I was born in the mountains -- Boulder Community Hospital -- and carried home in my mother's arms to a home with a picture window onto Pikes Peak. And so it's no wonder that, to me, the mountains, any mountains, have always felt like home. I live in Washington, D.C., as close to the coast as to the mountains, and lots of my work involves LA, again, as close to the coast as to the mountains. Yet, even when I'm in LA, I'd rather head for the hills than head on down to the coast.
This weekend, Son, DiL, G/Son and I made the two-hour trip up to Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, the closest mountains that there are to Washington, D.C. I love those goddamn mountains. It's been such a hot summer and fall that few leaves have started to change, although there were a few red, red maple trees. All the rest of the trees, and there are a lot of trees there, are still a dull, late-summer green. But the mineral water still bubbles out of the original stream and the woodpeckers are still huge and the trees are still so thick, in spots, that no sun makes its way to the valley floor. Son took us on a brilliant detour through some of the high hills with a lovely view of the small town in the valley and of the wonderful next mountain over. Views like that are a huge part of what I love about mountains.
I'm a witch and a huge part of what I "do" is to ground -- in the Starhawk sense of the word. And all that I can tell you is that when I ground in Berkeley Springs, I sense both a deep beauty and peace and a deep, deep sorrow. The sorrow comes from the Celts who came here and allowed their lives to be ruined. You can see them everywhere in this small, sad town. It surprises me that this much sorrow can pile up in, say, a mere 300 years. But it's everywhere in the ground when you sink your roots down; it's everywhere.
I think sometimes about buying a patch of mountain in West Virginia, probably near Berkely Springs. I could get cell phone reception and log onto wireless with my cell phone, this time, unlike five years ago when I could only get cell phone reception at the very top of the mountains. There are, it's clear to me, witches up here. Could I ever move? Maybe not. I'm really a city witch.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."