Through Field and Fen

By June 11, 2012 Storytelling 19 Comments

The first field

Where have I been? I have been on my parents’ 83-acre farm in rural Ontario on a dirt road off a dirt road far away from the light and sound pollution of civilization.  In the mornings I sat on the big wrap-around porch with my tea staring at the lush green rolling hills, trees, fields, and garden with butterflies, dragonflies, and bees swarming all around me. During the days we went on adventures finding rivers, lakes, forest paths, chip wagons, and dodging turtles and frogs crossing the dirt roads from the marshes. At night the fields were full of fireflies and the fen was filled with the beautiful chorus of the frogs – like fairy music in the distant groves. I dreamed many dreams under the influence of the full moon.

I tried to sleep under the light of the strawberry moon in my window, but the cicadas kept buzzing and tapping at the pane, trying to get in. The same thing happened to me when I visited the farm last June, but this time absent the large white moths. Cicadas are supposed to be diurnal, not nocturnal, and the local ones are not supposed to be golden or that big, but there they were in the moonlight at my window – again. In Greek mythology they are sacred to the Huntress and are her messengers and also of her brother, the seer Apollo. They are creatures of intoxication and spiritual ecstasy, but also of rebirth and transformation. After my last encounter with cicadas, my life went through massive transformative events just months later. While visiting I dreamed of cocoons and wings. It seems I am being reminded of the message of last year – that transformation and initiation are ever ongoing. I may have made it through one very hard one last year, but there are still many more to come – yay!

My old childhood cat passed away this spring and is buried on the farm, but the two black dogs were still happy and healthy and followed me everywhere I went, gleeful to get into mischief in the fields and forests. I walked alone, just me and the dogs, through the three huge hay fields to the deep forest full of deer, wild turkeys, grouse, woodpeckers, and rumours of a lone wolf.  I saw many medicinal and magical plants, but didn’t have enough time to harvest any. I ate wild strawberries and sorrel. I found black elderberries and wild currants ripening, but not yet ready. The maple sugar shack was empty, waiting for its season of late winter.

The Ash grove in the fen

The most awe-inspiring part of the farm for me is the grove of Ash trees in the muddy marsh right behind the house. It is greener than green with the white bark of the trees looking like mist mixed with the sunlight through filtered leaves. It is hushed, like a sacred place should be and humans can’t wander into it without getting stuck in the deep mud so it is untouched. I saw two great herons fly out of it towards the pond on the other end of the farm. I had never heard herons before, now I have. A sign I am following the right path, juggling and balancing many skills and many passions to make my living. So many signs from nature this visit. Nature is so much louder and clearer when it is untouched.

My parent’s spoiled me and cooked for me. We went to see Snow White and the Huntsman (which I adored) and the day before my flight I went with my mother and grandmother to see the Van Gogh exhibit at the national gallery in Ottawa. Now that I’ve seen Van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, and the Group of Seven’s paintings before my eyes, I can died happy as an artist. I am now back among my mountains, inspired and eager to craft, write, and illustrate.

Join the discussion 19 Comments

  • Hi Sarah, what a beautiful land your living in, and enjoying it the way you are, you are blessed. I was surprised about what you said about the Herons, we have lots and lots of them here and i always say the are the Crane’s of Holland and they bring luck. But most people here don’t like them, they shit everywhere and eat little baby ducks they say. And thats true also but stil.
    When i did a workshop to see if i am a medium,(sounds silly) i drove home, it was a long drive and just before i drove up the bridge before my town. Two Herons came flying down from the sky and i looked mesmerised about what they where going to do. It looked like they where going to land right in front of me on the road. But i could not believe that, i stepped on the break and as i did i looked right in the eye of the first en largest Heron. It was amazing i new it mend something, but i didn’t know what. Just a sec before touching the ground they flew up again, leaving me feeling excited and kind of special in a way.
    Now i read how you interped your account with a Heron and i now that it is true, Sind my encounter my live has changed so quickly and i have learned so much about myself and i realy believe i belong to mother earth. I found so many wonders in nature and things about the ability from the human race, what we can do with our mind is amazing. I love reading your blogs, you are a window into an other live for me. The things you do are so special, i hope to do ( some of them) too one day. But in Holland witchcraft doesn’t get practised that way. But wat i wanted to say was, thank you for sharing your knowledge, it touches more hearts than you know.

    • Yvonne says:

      Hi Debby, nice to see another Dutch witch reading this!

      Thanks Sarah, for your very inspiring blog, I’ve been going through your posts these last months and I love your craftings and writings. Also, your dogs are beautiful :)

  • Syne says:

    Oh Sarah, your pictures… So green, so full of life, so wild… <3
    Except the size of the landscapes, I'm surprised how it looks like some places we have in Switzerland : same wild feelings, same green… However, here everything's small while in your country it's so large and big and magnificent (the only big things we have are the mountains^^)

  • Tallasheena says:

    So green, so gorgeous!

  • Keith Campbell says:

    Beautiful. :-)

  • Steve Tanner says:

    The parent’s home is a sanctuary for many. Your parent’s farm appears to exceed that because its inherent nature appears relatively undisturbed and is sufficiently remote. Having followed your blog for awhile, I suspect this place has great bearing on the person you have become. You are very fortunate.

    • It is indeed a sanctuary, but they’ve only had it for five years so I didn’t have the pleasure of growing up there. I was raised here in BC thousands of miles away, but wouldn’t trade the mountains, tall cedars, and fern and moss forests for anything.

  • Nyktypolos says:

    Very lovely, I love the photos. So much green!!!! Blessings.

  • It looks idyllic!!

  • judith says:

    Beautiful photos 8)
    Maybe the next visit you’ll have time to visit my tiny urban farm as well….

    • I was completely hogged this time by family and was only in Ottawa for an hour this trip. I hope to come back this winter for longer so I can visit all my friends too – including your awesome self 😉

  • fannyfae says:

    I love your photographs, Sarah! Your parents’ farm reminds me of our woods here in Iowa – particularly the barn.

    Also, thank you for the stamp of approval on “Snow White and the Huntsman” Now I know that. I am really wanting to go see it.

  • Miaërowyn says:

    Gorgeous pictures! I am excited to get back to Ontario to see the end of summer and beginning of fall; it will be my first time back since moving out here two summers ago. I have missed the land there, the forests, and of course, my family and friends :)
    Thanks for the sneak peak at what I’m going back to 😉

  • NorAthan says:

    I have been hovering about quietly for a while now and I have to say I look forward to your blogs. You are very inspiring and your parents place is beautiful.
    I hope one day to start an occult shop of my own and have a beautiful sanctuary in the rocky mountains. Keep inspiring, it really helps a poor starving artist like me believe I can make it some day.

  • Noxael says:

    I love the farm! Thank’s for sharing.

  • Matt says:

    The farm’s beautiful, great pictures; looking forward to more posts and artwork in your freshly inspired state!

  • -Ran says:

    are you going to be around the first week of july?

  • Leejones says:

    When I was reading this, I came to the part about the grove of ash trees and I had to share this with you. I just read about a grove of Aspen trees in Utah that are all connected at the roots and are genetically identical. While I don’t thing that ash trees are clonal colonies like this (though I could be wrong) I did find that trees will communicate to others of their species through the roots. Because I can even feel the touch of the divine through the photo (though it would obviously be diluted), I feel confident in assuming that this grove is one of those natural sacred places, and that that grove of ash trees was looking into you as you were looking into it. It seems it was pleased (judging by the herons). It might be fun to try to connect with the trees next time you are there. Just a thought, as I’m sure that grove would have some interesting things to tell you.