Growing up on the farm gave me lots of time out in the elements. The farmhouse was old and many years later when we burned it down we discovered the main original part of the building was built of logs! The added on portion was built of plaster and lathe and the walls were filled with newspaper for insulation. The walls were stucco so we didn’t know. But what I did know was that it was cold in the winter time!
We had three small stoves going at all times during the winter and it was my job to split the wood and bring it inside. We didn’t even live upstairs during the winter but all crowded into the downstairs area. There was no running water. It was quite primitive. Every night after school I would be outside in the cold splitting wood and bringing it in to be burned during the night.
Every weekend, even if it was forty below zero my dad and I had to take the tractor and wagon over two miles to cut down trees for fire wood and bring it home. We never had fire wood cut ahead of time. The insulation in the walls was so poor that the snow melted one foot away from the walls of the house. We went through about thirty cords of wood every season.
I share these things because that link to the elements and to nature was magickal and even though I took it for granted, many people living today have no idea that it can even exist! My life and the lives of all the animals on the farm were tightly connected as well. I had to bust trails through new fallen snow so the horses could get to their food and chop holes in the ice every day so they could drink water. I had to fork hay down for the cows so they had food to eat as well. If I didn’t feel like it I still had to do it!
But my connection to my horse and to my dog were the most powerful of all. We forget that horses, dogs and cats have evolved with humans over the centuries and have been work mates and friends. Our species have forged strong karmic bonds and in today’s modern world we have abandoned them to their fate!
Can you ever forget the velvet smoothness of a horse’s muzzle as it pushes against you? I remember holding out a handful of grass to my horse Mike and he would trot up to me in the middle of the pasture. Then I would hop on his back without a bridle or saddle and race around the pasture. It was life touching life. It was sacred.
Can you ever forget the love that shines out of a dog’s eyes when it wants to play? And that love is always unconditional! I still grieve for Luci who passed away last spring. She was my best friend. Sometimes she still visits me in my dreams. I wish that everyone could know such love.
For me the wiccan, pagan and druid path are to regain that connection and celebrate it!