The Tangled Hedge

A hedge-hopping awenydd follows the Mother of Life's trackways and brings back what is needed, connecting the village with the numinous wilds.

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Ley Lines of Life

Ripe Woman

Even in the land
of the starving
barren of nurturing
of communal cohesion
and direction for
the lost children

I gathered
what bits of
I could find
built and grew
made and found

My ripe fullness
can be painful
waiting to be
picked and made
bursting with fine

I dream of others
in our similar
seed-bearing readiness
across the wasted
ley lines of life


It is difficult, in my society's hyper-individualism and dying sense of community, to develop in the healthy human way of our ancestors... of our social species. Perhaps those of you in countries other than the U.S. still have abundant supporting community, and would be surprised to hear what a wasteland the social sphere has become in my country. Or perhaps your society is withering in the same way.

We have social media, I suppose, which is like having a pared-down version of community, using mostly just words and emotions and art, but no working together, no dancing together, no seeing the web of relationships -- just the individuals and their relationship with yourself. It's a type of blindness to only see that - a dimensional reduction and a shallow understanding.

We also have the community of the workplace, which is very often competitive, gossipy, hierarchical/authoritarian, and toxic. It's where most of us spend most of our time, so that's the only community we often have time for. And it's often not a healthy one.

Slim pickings.

There are pockets of community, for those lucky enough to have been born into them or found them. But it is no longer the norm here to know and interact with your neighbors, unless it's online, in text form.

There are millions of lonely people here. This collapsing society isn't raising the healthy individuals it should, within thriving communities. The result is addictions, developmental delays and illness, sociopathy, high rates of incarceration, ideologies that have little chance of meeting reality, shallow understandings of how societies work, uninformed opinions that sway votes in community decisions, kids being raised by entertainment media (often violent and sexist and materialistic), etc.

If you are one of the lucky ones that has benefited from healthy community, would you be willing to be part of the ley lines of life, and share your healthy ripeness with the withering land of the lonely? Will you connect with each other and with the lonely and help build up community for your human family? Will you look again at the people you may have thought of as a waste of space, and look for the divine spark and the context of their relationships that gives them dimension and humanity? Community building sounds like a difficult project from an individualistic perspective, but if you realize that you don't have to do it alone, that we can support each other in the efforts - if you can remember what it's like to have community making light work of necessary tasks and the love within community making responsibility feel satisfying - we could do it joyfully and powerfully.


Eventually, a healthy human family would be a healing and preserving presence among the eco-family of Earth. The sooner the better, as the slow collapse speeds up. We are called to connect. Feel that ley line energy between us all? I know you can. Grasp that, follow it. Strengthen the reciprocal flow of the weak ones throughout the network. Let us resist the drought - ripen and live and thrive, together.

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Lia is an awenydd, writer, journal editor (A Beautiful Resistance), copyeditor (Druid Magazine), hedge witch, mother, musician, OBOD Bard, and anthropology major, living in the wild, enchantingly beautiful mountain west (USA). Her spiritual influences tend toward the ancient and indigenous, with a future-focused hope that humanity will return to a spiritually-rich and thriving sustainability.


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