Friday, September 29, 2006

On Being Watched

My woods are haunted.

Not in the spooky ethereal apparitions floating in the dark, making things fly through the air kind of way. Not even the chain-rattling, low-moaning kind of way.

Rather, it feels like I'm being watched, always, when I'm outside, especially at night when the moon is hanging low and not doing much for illuminating the depths of the woods. But it's not a bad feeling, not a feeling like I'd better prepare to make a run for the house because something is going to come crashing out of the trees with misty arms thrust forward to grab me and hollow, empty eyes staring through me, seeing all that I am. It's not a comfortable feeling either, it makes my hair prickly on the back of my neck and causes me to talk to the dogs a little louder than I normally would or drag my feet through the gravel a little longer, as if the extra loud noises in the night will make the feeling go away. I don't think whatever is out there is malicious, but maybe curious, and possibly even a little annoyed for whatever beyond the dead reasons it or they may have.

A quick history lesson about our land. Our property butts up against a historic site known as Hill's Fort. Back in the early 1800s it was a military outpost in what was once prime Native American land. From what I understand, the outpost was mostly just a depot to supply the Cavalry and whatever families and farmers homesteaded out this way. However, there were at least two recorded incidents of attacks on Native American camps locally, one attack very, very near our property. There is one legend that says a Native American child, a girl, hid along the banks and in the woods of the creek that is now on our property while members of her family were murdered by members of the U.S. Cavalry. True? I don't know, but there has to be some shred of truth or history to it for it to have survived this long, right? I imagine if that is a true story, there is probably some of that terrified, lonely energy lingering around here. Strong emotions leave strong marks on the land.

So, I'm not quite sure what to do. Leave it be and just continue to feel watched and a bit tingly whenever I'm outside alone at night, hoping it never goes beyond a prickly feeling, or, do a cleansing ritual throughout the entire property, just asking for the permission of whatever is in the woods to be here, assuring we will be good stewards of the land and treat it all with the respect it deserves. I'm a little worried if I do that it could cause whatever is out there to become angry, and the last thing I need are angry spirits in the woods. Samhain is coming up soon, it may be a good time to reach some kind of friendly arrangement. I don't necessarily want them to leave, I just want to be sure all involved are happy, and content, living together in this little corner of the world.

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