Monday, October 08, 2007

Almost Heaven

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.


ninjanurse said...

when i first read starhawk, i felt like the man in the fairy tale who had one leg bound up behind him, an starhawk showed me how to put both feet one the ground.

pookapooka said...

I'm a lucky guy. I lucked into music as a career. I lucked into living in Honolulu where aloha still lives. I experience it every day. I lucked into a deeply abiding marriage (37 years and counting).

One of the little pieces of luck is that I can reach the Ko'olau Mountains in about 10 minutes from my home and work. Since I'm my own boss, if there's nothing particularly pressing, I can hop a bus and hike into those heavenly tropical hills. I can''t begin to describe how these excursions recharge me.

Anne Johnson said...

I don't discount your feeling that Berkeley Springs has sadness, but I feel rather that it's a strongly spiritual place set in a troubled state (West Virginia). Back at the turn of the century, when that castle was built, B.S. was a social hub for the very wealthy. Ditto the years during and after the Revolutionary War. When I wrote a screenplay about it, I had a fantasy scene with the ghost of Jerry Garcia sitting there with his feet in the water.

Today some of the happiest people I know live in B.S. You can't get any more out there than Bibi, although she's kind of shy.

Speaking of Bibi, she will be at the fairy con both days. I will be at the fairy con both days. Nettle will be at the fairy con some time. Right now I'm going to write to the Monkey Man about it. Even my M-i-L is coming up from Balto. Heir and Spare will both be there on Saturday. Spare will probably come back with me on Sunday. Spare made her own gorgeous fairy dress. In between being bad and driving me crazy.

Email me for my cell if you decide to come. Can't house you cause of M-i-L, but on the train it's not a bad trip.