Its amazing how the presence of our young foster guest lingers everywhere. There are the expected discoveries: tiny socks buried in mud where she played, baby bottles gradually migrating to the back of the cabinet. There is also something more intangible, like a ghost, that filters through every place we spend time.
“Olivia is still connected to my heart Papa,” Tadg said to me yesterday. Indeed, she’s still connected to all our hearts. Her new foster parents wrote to let us know she’s settling in well. I know she’ll have a great life with that family, if her own parents are unable to satisfy the courts that they’re fit.
I’m not being romantic when I say she’ll always be a part of this land. She is in the soil, integral to its perspiration and respiration. The plants, chickens and other critters know her. For a time, she belonged with us.
|Totally Awesome Amelia|
Belonging matters so much to us, yet our modern life thwarts it at every turn. The idea of staying put in the town where I grew up never even occurred to me. I planned on leaving at 14, who knows if I would have gotten farther than the bus station if my Dad hadn’t stopped me. I remember feeling shocked when friends told me they were staying. I ran.
Our fosterling was removed from her home only after a significant crisis, but once cut lose she may float from home to home if all doesn’t go well. Our culture is good at making people mobile.
One of the worlds greatest adventurers, Amelia Earhart, was born 115 years ago today. I have a feeling her plane, whatever plane she was working with at the time, was her true home. She was probably much more afraid of staying put too long, than getting lost in the world. One of the unique things about being human, is our ability to belong everywhere and nowhere. Imagine what our world would be like if nobody ever left home. Perhaps our little Amelia will do alright, even if she never belongs any one place. She could become expert at belonging every place she goes.
So much of my shamanic work comes back to place these days. How much can you let a place dig itself into you? How much will it trust you to take you in? I have a feeling the spirits here have a much higher test when it comes to judging who belongs here. Its more than time, its more than investment, it may even be more than blood. Trust.
The spirit of the land reminds me to include the Oran Mór when thinking about belonging. The universe has its song, so does every place. We belong someplace when we become a part of its song, when we are integral to its music. But places really don’t have solid borders. The Oran Mór begins here but extends everywhere.
Our dog Bella dances in the high grass, chasing lizards as I write. She has made herself a part of this place, through her play and protection. She claims the land and lets the land claim her with the ease born of a loyal and true dog heart. She exudes love of this place. Trust.
If we stay here while my son grows up he will know he belongs here in every cell of his body, he will claim it and it will claim him. Belonging is best woven in childhood, when our spirits know no bounds. For some that must be when wandering is born as well.
I don’t want to be a visitor every place I live, but perhaps thats my destiny, since I walked away from my birth home. I hold out hope for a rightful place to lay my bones when my story ends. I know just where I’ll lay Bella when she passes, many years from now. She will be up in the oaks, at the edge of our property, home, where she belongs.
Who knows where I’ll be, maybe I’ll lay near Amelia, lost to all but the universe. There is a sweetness in that idea. I imagine Amelia not dead at all, but still flying, kept eternally young by the bliss she feels when she flies. It must feel awesome to belong everywhere.