'Tis the time of year when the Old Woman is beginning to lose her hold over the land and most certainly is raging against it. One day will be warm and sunny, and the next--like today--will bring with it a torrent of snow and ice. Still I will trudge out at every snowfall to offer her food and drink, but come the equinox, I'll have to do my part and shut the doors and windows against her until she returns with a more pleasant visage.
We spotted our first robin the same day that I received a small blessing from the Stag King, and three days ago the geese returned. My geese! I could feel their coming in my bones, but there was still a week of daily lookout before they arrived. If they'd allow me to throw my arms around their white-ringed necks, I would have.
Not all has been pleasant. My younger brother, my only sibling, was kidnapped and robbed at gunpoint as he left work last week. He came home physically unharmed, but it's been a harrowing time for all. When my agnostic and chronically skeptical brother comes to me for spellwork, I know things are that fucking bad.
This little family emergency has me struggling with an issue that has been nagging at me since my first out of body experience some years ago (four? five?). How does one live with a foot in each of two realities?
In a way I have it easier than some. I don't spend all of my time amidst the whisperings of strange spirits and unknowns, though those that are particularly close to me (Spider, Goose, and various deities) are a constant presence. Those times at which I feel I can no longer resist the pull are relatively few and far between (now; this was not the way at the beginning). On the other hand, when it's my time to go, it's a monumental struggle just to stay in my skin enough to go on autopilot to care for my little ones until bedtime. When you have four kids under the age of eight, not only can it be inconvenient and disheartening to them for their mother to suddenly not be totally there, it can be fatal. I've been through at least a hundred dreadful scenarios in my head. I get queasy just thinking about it.
I've often wondered if perhaps the reason I am pulled so violently into the Otherworlds is because I resist it so strongly. Am I, perhaps, supposed to be visiting more often? Truth be told though, I'm not always sure why I'm being pulled there as it is. (Am I supposed to admit that?)
For now I'm dealing with this by trying to be especially mindful and present when I'm not being compelled elsewhere. In the day-to-day goings on of my household and in the throes of family emergency, I am careful to just be there with those that I love and care for, to offer them what I can of myself without reserve. I am as much in their service as I am that of Hera or the Cailleach or the Stag King.
I also finally broke down and bought Trance-portation by Diana L. Paxson. I had browsed it before and felt rather ambivalent towards the bits I read, but a couple of friends who know about my particular trouble returning from my journeys over the Hedge have recommended it and say that the book specifically deals with returning. It's worth a shot, I suppose. I certainly have a lot to learn.