Nature is the greatest focus of my Druidry. The reason I felt drawn to Druidry at all is that it seems to be one of the most explicitly nature-based Pagan paths out there. So I was very happy to learn that developing nature awareness is a key component of the ADF Dedicant Path. I spent the past week or so getting outdoors as much as possible and paying attention to what I could see and hear around me.
I’m very lucky in that I live close to some woods, and that I work in a beautiful location right next to a river, with large gardens and grounds to wander in. I’ve spent a good few hours this week walking in both locations. Walking itself has become a meditative practice, as I try to ignore distracting thoughts and simply become more aware of my surroundings.
So what have I noticed? As it is coming into Spring, I have seen the first signs of the new season. Snowdrops and aconites are emerging from the ground and some of the trees are starting to develop buds and catkins. I’ve noticed a lot more birds singing in the mornings, including robins, blackbirds, various tits and even a green woodpecker.
Down by the river, things are changing with the seasons too. The currents are stronger and the river is swollen with snowmelt and Spring rains. The Canada geese, our Winter visitors, are amassing along the banks in vast flocks, ready to make their long journey home now the cold of Winter is drawing to a close. Coots and moorhens are starting to gather reeds for their nests, and I even saw a water vole one day scurrying along the tangled bank.
I intend to keep up my nature awareness practice throughout my Dedicant Path work, as I feel it is important for any aspiring Druid to know the patterns of nature in their local landscape, and I look forward to seeing what changes the different seasons will bring.
The main course text, Our Own Druidry, also talks about nature awareness as being about finding out important facts about your local area: where your water comes from, where your waste goes, what the prevailing winds and native plant species are etc. I hope to cover these points in future weeks.