Friday, October 26, 2012

Finding Enchantment in Your Own Backyard

"In that moment I knew I had a magic all my own here in Charleston. I stepped back onto the patio and sat on the cool stone, letting my gaze soften, watching the wax myrtles ruffle in the breeze. Not expecting, just waiting. A quote came to mind, something I'd come across this past summer from T.S. Eliot...
We shall not cease from exploration. And at the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time." - Faery Tale 

The neighborhood pond I visit on walks.
The shed and flowering Jessamine, taken from the patio.
 When I left New York City in search for enchantment, I was convinced that it was out there to be found, if only I could only go to the right place to find it. But what I learned by the end of my journey was that rediscovering enchantment in your life isn't about visiting magical or exotic places or even catching a glimpse of something paranormal that can't be explained away. I came to learn that enchantment already is.

Enchantment is the miracle of existence, not just the possibility of spirits or other dimensions, other worlds, but enchantment is in every mundane earthly moment, right alongside all the mysteries and magic that come along with it. It's in the miracle of each breath we take, how the oxygen fuels our lungs, our heart, it's in the unfurling of a flower in the front yard, in the way the clouds move across the sky, it's in the connection we have to our families, our friends, and our adorable and oh-so-loveable pets.

And that's only the tip of the enchanted iceberg.
Lucy gives kisses on a winter night in the sunroom.
My problem was I was in such a fog of grief and inner-discontent that I just couldn't see it.

I hear from a lot of wonderful people who are longing to make a trip to England or Ireland, Scotland or Isle of Man, in search of similar experiences - but some can't afford the time off, can't sneak away from family responsibilities, or just can't afford the steep price of an airline ticket. For me, travel elicited my awakening. And for those of you who are longing to journey, keep the dream close! It will become a reality, it's just a matter of when.

Something I think some readers may overlook, though, is the fact that it wasn't as much the places who spurred my awakening as it was the illuminating stories and conversations I was having along the way. It was the people and the wisdom they offered. All of which I shared with you - ergo, you've got everything you need to get you started (I hope) within the pages of my book. And the best place to start is actually your own backyard, because that's where you spend most of your time. That's where you'll receive the most benefit from connecting with the spirits of the natural world, because that's the environment you marinate in everyday.

I didn't see anything that October night in my yard, now nearly three years ago to this day. But I've seen and experienced a lot of magical things in my own backyard since. Always when I was least expecting it. Often it's been when I reached out most earnestly, in times when I needed it most. These days I like to keep my spiritual experiences close. But the point is, it isn't so much the where as it is the how. Recently I heard from a reader in Louisiana (Jess) who'd begun leaving offerings around her property and had been experiencing a very real and (I daresay) enchanted connection to the land she lived on as a result. When we do put this kind of magical focus on our own space, it almost seems to come awake itself - a connection or bridge is formed, communication is opened this way. That's when the cool experiences happen.

Acknowledging and doing something energetically to actively appreciate your local natural surroundings is the most important thing. Plenty of people go to Glastonbury each year, and spread their magical juju all over that place. But how many people make the pilgrimage to your backyard, to connect with the beings and plants and animals there, to offer trinkets and positive vibes and to give thanks for all it does?
Just you.


  1. Hi,
    Message from East Sussex in England.
    I know having so many wonderful places on my doorstep it is easy to forget what is under your nose whilst hankering for dreams afar. I have travelled a lot over the years but this year managed to live in my beautiful bell tent near the river Severn for 6 weeks. I was at a small festival, working in a healing area and cooking on fire. I watched the dawns and the sunsets in all their glorious colours, and got close to the earth. Spirit of place all around, fairy energy everywhere. Sometimes all you need is enough time to stop and listen. Samhain blessings to you all.

  2. Beautiful, Fiona, and so true. That sounds like an unforgettable six weeks to me. A wonderful Samhain to you.

  3. If only every person on this planet would walk outside and connect with the land in their area, then truly the entire world would be revived with fae energy - how it used to be!

  4. Exactly, Signe! Beautifully said.