever been in North America). The Kami have always been amazing within the Rockies. Sometimes little mischief makers…sometimes very welcoming…sometimes very curious…but always very interesting. Everytime I go to the mountains, I am reminded of why I decided that Druidry was the right Path for me… Thanks for the awesome blog post!! –T

  2. Yes, the spirit of place! I walk and cycle to many places in my own locality in East Kent ,UK, and the memories remain with me.Fusions of place and time! Each one has it’s own unique quality, it is not the big ones like Stonehenge or Avebury that do it for me, but the little known ones: an old style apple orchard in September, a carpet of bluebells in May or the grounds of a remote parish church in February. I use these memories therapeutically, visualizing and absorbing their healing properties.

    Two books I always turn to on this subject are: Secret Places of the Goddess by Philip Heselton and The Druid Way by Philip Carr-Gomm. I always find them a great source of inspiration and comfort.

  3. I feel that way about the whole province of British Columbia. I left for two years and felt like I was stranded in the middle of nowhere.

    • Yes, the spirits of place are so much a part of you, in your blood, in your bones – here in the UK, now that I’ve been here for quite a while, it’s seeping in, the food I eat, the sun and rain that falls, the ancestors of the land and the spirit of Albion itself.

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