My Sylvan Smack-Down


My friend Hecate was been posting chapters of a piece she’s writing, and I’ve been following her posts. Now, Hecate has always been one to encourage a relationship with one’s landbase, and, having one or two of them (I suspect the one here is a handy substitute for the one there, or the one as yet unknown, but that’s another topic), I listen to what she says about that. Lately, her protagonist in this series of posts has sought out a piece of earth and spoke to it, saying

“Greetings, red clay”…”I am Gemmy, the Witch of this place. I want to be in right relationship with you.”


I liked that line. And it kind of stuck in my thoughts as I hiked my favorite bit of woods earlier this week. Now, there is a spot on the trail that seems a little bit magical, if you’re prone to that kind of thinking. The sounds of the city and the autobahn drop way down, and it seems a little darker there, very quiet and still. You have to climb up a short steep mess of tree roots and stone, and then you’re in it.

So when I reached this point, being the theatrical child that I am, and always trying on different roles for practice, I tried out Gemmy’s line. “Greetings, Woods, I am the witch of this place. I want to be in right relationship with you.”

The woods, not used to humans speaking to it, looked up from what it had been doing, let the words sink in for a second, and then broke into laughter.

Girlfriend, ain’t nobody the anything of us.


If you want to be helpful, pick up this plastic shit that’s lying everywhere!


So that’s what I did today. And I filled an entire doggy bag with little bits of plastic, paper and metal packaging. It seems that that’s still my task on the Paschberg. The woods has commanded it.

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3 Responses to My Sylvan Smack-Down

  1. Carlisle says:

    Good for you!

  2. ellroon says:

    Laughter filled with gratitude then. Those woods have seen much through the centuries…

  3. paschberg says:

    “Der Wald steht schwarz und schweiget.”
    But now the trees are happy to have clean feet again 🙂

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