Posted by: BART Station Bard | February 23, 2016

Find Us A Place

Druidcenter

Do Druids need a community center? This question comes up fairly often. I’ve definitely thought of it myself. There’s an empty church nestled next to the largest trees in the neighborhood that has drawn my eye since the services stopped many years ago. What a perfect place! An old Craftsman style building, a five bedroom house and a large open space for the church. A wild front yard with an apple tree next to the gate and a large swath of land behind running the length of the block. Ah, dreams…

The idea is all that I need, really, and maybe that is the whole point of the Universe showing it to me. In a neighborhood of Christian churches, a Druid’s nest, among the trees, would add something interesting to this place and just maybe people would be moved to learn about our green neighbors and love them as I do. There is a ginkgo just down the street, for example, the buds on its myriad branches green and swelling in the sunlight. In a couple of months it will be lush and green, and in Fall, its leaves will turn yellow and drop in a circle of gold on the street and the sidewalk. I’ll stand within them for a moment and thank it for the gift of soil it is trying to give.

Down the street is a huge old pin oak that stays green and shady year round. It drops a wealth of acorns each year, more than the neighborhood squirrels can eat and I am always sorry that my hands are too screwed up to process them into meal and flour any more. I wish for a community then, a lot of us sitting, talking, singing as we do the work to honor the gift the trees so freely give.

A few blocks away there are olive trees, lining 10th Avenue. Their fruit falls on asphalt, their gnarled, psychedelically shaped trunks showing how long they have been growing here and watching the neighborhood grow and change. Victorian mansions giving way to Craftsmen, who fell to be replaced by crackerbox apartments. Some of each remain, and the white faces gave way to brown, who gave way to yellow, and now we are beginning to whiten again. Again, some of each remain, and I hope that this time we will become as different and interesting as the trees of this place, the indigenous oaks and redwoods interspersed with birches, aspens and–palms? The queen of hawthorns crowns a hill a couple of blocks from the olives. A row of them marches down East 19th towards the Monterey pines of Lake Merritt.

My community surrounds me. We don’t need a community center when we could, if we so chose, gather around these trees, and meet on the lawns of Lake Merritt. Still, it would be so nice to have that building, open a neighborhood coffeehouse, a library, and have a large space for rituals, classes, and bardic circles. I envision the Wild Druid Collective living there, caring for the building and the land, creating a garden and a labyrinth in the back, pulling up the concrete of the parking lot and returning that hilltop to the earth. Let the rain soak in and the sunlight bathe the soil that would be once again able to live and breathe in the open air, like the rest of us. Let us serve it, as it serves us, as do the trees all over this neighborhood, the trees that I hope my neighbors visit, as I do. Because, really, we have our community all around us.

We don’t need to follow the Abrahamic model of making a box for God’s people to visit Him in every week, then go about their business. The Druids of old, however, took learning wherever they could find it. When the raiders came, they learned to write and left us riches, knowledge that should have been carried on the breath put into cold storage, as well as growing vinelike around the Christian tree that had been planted, changing it, creating a different beauty until the Church of Rome had to hold the Synod of Whitby to bring its errant child to heel. The calendar was forcibly yanked back into line, and the priests no longer allowed to tonsure themselves like Druids, ear to ear instead of the crown of the head. To stand our ground in this land, perhaps a page from their book would help, a place to gather, a box that we could fill with beauty and what is needful, while letting the Land around us also be the sacred place that it has always been.

Advertisements

Responses

  1. nice to have a safe place
    to feel connected :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Do we really need four walls? Reblogged from BART Station Bard […]

    Like

    • That is the question, isn’t it? A couple of weeks ago, when we had a pack ‘o Druids crammed into my tiny house on cots and floors, Id definitely say it would have been nice. When we needed a place for one of said Druids to hold a talk and were forced to do it by invitation only because the only place we could use could only seat 25, yeah, we could have used a great hall. When we did a public ritual, hey the local park worked out just fine. Halls can be hired, of course, but they aren’t cheap…

      Thanks for the reblog–

      Like

  3. Thought provoking post. Beautiful photos and narrative.

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

hecatedemeter

Undermining the Patriarchy Every Chance I Get. And I Get a Lot of Chances (Copyright Preserved)

The Weekly Druid

Comentary from the Grove

Astro Butterfly

Astrology insights to help you uncover your soul's mission in this life

Tinkinswood Archaeology

NEOLITHIC WALES | Y NEOLITHIG YNG NGHYMRU

blank on one side

random musings by Alder Burns

Indivisible East Bay

An Indivisible group based in San Francisco's East Bay

Crown of Stars

We are Infinite

A Druids Journey

Musings of a modern druid as he walks the path

in parentheses

new modernism

The Hopeless Vendetta

News for the residents of Hopeless, Maine.

Paths I Walk

By Paula Cas

Paul Newman Music

Sheffield Musician - Singer & Guitarist

Love of Life

The land speaks to all of us.

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Since 2014, Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs Has Become The Forefront In Herbal Knowledge.

Dancing Hare

Music in the pagan and druid path

DRUID WAYS

Celtic Shamanism, Meditation & Counselling

anita dawes and jaye marie

words, glorious words...

%d bloggers like this: