It took them a while, but my Crow buddies have figured out that I now show up at work coming from a different direction. This morning, I was finally fed up enough with work to walk out to “get some air”. I wasn’t gone long – maybe ten minutes at most. All I did was walk down to the pond near the tennis courts, and sit at the dirty, little gazebo that overlooks the waters there — and the flotilla of ducks we have there. For the past week or so, I have felt a bit “out of sorts” – if you will pardon the expression. Much like Crow buddies, it took some time for me to realize my new pattern.
While I was standing out there, with a yellow pad of lined paper in one hand, and a pen in the other – it took me three minutes to write this short poem.
Stepping out the front door
Into the morning dew
Clouds in the sky
Heralding a return of rain
Rain, heralding a moment
Where focus comes back
To where it should have been
Eye on the future
Ear to the ground
Listening to the whispers
Of Gods, Ancestors and Spirits
Pulling me back to center
Away from the Edges
To where I am meant to be
Moving up here was supposed to put me closer to work – to cut down on a drive that was nearly an hour in one direction. To give me time to do the things I have been wanting to do for over a year now. Focus on my Pagan studies, write in my journals, write in my notes…relax. And I have done none of those things.
I have done none of these things, because I am once again falling into an old pattern. One I was in since 1986 – and was given the chance to break out of when I was unemployed. Putting my job before everything. Allowing that to be the definitive description of who I am. No offense to my employer, but I am not an Assessment Analyst. I am not a “stats guy”. I am not a “data whisperer” for a motley assortment of database systems. That’s what I do to earn money to pay for the things that I have.
I am a Pagan. I believe in the Gods and Goddesses. I communicate with them from time to time. Some more often than others. But they are real. They do exist. For those wishing to argue about a singular Entity that they believe is the only one. More power to you, but I am not here to argue. I am here to handle what they set in front of me. Arguing with others over Their existence, or trying to convince other people that They do exist — not part of the equation for me. I am not called by a particular tradition or pantheon. I am not worried or bothered with the idea of cultural appropriation. For me, the Gods call to who They call to.
I am a Druid. Specifically, I am a Druid working through my Bardic Grade in the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids. Everything in my life revolves around a set of connections between myself and the Earth, Through the elements. Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit. Yes, I consider Spirit to be an element. And yes, I consider each element to be the basis of how I connect to Nature and all aspects of it. Yes, I believe in the Web of Life. Yes, I believe in the Circle of Life. Yes, I believe in how every connection – no matter how small or large has meaning.
I have my Circle of very close friends. I have blood relatives. I have friends that I have a very loose connection with. Be they Christian, Pagan, Buddhist, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist, or what not – each has earned my respect for who they are. I love them no less for whatever Path they follow through Life. Each, in their own way, connect with me on some level – and through that connection comes my respect, admiration and love. I have their back when I can. They are my tribe. They are my people.
I read. I listen. I watch. I love. I learn. I am. Some may have a problem with me over these beliefs that I hold. I truly don’t care. That is their own Path to walk, their own manner of understanding the world around them – to the degree that they can or are willing to do so. Try to impede me or my tribe on our individual and/or collective Paths, you will be in for a fight you have never seen before. Try to take an individual’s freedoms from them, and you had better be prepared to fight them to the end of their days (or yours) in this life, and the next.
I am Pagan. I am a Druid. I believe in many Gods and Goddesses. I seek my own inner peace through connectivity with everything around me. Everything has a distinct life and awareness – some at levels we are not capable of comprehending for whatever reason. I have a Tribe that is my family – not necessarily of blood and DNA, but family nonetheless. If any of that makes you think less of me, it may be best for you to simply move along. I wish you no harm. I have no quarrel, argument, debate or fight with you. But I will protect and fight for who I am. I owe that much self-respect to my Tribe, to my Ancestors that have come before me, and to myself.
Pagan, Druid, polytheist, animist, tribe member. That’s who I am. That’s where my definition comes from. I am who I am. I am defined by who I am – not by what I do. I am TommyElf.