I’m stubborn. After three years I still find myself sort of waffling between feeling a connection to the land here with its dry grass and wild sage, open star-filled sky, and a line of sight to mountains thirty or so miles away — all glorious in their own right, and the memories of Ohio with mist-filled summer mornings, fireflies, and more lush greenery and trees found everywhere.
I feel like I haven’t committed to or formed as strong relationship with the spirit of the land here, the genius loci, as back home and it’s not entirely for lack of trying. But there is still a gaping emptiness because it’s just not the same and even after all this time, it still feels foreign and unfamiliar to me in some ways.
There is a spot in the backyard here that maintains a hint of what home felt like and I go there to relax in the shade of a large mulberry tree and be annoyed by gnats. My windchimes also migrate between a low branch of that tree and one of the maple about twenty feet or so away. Where I choose to sit all depends on my mood. During the day it’s usually under the mulberry because the arcing branches that nearly tease the grass remind me of ‘my tree’ back home and there is a very heady aroma from the cedar and ground ivy nearby. In the evening, the maple offers a better view of the sky. It’s still young and hasn’t grown into its full majesty just yet. It’s still small enough to feel humble when compared to the night.
With Lughnasadh approaching and my thoughts and feelings turning to tides of life, abundance, and the first part of harvest — more metaphorical than actual since I don’t farm — I wonder what it is I have sown while being here. It’s a cyclical and yearly occurrence. The energy will always ebb and flow. But to my mind, it still feels sort of ‘new’ and like I haven’t established roots. I still haven’t ‘planted’ and therefore, have no harvest to reap. Or if I have planted, the growth has been so slow… sluggish… that the tiny shoots and leaves aren’t mature enough and still need more time, more care before they can be uprooted, cut, bunched, sacrificed, and consumed. The Wheel is turning and I can see it. I feel it. But sometimes it doesn’t feel like I’m fully connected and part of it. I don’t think I’ve fully felt that since moving here and at the High Points of the year, it impacts me the most. What is it that is holding me back? What else can I do to dig in?
I still feel uprooted in a lot of ways. Of course I miss family and friends and the community I had back home and I’ve worked on trying to establish myself here and do The Work, but sometimes it feels like I’m just going through the motions. Then again if I’m really being honest with myself, I have to ask: Do I really want to dig in and make permanent roots here? What if it’s me holding myself back? If I had the means and opportunity… I think I’d go back home to Ohio. I just don’t know if that’s the right choice or not. It’s been three years and I still haven’t made the decision. Am I ever going to?