As we move from winter to spring here in the Puget Sound, myself, as well as many other Pagans find ourselves searching for a renewed connection to the Goddess. For some this renewal comes with ease, however, many of us are finding this harder and harder to do each year. Many of you know that I moved here from Nev. three years ago and am not used to the rain, clouds, and general lack of sun. Due to this I find that I spend far more time indoors here than I ever have in my life and over the last three years I have developed a craving for a connection to our earth that I am yet to satisfy. Moving into spring my craving has increased to a level that is difficult to contain. In response I recently took a drive to Point Defiance.
My trip to the park was in the early morning hours and I hoped to have the park to myself for the most part. With such a large park and it being so early in the morning I thought that I would have little to no trouble connecting to the Goddess and although I left with a re-energized feeling, I do not feel that I left with any renewed connection to the earth. In fact, I may have actually left with a touch of disgust over the over concentration and population of the park, our area and really the entire planet.
While driving through I was stuck by the beauty of the sunlight coming through the trees and also struck by the sight of dozens of cars lining the parking area near the rose gardens that were completely void of flowers and looked as though it was under construction. Down by the boat docks, the parking lot has a dozen or so cars in it and I was not able to find a spot to just stand and absorb the view of the Puget Sound still at high tide with out people around me. Many people do not realize how difficult it is to reconnect with the earth with other people and human distractions around them.
Back in my car I drove farther into the park to try and find my place of silence in the woods to reconnect to the Goddess. I came across a small heard of does and my excitement grew. Pausing to allow them to all safely cross and take a few pictures through the window. Slowly I pulled forward and watched them walk down the little over grown deer trail. Quickly I planed to drive a short ways away and find a place to park and wonder down a trail and make my reconnection. My heart quickly sank as I tried to find an appropriate place to pull over to take a little walk.
Any place where there was a spot to pull over was also accompanied by fully groomed trailheads and other cars. Not that I could not walk where I knew other people could be and still find my spot to reconnect to the Goddess but these well groomed trails, parking areas, the sound of cars passing through, and the sight of multiple people in the area actually horrified me a bit. This is, I thought, an area that is supposed to be an area for residents of our area to enjoy nature. How can you enjoy nature when there is nothing natural about it?
When I enter a wooded area to pray, connect with the Goddess, be silent, experience the elements or other such things, I expect to get dirty, walk in mud or dirt, get hit in the face with tree limbs that I didn’t see, get scratched by a tree branch, trip over a rock and other common things that you do while walking on a trail in a wooded area. Unless I followed the deer down their trail, this would not be possible any place in the park. Continuing down the road I searched for any little pull out, parking area or wide spot to park for a moment where there was not either a ton of people or completely groomed walking trail that in itself has lost its own connection to the earth. The park no longer felt like a natural place and felt fake and man made.
So, when living in Tacoma, where does a Pagan go to connect with the Goddess?
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