I hug trees. I talk to houseplants and pets. I say hello to magpies and blackbirds, robins and squirrels.
I sit at the base of my favourite willow tree and I listen to the voice of the wind in their leaves, and the song of the stream nearby joyfully splashing over rocks.
All things are manifestations of Spirit, that which indwells and transcends everything, from the largest galaxy to the tiniest quark. And in the right place, or perhaps in the right state of mind, you can feel the Spirit of the land, the thrum of the pulse of life and earth and time and eternity, rising from the earth beneath your feet, surrounding you in the air, flowing in your own veins. The Oran Mor, the Song of the World, the beating of your heart and the cosmic dance of planets and stars.
The spirits of the land are, quite simply, the animating principles within the trees, the animals, the birds, the humans, the rocks, the water, the soil and earth itself. Each individual spirit is not separate, but combine into an ecosystem of Spirit, a network of connection and harmony that joins together to form one symphony.
There is nothing supernatural here; how could there be, since nature is all? The world is filled with enspirited, alive, aware beings – amazing, evolved, sentient creatures who together make up the vast tapestry of life of which we are a part. My pet gerbils, the birds and squirrels in the garden, the vast oak trees, the bugs and spiders, caterpillars and moths, tiny minnows and giant blue whales, elephants and mice and even the microbacteria that live within our bodies and keep us alive, all are spirits of the land, sea and sky.
Have you ever noticed how some places, like particular deep woods or rocky coastlines, feel numinous, feel holy, the moment you walk into them, inspiring reverence and silence? That for me is the Spirit of the land in the place. Or have you noticed how one spot feels different from another? That too, is the Spirit of the land, different in different locations. The Spirit of a river is different from that of a forest, is different from that of a car park.
But all places are, at heart and at root, sacred, for all participate in Spirit, in which we live and move and have our being.
The task of the Druid is, at least in part, to re-member that connection to Spirit, to consciously and with awareness and love re-weave our small part of life’s great tapestry, to sing and play our piece of the great song, together, with all other beings, as one Spirit. And then to re-enchant the world, to inspire others to that connection.
[Prompt from Alison Leigh Lilly’s 30 Days of Druidry]