It has been many months since my last post on this page. I have longed for a more constructive piece to put out there but I have been distracted by a large life event looming on the very near horizon. My hearth has been spiritually neglected and I am the first to admit to it. I have not been able to make the time for meaningful discourse with my ancestors and I have acutely felt my inability to show them the respect they deserve in a manner that befits them.
I have much to be grateful to them for, particularly with my desire to force meaningful change upon mine and my family’s lives that will enable us to flourish and grow, away from the confines of our location. Dorset is a county on the South coast of England, nestled between the great counties of Hampshire, Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire and has long been known for its amazing coastline and dramatic history. As I have previously mentioned on this blog, there is a God or Goddess of “place” at Cerne Abbas, the Mistress of the Silver Well that I know as Helið, and I have made offering to her on several occasions.
However, I am not from this county. I am not from Dorset. I have called it home for many years but I lived just over the border in Hampshire for most of my life. Again, however, I am not from Hampshire. I was born in Wiltshire. Yet again, I am not from there. I have stated before that my family tree has been traced back, at least as far as the 1700’s on my father’s side but the significance of it did not hit me until about 6 months ago when my wife and I began to look further afield, growing tired of a life near the coast and the associated cost of living that come with it. We felt shackled, I think, by that feeling of having to remain where you are because it is “what you know”. That is perhaps not unusual. Most people feel compelled to remain within relative touching distance of their friends and family for obvious reasons, however we felt a “tug” to look elsewhere.
So we began to look elsewhere. I take my job very seriously. I consider it a vocation; a calling if you will and not a simple job that I can pick up and put down. I swore an oath to my sovereign to serve the people of my country and I still feel very strongly that I have that duty and responsibility for as long as I am able to. We therefore began a search for a part of the country or even the Commonwealth that I could transfer to and be able to provide a fantastic life for my family, specifically my two daughters and maintain my oath in continuing my work in a new location. Both of my daughters are at pre-school age and we felt that a move now would be better than a move in 10 years’ time when they have already settled and established a friendship base.
The search took several twists and turns before we settled on three counties: Lincolnshire, Cumbria and County Durham. I applied to all three and then waited for the results. Before long a clear frontrunner emerged and I took the opportunity to focus on just one county – Durham. My application was successful and so began the search for a new home in the county. My wife and I pored over the map of the county, searching for viable locations, looking for all the little things that would determine whether we could view a property favourably or not. We found several and set about organising a trip up to the County, some 6 hours drive away, in order to view the properties.
When we arrived, we were hugely disappointed and dispirited by what we found. We arranged several hasty viewings and time after time the houses disappointed and the locations proved to be incompatible. That is, until we viewed the last property of our trip away. It wasn’t even in County Durham, just over the border in North Yorkshire, nestled between the Dales on one side and the Moors on the other, less than an hour away from four major cities and yet, tantalisingly, we had an enormous amount of countryside and history on our doorstep, plus we were just a short distance from the Pennines and the Lake District.
The house was stunning. The price was right. The location was perfect. It fit, and I felt some sort of connection like I have never felt with a place. I felt like I belonged in that place, like I was a part of it and had a resonance with it that I have never known before. We snapped up the property and are now in the process of completing our move up to the North East from the South West at the end of the month.
Little did I realise just what sort of a connection I had with the place. Subsequent to applying for the move, and finding the house, I discovered that my known ancestors hailed from County Durham and North Yorkshire. My oldest known ancestor is buried less than 30 minutes from our new home and I am delighted to be able to visit his grave and pay my respects. Furthermore, a whole branch of my family I have never known may be living in and around Darlington, a large town in County Durham less than 20 minutes from our new home and so the possibilities of reconnection, discovery and completion are now suddenly, and wonderfully close to realisation.
My wife felt that connection too. We both felt; literally felt that we belonged there.
So our adventure has just begun and I am full of hope and positivity for the move. I will establish our property boundary, marking it with flame and then re-establish my sacred space when we have moved in and settled. Following on from this I will re-dedicate my weōfod in some quiet and contemplative space, free from the hustle and bustle of the household and out of the way of tiny grasping fingers to allow it a sanctity and peace that it truly deserves. Our new home will be beside a fast-flowing river and near both fields and trees – an ancient ruined abbey mere walking distance away. I hope and I pray fervently to my ancestors and to the gods, that this will be the start of a meaningful, peaceful and settled existence for my family and I, and that I can maintain my oath to this great nation and my folc by keeping the Ūtangeard at bay as best I can.
Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel…