In a few hours, the metal bird will soar high above the green hillsides, spiriting me away to the annual Henge of Keltria Gathering. It’s one of the only times I can meet up in the flesh with fellow Druids of my tradition, learn together and do ritual together.
And lest the thieves of the Big Bad Internet start rubbing their nefarious palms together, I would like to stress that my husband, cats and half-dozen hummingbird pals remain to hold down the fort, that roofers are diligently working on our fort, and that we really don’t have great shit to steal. Hell, we don’t even have cable. We’re boring people who like books, musical instruments and actual, physical music CDs.
I admit I’ve been absent from blogging for a variety of reasons. I still write; after all, I’m the Henge Happenings editor. Just the other day, I wrote a lengthy article on Áine the Sun Goddess that has been on my mind for well nigh six months. I’ll get around to cross-posting it eventually.
Blogging, though, serves a purpose as raw material and a place to virtually ink my thoughts. With my husband’s encouragement, I think I will try to blog at least once on a weeknight. That way, the “I’m too busy on summer weekends” excuse doesn’t come into play.
My thoughts this morning are on the inherent strangeness of travel. Truth be told, I don’t really like hopping on planes and uprooting myself, which is the true underlying reason as to why we’ve never gone to Tuscany with my mother, to India, to Kildare. That, and I’m wretchedly cheap (see “no great shit to steal” comment above). I suppose I could offer some bullshit astrological justifications for my character, but I think it comes from my solidly working-class upbringing where summers were joyously — and frugally — spent on the Jersey Shore.
That being said, I’m usually quite glad to have gone through the travel experience. I like seeing, doing and experiencing; I just don’t like being in motion as I do it. In a way, it’s a sentiment natural to earthly creatures. My cats also hate traveling with a hissing, spitting passion, as do many wild creatures, unless they’re the migrating kind. Even then, travel is done only in season.
Most of our ancestors likely never traveled far, particularly if they were bound to farms and homesteads. Exceptions abound, of course: when the going gets tough, the tough get going on steamships, in covered wagons, on horseback across the steppe. Drought and famine, economic hardship, being unable to inherit — all of these are reasons to uproot, take flight, move on. Very few likely did it for the hell of it. Pilgrimages were done for weighty matters of the soul and presented stark dangers, even today.
Such a grounded life, though, dates back to the founding of agriculture. Hunting and gathering peoples have no qualms about moving on, and neither do herders — both of whom were regarded with suspicion by the farmers. And in the time of official boundaries and papers, this suspicion has, if anything, grown harder and harsher: witness attempts by nations to force their nomadic peoples to settle, to abandon lives and livelihood, to live in poverty on reservations and in ghettos. Witness our longstanding cultural hatred of “gypsies” — both the Rom and the non-ethnic hippie kind. Farming mindsets and prejudices have won out and are still going strong.
So, today I will leave you with one of my favorite songs: “Traveller’s Prayer” by the late John Renbourn, based on the Carmina Gadelica: