I went for a walk today. It was my first walk other than around the neighborhood in a couple months. I’ve been working so much and haven’t really wanted to be walking in the middle of the day, in the heat, but my schedule has changed such that I can get a walk in before it gets too warm now. At least this week.
It was a little sad, walking there alone. Once more, I found myself missing Steven. There are so many memories of him tied up in that place, and it’s hard to be present there without letting them flood. I got a little teary eyed once or twice in fact, but I didn’t allow myself to cry. I have no reason to be sad about happy memories, after all.
It smells wonderful there, right now. The honeysuckle is in bloom. I remember that being one of my favorite things when I first moved here. We didn’t have honeysuckle or jasmine up North, but I easily fell in love with the scent. It doesn’t entirely beat my love for lilac, but it’s close.
I found a gift from the forest too. I found this little flower and leaves on the side of the path. I didn’t know what plant/tree it is, but after a little googling I’ve discovered it is a tulip poplar. So very pretty! I offered the gift back to the forest, setting it adrift in the river after giving my thanks for the beauty it shared with me.
Not only are the wild blackberries on their way, but there are wild strawberries everywhere. I at first didn’t know what the little spots of red I was seeing were, but then I saw a perfect specimen to take a photo of and examine. I didn’t try them though. I thought it best to leave them for the birds and other critters.
I saw lots of butterflies today, mostly ones that look sort-of like monarchs but I’m not sure if they were. Also, a pristine white cabbage moth. So pretty! I also saw a wild rat – I never see those! – and a very daring squirrel who didn’t even move when I got close to him. I couldn’t get to my phone to take a picture before he finally darted off though.
It’s been over a month since I last had any contact with Steven. Almost two months in fact, and I still miss him. I miss a lot of things about him. I miss his smile. I miss his voice. I miss exploring the forest with him. I miss talking as we walk the Riverwalk. I miss winter days snuggled in at his apartment, in front of the fake fire. I miss playing video games. I miss playing Castle Panic.
I still have so many fond memories of him, of my time with him. I remember the beach, when we slipped away for a weekend together. I remember going to the mountains just to get apple cider doughnuts. I remember going to the movies several times – Brave, The Hobbit, Cloud Atlas, among others. I remember our days going to the comic store, and the coffee shop. I remember going hiking, taking muddy trails and him turning around several times and just saying how beautiful I am.
The memories aren’t always so simple either. We had more intimate times too, and I remember them as well. Long nights of massages and lovemaking. Waking up snuggled beside him. I miss the way he smells. I miss many things about him, indeed.
That being said, I’m not sure whether we are ever going to even see one another again. I still think I want to. I still think that being with him will, one day, make me happier. Once I know how to make myself happy too. I just don’t know if that’s what he wants.
I have a strong fear that he broke up with me because he never wanted to stay with me in the first place. That I was just another of his many flings. I definitely don’t want to believe that. I don’t want to think that I was so easily played, or that he is the kind of person that would use someone that way. I know a lot of people would tell me that every sign points to it, though.
He helped me figure out how to be happy. He helped me open my eyes to the world around me. He helped me see that I can make my own way in the world. Those are big things. Important things. They’re some of what was missing in my life, and if that’s all he was in my life to do, then I am grateful for his presence in my life for as long as he was there. That being said, I still hold onto some hope that one day, we’ll reconnect. Maybe things will not be the same, but maybe they’ll be better for us having spent the time apart, working on ourselves.
Only time will tell.
Some months ago, I performed the Bardic Initiation Ritual for myself. It felt like the proper time, and I had a very positive reaction to the ritual in general. Looking back now though I wonder if I hadn’t rushed into it. I had been living a very rushed life, leaping into things well ahead of when they were right, and my studies were a part of that rushed feeling. I do not think that I was wrong to perform the initiation at the time, no more than I think my relationship with Steven was wrong. Rather, I think it was right for me at the time, but my life has changed and I need to course correct for my present situation.
With that said, I am continuing my study of the gwersi, and I will look back at the initiation in a couple of months and decide if I need to perform it again. I already plan to participate in the bardic Initiation Ceremony at the September OBOD Gathering in Pennsylvania and I believe that might be a good time to essentially re-dedicate myself in that manner without having to perform the ritual again for myself.
I do think that performing the initiation opened a part of me up to receiving the gifts of Druidry, to the Awen, to the inspiration and creativity that I have been missing. What I am hoping is that further study also helps me find a greater sense of balance and helps me to reconnect with myself. I have been missing that sense of self for a long time now, and rather than concern myself with what cause that to happen I feel it more productive to instead focus on finding it again. It’s important that I re-learn how to be happy, without basing that happiness on who I am with – be that in a romantic sense or simply a physical one. I need to learn how to be happy in the company of no one before I can share myself with someone else.
From the Introductory Package of the OBOD.
Druidry encourages us to love widely and deeply. It fosters:
Love of the Land, the Earth, the Wild ~ Reverence for Nature.
Love of Peace. Druids were traditionally Peacemakers, and still are; each ceremony begins with Peace to the Quarters, there is a Druid’s Peace Prayer, and Druids plant Peace Groves.
Love of Beauty. The Druid path cultivates the Bard, the Artist Within, and fosters creativity.
Love of Justice. Druids are judges, and law-makers. Traditionally Druids are interested in restorative, not punitive, justice.
Love of Story & Myth. Druidry recognizes and uses the power of mythology and stories.
Love of history & Reverence for the Ancestors. Druidry recognizes the forming power of the Past.
Love of Trees. Druids today plant trees and Sacred Groves, and study treelore.
Love of Stones. Druids today build stone circles, collect stones, and work with crystals.
Love of Truth. Druid Philosophy is a quest for Wisdom.
Love of Animals. Druidry sees animals as sacred, and teaches sacred animal lore.
Love of the Body. Druidry sees the body and sexuality as sacred.
Love of the Sun, Moon, Stars & Sky. Druid Starlore, embodied in the old stories and in the stone circles, teaches a love for the Universe.
Love of Each Other. Druidry fosters the magic of relationship, of community.
Love of Life. Druidry encourages celebration and full commitment to life ~ it is not a spirituality that wants us to escape from life.