I’ve been reading a friend’s new book (Patrick McCollum – Courting the Lady) and thinking about some of my own introductions to the “Craft”.
The first time I ever realized I was hearing someone other than myself in my head I was at Church Camp. (As in spiritual voices not little voices that tell me to do things) They never should have sent me away to be in nature and expected me to turn out a Christian. My grandmother had been teaching me to talk to plants and animals as we took walks around her neighborhood and I had been listening to every word and story she said but I had never heard trees the way she seemed to.
When I was 8 they sent me to Indian Village at Forest Home, a Christian camp that my parent’s church had founded. One morning they had a missionary come to speak with us. And since I was a weirdly spiritual kid I was listening intently but I was also leaning against a very large tree. The tree felt like it was holding me somehow and that I was safe.
The missionary started to talk about Satan and about how he ruled the world and that we had to watch for him at all times. This was something Presbyterians don’t usually say, and then he said IT. He said that the whole of nature was evil and owned by the devil and that the hymn “This is my Father’s World” was a lie and that though it said the world was God’s, it wasn’t. And in the midst of this tirade I heard a quiet voice, “He Lies” and that was all the voice said and I KNEW who had spoken. It was the tree and I also KNEW that the tree was telling the truth and was right and would never lie to me.
I stopped truly listening to missionaries and ministers right then. One big lie was all it took to teach me that trees don’t lie nor have agendas but men do. I still listen to the trees.