I have the privilege of posting on the last day of the world! Or was it supposed to be over already? I can’t keep apocalypses straight. I doubt anyone will be surprised that I don’t believe in the End of the World. There are no ends, only beginnings. Every time I’ve felt as if my world was collapsing (and there have been a few of those times), I’ve only gained strength and something new and amazing sprouted in the space created by the destruction of the old.
This solstice is a particularly meaningful one for me. Last year my family and I left Wales. I have no idea if we’ll ever return. Our time in Wales was profoundly magical, life altering, and honestly, pretty dull, in the most beautiful and bucolic of ways. We pulled out of our driveway in the early hours of the morning. The light had not yet broken the horizon. We drove through the Teifi Valley, hearts full to bursting, heading to Cornwall to visit friends before leaving for the United States.
I wrote the following post about how I said goodbye to Wales last year. I hope you enjoy it!
The boxes are packed. We came to Wales with twelve boxes, four suitcases, two cats and one child nearly two and half years ago. We leave with 14 boxes, three and a half suitcases, one cat and two kids. These final days are the busiest, most chaotic. My friend, Haloquin, arrived for dinner and magic last night in the midst of people moving furniture out of our house, me feeding the baby and the three-year old running around in his green, footed pajamas. My energy was frazzled and frayed.
Halo and I had decided to make some magic together. She too has studied Anderson Feri, with the same teacher I did! Halo is one of two other Feri practitioners in all of Wales (not including me) and she happens to live in the same small Welsh town as me. It’s been a comforting gift, having her presence here.
The weather here has been cold and wet – sometimes hailing, sometimes sunny, sometimes lashing rain. Halo and I hoped to get outside, and the weather cooperated. We went to the Fairy Tree, a spectacular oak, half alive, half dead. We walked in the dark, through the cemetery, behind the housing estate, over the stream, through the ankle-deep mud, over the trash left behind by partying teens, and around into the ‘arms’ of the tree.
We lit candles in jam jars, nestling them in the soggy grass and the crooks of branches. And we stood. And listened. And felt. Halo rang her singing bowl, the vibrations soothing my frenetic parts. We invoked the Old Ones, the Fey and the Spirit of the Land.
There’s no way to talk about my experience without sounding completely daft. It was an unexpected, tender, and bittersweet experience. The branches looked like extensions of dryads, dancing, writhing and pointing the way. I felt the Old God. I felt the Fey, I heard them. Water murmured beneath our feet. Oak wrapped around and over us. The Spirits appeared, listened in, and then retreated.
I came close to tears, which for me as a non-crier was a big deal. This land is so wild, so alive, so beautiful. I’m not ready to leave! And yet, I am. It is beyond clear that it is time to move on: due to a mistake on my part we are leaving one day earlier than expected. I hear you, Wales! We’re going already!
Halo sounded the bowl again. We offered ourselves to the Old Ones: we would know, we would learn, we would serve. Yes, this path is for me. For some reason the word ‘baptism’ came to my mind. This ritual felt like a baptism of sorts. Maybe all the water around us – in mud, rain, damp wood – was what did it. One more step closer to the Heart of things.
Such a simple ‘ritual.’ We left behind offerings of sweet short bread biscuits. We said our goodbyes. And back we walked in the night. I love that tree. I will carry it with me, in my spirit.