I think of Paganism as a walk in the woods. This may stem from my role as Laura from Little House in the Big Woods in grade school. The area in which I live was historically forest as well so it is fairly easy for me to find an area for a walk in the woods. The woods have always held a special place in my soul. My grandfather bought a wheat field outside of town when he got back from World War II. He built a house and planted trees and by the time I came along, it was seven acres of woods and paths and raspberry bushes and large gardens and a conservatory, which to anyone else would be called a greenhouse. I learned so much running around those seven acres as a kid.
Paganism also holds onto my soul. I find Awe, Wonder, and Magic in Nature and the natural world. I find peace in recognizing Nature’s seasons with the 8 sabbats or holidays. I have been reading and planning these recognitions for the past few years and this year I am determined to recognize them with some action besides planning.
Paganism is hard to describe. The beauty of it is that we can all decide what it means to us and for us. This is also the hardest part. Pagan paths require us to sit and reflect what we want out of life and what Nature and her seasons mean to us, and how we want to recognize those changes.
I choose to find Awe in Nature. I get up before sunrise so I can watch it. I watch sunsets. I love to look at the view of the neighborhood pond. I love to spend time in Nature and love hiking, probably more than my husband. This bleeds in to living more intentionally, mindfully, and sustainably. It all rolls into one.
To me, paganism is setting aside time to burn Yule logs, dance around a Beltane bonfire, set a New Moon intention; and also using zero-waste strategies, growing and preserving your own food, eating seasonally; and also being present in the moment, doing things on purpose, being grateful for my life and getting rid of anything that does not serve and support the life I am trying to build. All of these ideas and the actions behind them are spiritual acts to me.
I think I will probably spend the rest of my life reevaluating what pagansim is and what it means. I do know that nothing resets your soul quite like a walk in the woods.