Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dislocation and Getting to Know Your Local Environment

I have trying to become more in tune with my environment as it relates to my practice--noting when the leaves come out, when they fall, when the first snow comes, the first blistering hot day of summer and so on. I would like to incorporate these things into my practice, and set up a more "localized" calendar that will help me feel more in tune with the earth.

The thing is, I'm a little displaced. I am a student living in Philadelphia, PA who originally hails from (and returns to in the summer and winter breaks) San Antonio, Texas. As might be inferred, the climate is quite different in Texas than Philly--for one thing, we have no fall, and summer lasts from April to November. In Philly, there is such a thing as fall and such a thing as snow, and there is such a concept as "fall weather fashion."

My question is: Are there others in my position, and how do you reconcile your displacement with the local seasons and changing climate? Do you try to adapt to the environment you're temporarily in? Or do you follow the seasons of where you feel "at home," even if that home is miles away?

To me, the latter seems a little like what Neo-Paganism does anyway--celebrating basically the climate and seasonal change of Ireland--which is quite a long way away, but convenient (and widespread) enough for use.

Since I am here in Philly nine months of the year, most of my "seasonal acknowledgements" would occur during my stay here. But Texas... is where I truly feel at home, and truly feel connected, because my family and my "hearth" is there. When I am in Philly, I never really shake off the student feeling--that I'm just here temporarily, I'm not here to stay. How do I stay connected to a "home-y" pattern when I'm away from home for the majority of the year, and how do I still honor traditional seasonal changes like fall and winter (and important festivals like Imbolc) when I am at home where summer is the general rule of the year?

Any thoughts?

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