Of late, I have been missing where I grew up. This can be both a good thing, and a very dangerous thing. To be honest, I don’t want to live in the town I grew up. I don’t want to raise my children there. It’s an oversized country town that doesn’t know who it is; attempting to be elements of Melbourne; destroying the old to rebuild with new, overpriced bits and pieces, and losing character and identity. I’m more than happy to move to the out lying towns, but never within it’s borders.
As a good thing, it shows that I am missing a sense of familiarity, and my family and friends. As a dangerous thing, it shows that my mind is romanticising the town; concentrating on a small selection of places that I like, and miss, and choosing to ignore everything else that made me glad we left. I miss the river, the walks, the bay. I don’t miss having abuse hurled at me from cars as I walk to the supermarket by bogans just as large as me while they’re holding a can of Bundy and Coke; seeing someone I know each time I go out (especially when I’m in daggy clothes); or having limited options for a weekend because having grown up there, I’ve seen that and been there. I don’t miss the memories that come flooding back when I walk along the bike path, trying to find our family dog who’s been gone for years; or other random horrible childhood memories which I delightfully supressed and which only chose to resurface in the last five or so years.
I do miss the water. I think that is the main thing of missing my home town. The bay, the smell of seaweed wafting through the car windows as you drive along Western Beach Road. And Anglesea, oh how I miss thee. The drive down along the Great Ocean Road, overtaking cars who are doing twenty under the limit. The river, widening to the sea – showing how we are all connected. I miss standing on the sandy shore, arms raised high beneath a full moon and welcoming in the Goddess into my body, as the waves crash against my legs and my feet sink into the sand below. I miss the wild white horses, the waves calling me in further, further, joining them as my soul once craved, knowing that I was once a Selkie.
Perhaps part of me chose to forget, but I only realised this morning. The last time I was at Anglesea, I performed a beautiful ritual. It was early morning, the sun was beating down on my face while people walked up and down the beach with their dogs. The tide was out, children were running about squealing and chasing seagulls. I ensured that a part of me will forever be a part of Anglesea. Within its land, its sky and its sea, I am there. I am soaring in its sky, I am swimming in its sea, and I am still sitting on its shore staring off into the distance. I have forgotten how to tune into it. I am there, I just need to call out to that part of me, waiting on the sand, watching the waves.
The Ocean Witch within is still there – she did not come with me to Sydney. She wanders the beach, toes in the sand, running in and out of the changing tides. I am holding onto an element of myself that I need to let go, which I did let go on that beach. I never realised that I am still in mourning from that day.
I am different now, I am different here. I cannot call myself an Ocean Witch any longer, as I no longer work with the ocean. I am land locked, and by being so, I have connected with this land like I have nowhere else. I feel its pulse beneath this concrete jungle, beneath the train tracks on the early morning commute into work. I see the Green Man in the trees that line the inner city suburban streets. I feel the magick of the changing of the seasons, more than I ever did where I grew up.
I’m only now understanding that everything I’m feeling is ok. It’s not a bad thing – it just means that I am progressing, I am learning, I am evolving. I am where I am meant to be right now. I am meant to be here in Sydney, learning these lessons. Here, with such a strong Pagan community, I am growing. I am growing as an individual, and as a Pagan. It is terrifying and magickal, all at the same time. I have no idea if I’m ready, but I don’t think I have much of a choice. A change is happening, and it’s a change that needs to happen.
If you have read my blog before, you will know that titles mean nothing to me. I am what I am, and now I realise who I am. (I do like the name “Nature Spirit” though, as that sums me up quite well!)
Many friends back where I grew up, if they are reading this, I’m sure won’t like elements of what I have written. Nor will they like this – I doubt I could ever move back there; at least not yet. I’m not ready to go back. I have so much more exploring to do. One day, maybe, in the years to come, when our children are grown up and we’ve retired. Right now, I am where I’m meant to be. I am meant to be in Sydney, connecting with the energies of this land that I love. It has taken me a long time to reach this point. This is the second time I’ve lived in Sydney, and the first where I’ve felt truly comfortably in my surroundings.
Deep within the still centre of my being.
May I find peace.
Silently within the quiet of the Grove,
May I share peace.
Gently and powerfully, within the greater circle of mankind,
May I radiate peace.
I am at peace. With who I am, with where I am, and with what I am set to become.