It’s the first of the month and we aren’t allowed to do anything until the system comes back up again, maybe Wednesday soooo I have a free range mind probably in one part, because I was a free range child. A friend and I were talking about all the fun we had as kids and no one ever told us not to do anything that was within reason. Of course, that definition of “within reason” seems to have altered drastically in the past 40 years or so. Things that we took for granted we could do would get our parents arrested for negligence now. We had fun, do kids growing up now have fun? It doesn’t look like it.
When I think of the things we did like playing Hide and Go Seek after dark which in LA was around 8 and using the entire neighborhood as a playing field was considered the main event for a summer night or my dad’s gentler version of capture the flag that took place between driveways and the dads refereeing.
We went hiking all over the mountains behind our houses and met a few things like snakes and teenagers having sex in the bushes and didn’t stop what we were doing. We were on some imagined mission of high importance like seeking gold or the Holy Grail.
We used to con some parental unit into buying us blocks of ice at the local ice vendor and take a washcloth to melt into the top. It became a toboggan on the long grassed inclines at the neighborhood park on really hot days. You went sailing down the hillside if you stayed on and if you didn’t you got a fun roll down the hill sometimes beating the ice block to the bottom.
We walked to the store, we walked to the park, we walked to school. My neighborhood was really steep so biking could be a bit scary and so was skateboarding. I walked to my best friend’s house who lived a little over a mile away and took back alleys sometimes because it was just a cool way to go. Our mom walked us everywhere once and then we were expected to be able to do it ourselves. They trusted us to not be stupid and get in a car with someone we didn’t know and to run like hell if we needed to.
We walked down to the village and got ice cream or candy like big Charms suckers or sunflower seeds and cruised the 5 and Dime to see if there were any new toys like squirt guns or those rings that twirled and whistled when you blew on them.
We played on teeter-totters and slides and merry-go-rounds, good luck even find those now and it has grass underneath, most of time it had sand or asphalt under it. If you fell you got back up and did it again and then went home and got Bactine and a bandaid. Some kids were in Little League or like my sister in softball leagues. Sometimes we took swimming lessons and my dad made us go to summer school for 6 weeks but that left 6 more weeks to climb mountains or roll down hillsides. We usually had a week of camp stuck in there somewhere, music camp, church camp, Camp Fire or Girl Scouts.
We had fun, we had fun all summer long. I don’t think kids have fun anymore. They wait until someone schedules a time to play. That sounds like work to me.
Day 7 The three realms – 30 days of druidry
This should have been Day 4 but I had trouble writing it.
The three realms for the ADF are Land, Sea and Sky but I personally think it’s Land, Water and Sky even if it’s not poetic enough for some. Water is important to the Scots in particular but lochs and streams and rivers and wells are just as important as the seas and the land.
Someone living on the shores of Loch Ness in ancient times may never have had occasion to travel to the sea and live quite comfortably in a croft on a hillside but be absolutely dependent on the fish in the loch. You can tell how important water and its varieties were by the name they called whisky, uisge beatha, or water of life. We can’t live without fresh water even if we are made up of 98% sea water.
The land is what often draws us to the practice of Druidry. I’m a mountain girl. I don’t feel comfortable at the ocean. We spent every Labor Day holiday as a kid at the beach and most summers had many visits to Santa Monica or Zuma or any of the other multitude of beaches and TOILA has Isis’ birthday ritual on Dockweiler beach. For someone who has a Grand water Trine and 5 planets and nodes in Cancer, one would think I would love the beach, nope. I’ll take a lake or a stream anyday. I love river rafting both for the thrill and because I love that water. The ocean makes me restless and unsettled unless the dolphins come.
I spent every summer at camp for many years, first as a captive counselor at church camp and then went to the YWCA camp until they ran out of funding and then Girl Scout camp and lastly at Teresita as A & C and Nature Director when I graduated with my degree as a Naturalist and went to work as a professional Girl Scout. Caifornia mountains whether it be Big Bear, Angeles Crest or Idyllwild are my homes. Add in places like Yosemite and Sequoia or the Gold Country and I’m a happy camper. Los Angeles is quite literally surrounded by mountains with the Coast Ranges on one side and the San Gabriels behind and little hills that are scattered through LA. Then I took my troops out camping and designed Outdoor Ed program. I’m tied to the land and big skies.
There is nothing like sitting on a mountain outcropping facing west on an evening when the sky turns the clouds all kinds of fiery shades. Of the burning blue of the morning sky at high altitude or the awesome power of a lightning storm, although having been struck will send me indoors to safely watch it now.
We are, for the most part, land based creatures. We get our sustenance from crops grown on land and animals that have been fed off the land.
For four years I slept almost every night next to our lake. Hearing it’s soft noises all through the night as well as the fish who would jump and sometimes scare the bejeebers out of you if you weren’t expecting it. We slept outside in shelters that were basically a roof with beds and a closet. We felt the sun come up in the morning and saw the blaze of white from the full moon on our beds. We felt the wind and the rain, not always good when you live out of your sleeping bag but it really was nice to be “in” the weather 24/7.
So it should be no surprise that Druidry is based on the triad of all that surrounds us. We just have to be aware that we stand in the middle of the triad. No higher and no lower in the triangle that supports our life here on Earth.