Oh Sidhe-it! – Chuck (Part 1)

It’s Beltane Eve. Many would think that the holy-day begins at midnight when May first officially starts. Well, yeah. I hearken to the ancient Celtic view of the day beginning at sundown the evening before. To them things began during the dark contemplative times and progressed to the light. Thus the year began with the dark half at what is now called Halloween, Samhain to us weirdo pagan types. The bright half begins at Beltane. Both times are considered potent with things both in balance and transition. The only real difference is Samhain has better PR going for it in the modern world.

I’m on a friend’s farm in the woods. There is a special tree there, an old tree. It is officially the oldest tree in the state, estimated at 600 years. It’s huge and twisted with a presence only something of that age and statue can attain. The first time I saw it I ran my hand along its bark and I was accused of “communing” with the old boy, sort of. The bark was extremely rough with deep fissures and cracks you could almost place your hand inside. One area is smooth which is strange. I never “felt” anything as I touched it, if there’s a spirit within, it didn’t make it’s presence known. Why should it? Though I’ve already lived longer than most people however when it was a seedling to it I am a baby by comparison, there’s no reason why it should concern itself with us brief and abrupt creatures.                   However, when I touched the smooth area, I found myself becoming emotional. I have no idea why. It made me decide that should the chance be there I would return and see if I could discern then why. Certainly there’s no better time than Beltane

The tree has huge roots that snake around like wooden pythons and any one of then would make a respectable trunk for a lesser tree of great age. As such, there are nitches set high enough for turning into “comfortable” seats. The cone I chose was near that smooth area on the bark as I settled in against the old Boy’s bulk and mass. The only thing I have with me is a lantern for helping me find my way in the dark later.  I just close my eyes and listen to the woods as the sun sinks below the horizon.  It can be amazing how distinct the sounds of the day and the sounds of the night can be. At times, like now, you hear both as one quiets and the other rises to take its place. They are equal but different. Day is active, night is more subdued and “contemplative”. With my eyes closed I can hear each more clearly as well as they transition.  If you’re not careful they can draw you away and you’ll lose yourself in them. Also the night noises, coming from unseen sources, make the mind want to fill in the blanks and the imagination can run wild. No wonder the modern religions, who gleaned the clergy from aristocratic city dwellers feared the dark woods. In doing so, they took the gods that governed then and turned them into various demons and devils. The “wicce”, wise women/mid-wives/etc. that dwelt intone with the land and its cycles became the modern “witches. For now though none of this matters as I just sit quietly and listening to the land at a time when even a city boy like me can feel its pulse. The root I am sitting on is becoming a bother and I open my eyes as I go to shift my position. That is when I see….Them.   To be continued in our next newsletter, our July–August issue.

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