Now that the temperatures are starting to rise (slightly) and there is more daylight in the evening, I’ve started to take Bee out for walks with me. We don’t go very far, but it’s nice to get outside and share that with her. It’s how we saw our first robins and red-winged blackbirds of the year. I keep pointing them out to her, naming their calls, and delighting in how she smiles as they fly. I’ve also started to name trees as we pass them. So much of what I learned about the natural world came from family members who did the same with me as a child. It may seem mundane to some, but it’s really the transmission of a sacred knowledge. I would never claim expertise in the matter, but it always amazes me how few people can identify some of the most common song birds, trees, or wildflowers. Truly, a person’s first steps into the realm of any Earth-Centered spirituality should be learning the names of their local flora and fauna.
This past weekend, my husband and I took Bee into the forest with us for the first time. The look on her face as she gazed up at the vaulted canopy of hemlock trees made my heart swell. I hope she always has that wonder and awe. I made offerings to the local spirits but did not feel anything particularly numinous in the forest on that occasion, but the experience with my little family was deeply spiritual as it was. It was a rite of passage, really. While Bee may never embrace the path of the Druid, or any Pagan path, I hope that I am passing on a deep love and respect for the Earth Mother and Nature Spirits.