Saturday, May 10, 2014

J is for Jack in the Green

Jack, spirit of the woods, I look for you when I walk amongst the trees.   I scan the trees for your face, hoping to catch a glimpse of your leafy countenance.  I seek you out because I long to know you better.  I am a daughter who needs your guidance and wisdom.  

Jack, have we killed you or chased you from your home with our houses, our machinery, our pollution?  Or was that you who rustled the branches as I strolled past?   If you are trying to get my attention, I am listening.  Tell me what to do to make you strong again. 

I write these words for a planet that seems to be dying, for gods who seem to have been forgotten by so many.   Maybe I’ve read too much Tom Robbins (not possible), but what people refer to as the ‘old ways’ are fading into obscurity or gone all together.   For some of those ways, that’s a good thing, but for the reverence of nature and the changing of the seasons, the turning of the wheel, that’s not such a good thing. 
Sure, there are smatterings of people who wish to reclaim these traditions, but putting on a black cloak and a turkey platter-sized pentacle ain’t gonna do it.  Look at us.   Look at all of the non-renewable resources we are using up at an alarming rate.  Look at the changes in the environment: climate change and extinction of formerly endangered species just to name a couple.  And for what?  To build bigger cities to house more people who have no respect for nature.  We complain about wild animals invading “our” space, when it’s the other way around. 

Look at me.  Here I am, sitting on my fat ass after having driven to the store to buy supplies so I can go camping and “get back to nature” a bit.   I disgust myself sometimes.   I don’t recycle as much as I should.   I live half an hour away from my place of employment, and the bus schedule doesn’t match up with my schedule at all.  I smoke.  I don’t throw my butts on the ground or out the car window, but they do go in the trash.  I know there are many more examples that I’m not thinking about currently. 

What to do, then?   I have found some tips to help the planet, and I am happy to see that I do many of the things on the list such as not leaving the water run when I brush my teeth, taking short showers, and walking when I need to do some errands around town. 

I do not see this planet as a usable commodity.  Maybe I won’t be back after I die.  Maybe I will be reincarnated, who knows.   Even if I don’t have to live here after a while, other people will.  Your children. Their children. Many more generations will have to inhabit this place.   Part of my path involves being considerate of others and respecting the place I live by not trashing it completely.   For me, in order to be a better person and feel closer to the Divine, I feel that I must take care of the foliage and the dirt that line that path.   Then, maybe, just maybe, Jack in the Green will show himself.  Maybe we will once again feel the presence of the gods and goddesses, once we welcome them back.   Perhaps they once roamed the earth, but I feel that now they don’t want a whole lot to do with either it or us.  

We have some work to do.  Who’s with me? 

I got this tattoo when I was 21.  That was *quite* some time ago, and it really needs to be touched up.  It's on my chest, just in case anyone was wondering about placement. 

Jethro Tull's "Jack in the Green".   Its lyrics give me hope. 

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