Hmm…well, it’s been about ten days since I’ve posted, according to my blog. I hate going so long between posts, but as we all know, sometimes life gets pretty busy. In this case, I’m preparing for some family to visit me in this country, and since this country requires lots of preparation before travel (proof of itinerary, visas, certifications, the whole shebang…) I’ve been sending lots of emails and getting in touch with a very slow travel company. Hopefully, though, everything will be taken care of soon and all I have to worry about is just showing them a good time once they get here.
Now that I’ve shown up to the party again, however, I’ve got some stuff I would like to say. Firstly, I had a star-struck moment today when Cara Mia from cutewitch772 on YouTube totally mentioned me on her Pagan Perspective video. She referred to the couple times that I’ve talked about days of the week correspondences and working with gods/goddesses of those energies, and coincidentally enough, both times I mentioned them I talked about Tuesday and Ares. So, since she does Tuesday videos for the Pagan Perspective collaboration on YouTube, she talked about how she relates to Tuesday energy. I’ll tell you, every Wednesday I go to the Pagan Perspective channel to watch her Tuesday video (since Wednesday morning here is pretty much Tuesday night in the States) and today I was putting on my makeup when I heard her say that she was reading my blog. I had to rewind the video a bit because I was like, “No way did she just mention me!” So, Cara, if you’re reading this, a big thank you for making me feel like a million bucks.
I have a big post coming up that isn’t going to be part of the Year and a Day Journal series, because it’s kind of beyond these little daily-style prompts. It’s not something to just kind of think about for the day and move on, but something that really gets at the heart of this path. Hopefully it’ll be the next thing I put out; we’ll see about how much time I have this week.
In the meantime, I’m still on the lookout for prompts. I just Googled “year and a day journal witchcraft” to try to find some pre-made journal prompts and…lo and behold…my blog was like the fifth search result. So all in all this day feels pretty good in terms of blog popularity.
In my next search, I unearthed what looks like an abandoned Tumblr blog that had a promising beginning, witchjournal.tumblr.com. It looked like another impressive attempt at a witchy journaling blog that went on hiatus after the first week. That being said, there’s about a week’s worth of prompts, so I’m going to go at them.
One prompt that really caught my eye was this: When was the last time you played in the dirt? Or tell us about a memorable time you felt connected to the Earth.
Well, this one works for me particularly well today. I live in a pretty damp, northern place right now, and spring is slowly coming in. Today it was around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, probably the hottest day we’ve had this year so far. It was absolutely gorgeous, and I couldn’t bear the thought of keeping my teenagers inside for an hour and half in a hot basement room studying English.
So, instead, we went outside. We brought our books and pencils and I made them read to each other by standing a few feet away from their partner and shouting. When we read in class, it’s so easy for the kids to just give up on a hard word or to kind of whisper. Making them read in a way they’re not used to can help them learn pronunciation or at least have a little fun. Then I taught the grammar lesson while we were standing in a circle (past perfect tense today!) and then I told them to each grab a stick. We went over to a dirt pathway not far from the school and I told them to write in the sand with the stick. They wrote things like I had never been to Germany before 2014 and They hadn’t seen the Statue of Liberty until that day. Again, just getting them to write in the dirt instead of on a piece of paper with their pencil was something that (I hope) helped my students to commit this piece of grammar to memory. Associating something with a strange sensory experience can really help something stick in the mind. Plus, I know that a lot of my students are kinesthetic learners, and writing with a stick is much more physically involved than writing in the classroom.
Now, all that being said, that’s the last time I played in the dirt. But what does that mean for my path? How does that connect me with the Earth?
Well, the interesting thing about this country is that, even though many of its traditions make it seem like a much more rural place than the United States, full of folk traditions and earthy substance, the people are kind of obsessed with cleaning the earth off of themselves. Like, they don’t refrigerate their eggs (and they don’t power wash them like we do in the States, so you might get one with some crap on it, but you just clean it off before you eat it), but if you come into your home from outside, the first thing you do is change into house slippers, wash your hands and then change into home clothes. They don’t like the dirtiness of the outdoors following them inside.
On the contrary, I usually think of Americans as being obsessed with cleanliness. We like everything to be sterile, we disinfect our bathrooms and kitchen counters, we power wash our vegetables and use anti-microbial plastics in our schools. But I’ve never had an American warn me against putting my backpack on the sidewalk because it’s dirty. Americans don’t typically give you a pair of slippers the second you walk in the door and point to the bathroom, saying, “There’s the sink to wash your hands.” And truthfully, despite the kind of strange feeling you get on your hands after they’ve gotten dusty or dirty, there’s something kind of nice in it. I didn’t wash the dust off my hands after coming inside today; I just kept teaching. The dirt doesn’t feel all that dirty.
I suppose that I could be a little more diligent with washing the earth off my hands. I mean, definitely the ground is not so hygienic here (people don’t really pick up after their dogs, for example), but for some reason, there’s something kind of therapeutic about getting your hands dirty and just leaving them like that for awhile. Life can be a little gritty sometimes, and trying to sterilize the crap out of it isn’t doing us any favors. Sometimes we should just relish the Earth, whether it’s under our feet or under our fingernails.