OH GOD I’M SO FAR BEHIND.
I feel like that one Jenna Marbles video where she’s shooting cans of caffeine beverages and waiting for something to happen and she’s like, “Why isn’t it workinnnngggg???” I’ve been a little hooked on Jenna Marbles videos lately, and I really should be using that time to study important things, or at least do my stupid Hogwarts studying, but hey. Life.
Anyway, today’s journal post gives this prompt: Go somewhere where the earth is abundant and easily reached (like a forest) and describe how you interact with the element.
Is it bad that I’m going to reach all the way back to August for this one? It’s not like I’ve not been able to go to a forest while I’ve been on this year-long foreign experience, but I definitely haven’t had the opportunity to go alone, or with somebody who understands the connection I desire to have with the forest. So yeah, I’m going to reach all the way back to August, when this spirituality was still just kind of a big fat question mark for me (isn’t it still, though?).
When I’m at home in the States, I live near a pretty decent-sized park reserve on a river. This reserve goes basically from my house to the next town over. If you get on the bike trail, it’s definitely a good few miles.
In the summer, I was absolutely obsessed with biking this trail, going out of the park on the other side, and continuing to follow the trail in the neighborhood. In this neighborhood, which had a delicious scenic view of the river, there were a lot of very different houses, obviously made by a variety of architects, and they ranged from pretty quaint to really nice. Every time I biked this way, though, my goal was to at least get to this one all-wood house. It was pretty small, had cute wind twirlies and chimes, and a stone patio, with a fire pit set into the patio. I didn’t know why on earth I was so drawn to this house, until I continued my studies of Witchcraft and saw somewhere that it’s common for a Witch to keep a broom, bristles-up, by the front door for protection. I’m not sure if this is actually common or if it was just a one-off post I found, but anyway, there was pretty much always a bristle-up broom by the door of this house when I biked past, and I do sincerely think there could be a woman who lives there who identifies as a Witch. I’d kind of like to just go there one day and knock on her door and be like, “Yeah, I love your house, and also, are you magickal?” I’m not sure if she would call the police or if I could start a life-long friendship with a nice middle-aged woman. Both possibilities seem plausible.
Anyway, in order to get to this potentially Witchy house, I had to pass through the length of the park reserve on my bicycle. The park, really, is gorgeous, and even though there’s a highway overpass running right over the thing, there are some wonderful spots. One of my favorite places of all time in the park is actually a spot quite near the overpass. You fly under the overpass, hearing the cars just roaring over you and echoing around under the steel and cement, and then you veer around this turn and suddenly you go under this canopy of leaves, like you went under a stage curtain half-raised, into what is basically like, Neverland or something. On your right you can see the river, and on your left there is a strange area of trees where all of the tops of the trees are sort of curved in toward one place, like the ceiling of a cathedral. Now, I’ve been over the world, to some of the most beautiful churches in existence, and yet this natural phenomenon made me feel as spiritual as any of the man-made places I’ve been. Every time I went by this place, I had a moment of deep connection to…well, something. I just remember passing by this way every time I was going to the neighborhood on the other side, and on the way back, there was this giant hill (awful to go up, but remarkable to go down), and I would just fly down this hill and stare up at the sky for as long as I felt like I could get away with, and as I went around the corner, there on the right was this natural church in the woods.
My interaction with the earth hasn’t always been great, I’ll admit. Finally, toward the end of the summer, I got my best friend Ibis (mentioned previously) to come with me to this natural church. We actually walked off the path and into the heart of this tree church. Of course, it was nice in a lot of ways, but the mosquitoes were distracting, and I was looking around for poison ivy, and…you know, it’s never perfect. It’s like when you see a picture and you’re dying to go there, and once you’re there it’s like, “Oh. Cool,” and then you just want to leave. It wasn’t that bad, but that’s the phenomenon I sometimes experience.
However, I do love the earth, and the greenery, and as long as I’m not being eaten alive, I like to spend copious amounts of time in nature. There is nothing better than looking around and seeing thick trees everywhere. I grew up in an environment like this, and I wouldn’t have traded the woods in my backyard for an in-ground swimming pool. That’s how much I love trees.
I hope this next summer when I return to the States, I can go back to this natural church and really have a ritual there. Ideally the mosquitoes won’t be so bad, but if they are, I’ll still find a way. Sometimes places are too magical to ignore.