As Penny suggests, I am incorporating contemplative walking into my everyday routine, heading out to walk the same track each morning (taking Sundays off for Circle gathering). I am befriending the trees I see each day, watching them change through the autumn, and noticing the plants around me, some of which have run to seed, and some of which are sprouting anew in the cool rains, discovering plants new to me along the way, such as black nightshade, which I’ve just noted growing in my hedgerow in my yard as well. I have seen the geese out nearly every morning, doing their training for their upcoming marathon flight. I watch the clouds thread their patterns through the sky.
I begin each walk now with my Celtic Cross Mandala meditation, honoring each direction and its element in turn, both in the world and within my body. I have changed the last part for the Center about the Holy Spirit to a reverence for Neart, the vital life force, or magical current, which runs through and vitalizes all living things, including the land, and envision this energy radiating out from the center of all living things, especially the land, as well as myself, asking that it bless all things as it does so.
Also per Penny’s suggestion, I am creating deeper relationships with the trees and other beings I encounter by bringing a bag of birdseed with me and making offerings when moved to do so. I have done this as a thank you for fallen leaves and acorns I’ve collected, for trees who shared their energy with me, with birds whose songs I enjoyed, and once so far in gratitude to a crow and a sweet gum tree, for a message received.
The last bit so far which I am including from Penny’s suggestions is greeting the trees I see which are part of the Ogham with their Ogham names, to help me associate and remember them. So far Luis and Duir are the easiest for me to recall and the ones I see every day. I will try to add as I go- must learn Hawthorn and Vine as well, for I see those daily, too.
This practice is becoming a central and grounding practice of my Druidry, and as Penny notes, can include so many wonderfully meaningful layers through such a simple and discreet exercise.