- on a personal note, I hope you'll forgive the late posting, it's been a bit of a busy time of late. Also with thanks to Ellie from Wandering a Lonely Road for the award nomination; I'll be posting about this on my personal blog so I don't clutter the place up here at Working Spirituality. -
And onto our relationship with the land.
This week I'm going to suggest you really throw yourself into your research! The land on which you live has seen and felt so much before you or I came along. Find out all about the history of the place you call home. Does it correlate with any of the feelings and impressions you've been getting while spending time with the spirit of the land?
Use what ever you can get your hands on for this. Local libraries and history books are more than helpful, and access to the county records office will be invaluable (ask for help if you need it because they are usually staffed by wonderful people - note any rules before you go in as often you'll not be allowed to take pencils/pens into these places. However they are usually happy to offer photocopying services for any information you'd like to record). As ever the Internet is your friend with any research such as this. Be careful though, not everything you read comes from a trustworthy source so it's worth cross referencing to check if something is right.
Find out what the main economy of your land has been in the passing ages. Chances are this will have changed as time has gone on. Was your place mainly agricultural, was it the site of factories and mills, or a fishing port etc? How did life change where you are when the Industrial Revolution hit for example? How did people get by during the World Wars where you live? Did many of the men who went to war make it back? What ghost stories abound? Was there once a 'lord of the manor', does a manor house still stand? What religion did the people who lived on this land follow? What festivals did they celebrate? What ancient tribes once inhabited the lands? What happened to them? Where are the natural water sources and how have they been used in the past? Are there any battle sites nearby? All this and more is what you should aim to be discovering because these are the things the land has been witness to. These are the things that have shaped it and helped or hindered its evolution.
This isn't something you can do in just a week of course, this is an on-going project. To know the land you have to be willing to keep learning. Ask the land about the things you find out and see if there's any response. Maybe, maybe not.