“Do you see this hill? It is named ‘The Lady’s Seat’ because
this is the place she sat to rest after raising
the warriors to fight in the battle
of this plain, here, where we are standing.”
So spoke my guide as we wandered
the land that had known his grandmothers’
grandmothers, and theirs before them.
Every rise had a name and a story, a piece
of history that touched him and his kin.
What is it like to see your history scribbled on every
hill and river you have ever known? To know
you belong to this land, that your feet
trace the same path pioneered by your people?
To live where you bear the name of every hill,
not the other way round.

Transplants on stolen soil, can our roots ever
find that depth or certainty? Or must we always
echo the lands of our grandmothers’
grandmothers? How long before this is home?
And what stories are we writing over?


Samhain Blessings

A wet restless wind came in with the dawn, window rattling, leaf scattering, whispering under the edge of hearing. Clouds rolled along the sky all day, threatening, but the rain stayed in them, the wind damp with promise. As the sun slid toward the horizon and the sky began to relinquish its light, the rain finally came, thick and heavy with the weight of the day, the weight on the year’s hinge.

When the rain had washed away the remainder of the light, I sat down at my shrine to celebrate the eve. Bread, fresh-baked and sweet scented incense and oils for the spirits at my shrine: my ancestors, the spirits of this place and the Otherworld, the gods who have called me to their work. Praise for those who stand on the hinge of Here and There, Oirbsen Mac Alloth, son of the sea and Anu Buanan, the rich queen of many crops. Wine for the cup of blessing and prayers for those who have gone before, including my grandfather, just started on that journey. An omen of three names to guide me on my way and thanks, and thanks, and thanks for all that has been given me, including the work before me.

Then sleep, the wine warm in my belly, the incense sweet in my lungs, the wind and its riders rattling the trees, and a visit with my grandmother, many years gone to the grave, who whispered to me small secrets she has learned, reminding me that she is always present, even when the veils lie heavy between us.

A blessing on the day, and all who mark it.