Friday, September 13, 2013

Crow and the Druid



September being a changeable month in these parts, Crow and I were spending an afternoon reviewing his archives while a drenching rain spattered the tall arched windows that overlook his terrace. Just as I was about to pour the tea he thrust an old picture between me and the Royal Albert saying, 'Aha! I've been meaning to show you a picture of Gaith, my old Druid friend, and here is one of both of us scratched upon this piece of bark. Amazing how well this stuff keeps, isn't it?'

I've long stopped being surprised at the immensity of Crow's historical social circle, but he'd never mentioned Druids before. I made myself comfortable in my favorite of his wing back chairs, took a sip of Oolong and sat back to listen:

'It probably won't surprise you to hear that even in the dim, dark past there were crazy, power hungry male persons who made a general nuisance of themselves by making up excuses to kill their neighbors and take their land. The first thing they always did was to demand that the young men in their kingdoms supply themselves with pointed sticks or whatever, swords being both rare and expensive, and join in the battles. Some young men who weren't pleased with this mad idea ran away to the forest.

'The forests of Europe and old England were very large indeed. Still, it wasn't easy to get by on your own and certainly there were no modern conveniences like waterproof shoes and tents - never mind nicely packaged emergency food supplies.

'On this particular fine morning, Gaith and I had been strolling along a path overhung by the branches of sacred oak trees when we came upon a weary looking but handsome youth sitting by a brook. After mutual greetings we sat and shared some food and listened to his reasons for preferring a life of peace. Rather than going to war he had run away to a place where he hoped to enjoy life and creation, learn its wonders and strive for answers to the big questions. My friend Gaith, being a Druid, one of those rumored to have strange powers, invited him to join his band as a junior member. 

'Whether they were called Yogis, Magi, Lamas, Monks or Druids, all of them strove to learn. They developed techniques and applications; they dreamed dreams and studied nature intensively. As it took a very long time to become a Master Druid, perhaps twenty years or more, they arranged their membership into sections (like colleges) that depended upon knowledge and individual attainments. They also developed a brilliant plan designed to lessen the violence of the crazy men. What was it? First, you have to understand they already had much to offer by their abilities with Astrology and calendars; they knew much about plants and the healing arts. They also knew how to manipulate materials and some, like my friend Gaith, were experts in speaking the Language of the Birds. That's how we first became friends (he told some excellent people jokes). What the Druids offered freely to the crazy men who ruled at that time were the members of their lowest college, the Bards.

'Our new young friend who was called Oisin would be trained as one of them, a singer of history. From what I heard later he did well and even stopped a war or two by singing Sagas of previous encounters between the combatants. Of course, the other king also had a Bard and the two likely collaborated to mold a peace. This was the foundation of Diplomacy vs mindless War.'


Rocking back on his perch, Crow snagged a piece of fruitcake, arched his brow and remarked, 'Aren't you glad to know there are still Druids in the world today?'

Yes, yes I am, but we could always use a few more. The rain having stopped by then, we went for a walk by the sea.


29 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. We're delighted to know you enjoyed it, Tom.

      Delete
  2. Ah, Anglesey! Did Crow have a tea in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such a lovely village with excellent tea shops nowadays, says Crow. He suggests a pub in Gorsafawddachaidraigodanheddogleddollonpenrhynareurdraethceredigion that serves a fine Connemara to special guests.

      Delete
    2. Ha! What a lousy grammar! :)
      'Golf Halt' sounds much better, anyway; in Andrew's ears probably even like music.

      Delete
    3. Apparently that one was made up entirely as an attempt to get a place in the Guinness Book of Records. I'm sure 'Golf Halt' would appeal to him - and a glass of Guinness for afters.

      Delete
    4. Golf Halt sounds worrying to me, unless interpreted as Halt for Golf, of course.

      Haltgolfglassguinness sounds like a nice place to stop though

      Delete
  3. well i've been going all over the place following your links and then more links. i think i'm a druid from another lifetime. really... i do! sounds like fall has hit you there on your part of the planet. here it's hot still and harvest is coming fast, both on the same day it would seem. not possible of course but they don't get that.

    i love your drawing and am wondering if it's on fabric and what are you going to do with it? xoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're happy you had fun reading the links. Yes, I'm sure you and I danced beneath a sacred yew tree in long times past.

      You'll laugh to hear how the picture was made: I drew the picture on tracing paper then painted a green and blue wash on a piece of scrap watercolor paper. Before the paper was completely dry, I attached the drawing and scanned it. Pretty interesting effect, eh? Lazy me :)
      xoxo

      Delete
  4. It is grand to have a friend like Crow.
    the Ol'Buzzard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It surely is. I wish there were more like him.

      Delete
  5. How beautifully drawn and told. This is one of my favorite posts ever.....not just at your blog, but EVER!

    Your creativity is a wonder to me, dear friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad to know you enjoyed reading it, Lydia. Sometimes things just come together when we least expect.

      Your poetry is always such a delight to me too.

      Delete
  6. Delightful. Yes, one of the best Crow tales. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How wonderful to see you've been by to visit, my friend.

      Glad you liked it (^^).

      Delete
  7. Hi Susan
    Great postings and drawings as usual.I found Stone Henge a fascinating site when I was in the UK and the elaborate religion underpinning its erection interesting. Religious beliefs and rituals as was practiced by the Druids no doubt gave people a sense of purpose to sustain their existence.
    Your story is a good subject, no doubt the Roman conquest only served to enslave many throughout ancient Britain in the dubious claim to introduce a more civilized state but which in effect was far less rich that existed beforehand.
    Best wishes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lindsay, I'm so glad you enjoyed them. It's good to know the area around Stonehenge is being restored (at least as far as possible) to enable it to appear more like it did thousands of years ago. We can't go back in time but even so, I'm sure there was much to recommend a life in ancient days.

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Far within the oaken tower
      Exists the one with evil power
      Magic channeler of earth's frustration
      The Druid sleeps in meditation

      I can understand why you'd like that.

      Delete
  9. My goodness, I am getting lost in the links and forgetting to come back here to comment upon your post :) Did I ever tell you how much I appreciate the links you refer to? Quite so!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now you've said that, I'm extra glad I posted them. The Big Study is a fascinating blog and The Archdruid Report is one I've been reading every week for years. He makes much sense.

      Delete
  10. Home again after a week away so I'm catching up ever so slowly. Will be back later to read the links. You and Crow always have such fascinating and enlightening stories to share.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you were missed Marja-Leena, but I'm delighted you had such a nice time with your visitors. Crow does have some good stories that we're both happy you enjoy.

      Delete
  11. What an unexpected and blessed revelation.... Bards are entry level Druids!!!

    Am marinating in coffee to get a threatening migraine under control, before returning to a regional libraries conference. Spent much of yesterday afternoon buried under heaps of delightful illustrated children's books. I thought often of you and Crow..... Books are their own sacred forest, aren't they? .... Must dress and return to my place among the trees. Felicitations to Crow & Co.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was one of the very coolest discoveries I made about Druids. Neat, huh?

      I hope the migraine was forestalled. Books are the very best treat. I promise to write you soon and meanwhile Crow and Melisande send their salutations.

      Delete