Some days living in another country is hard. It’s like I have one foot rooted in the West Coast of Scotland and the other in the Appalachians. My decision was one of choice and I wasn’t forceably moved with half my family dying on the grueling boat ride here but still for me in my life it’s hard to be separated by such vast distances from family and friends. Days that start out feeling like this kinds take a downward spiral. I feed into it heart and soul as it’s got so much depth, there’s numerous friends to miss, family of course, an old life and of course the very landscape itself.
Yet yesterday I managed not to get sucked into the whirlpool – like the great swirling waters of Corryvrecken where the Cailleach washes her plaid at this time of year, shakes it dry and throws it over the landscape of Scotland. Rather than getting submerged in those waters I sat in the sun and watched the birds feed as I drank my coffee. As we watched the already peaked fall leaves we decided to climb high and turned to Mount Mitchell.
Needle felted Rowan Ogham (Celtic tree alphabet)
The foliage thinned out as we gained altitude and I was so cheered by the gleaming red berries of the mountain Rowans (American Mountain Ash). Amazingly they were clustered together where i Scotland they are mainly solitary. They can’t help but cheer you up with their brightness and that the very same tree grows in Scotland. Just the sight of those bright red berries lifts your emotions, letting go of stress allowing a grounding, a healing and inner strength.
So amidst the photo taking and the bustle at the Mitchell view platform I found a few seconds silence, breathing in the mountain hair as I looked out of the ribbons of silhouetted mountain chains in these the most ancient on the planet.
I sent roots down through the soles of my feet, green curling roots digging down, down into the very hearts of the mountains and up, up bubbled the rejuvenating energy for the vast reserves of the planet, walking slowly down in silence one foot after another I felt a peace I hadn’t experienced in days.
And so i sat amoungst the Witchin trees, the Rowans, took a sprig of berries while giving thanks. This is a magical tree and spells were recorded on rowans staffs. The Druids honoured the Rowan, planting trees to protect stone circles and the ley lines which are linked to them. Here as we cycle twards all Hallows people would wear Rowans speigs into a hat, or clothes or make a necklace from dried berries so not to be transported to the land of faerie!
The bright red berries are collected by Druids and other in magical brews with mushrooms and herbs so to open he pathways to the Otherworlds within themselves. Yet they knew the toxicity levels and intimately knew the actions of such ingredients and the importance of how to ground themselves after such workings, to earth themselves.
And so with the help of Rowan I become grounded again and a thanks to the visitation of the apparition of Byron Ballard hand on one hip, the other pointing down…and ground, and ground!