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Archive for September, 2012

The wheel turns…we’ve all felt it by now, the crisp chill tingeing the air, the glimpse of scarlet in the treetops, the dried-leaf rustle of the voices of the dead. 

And now, I feel the call that I’ve not heard in so long…the anticipating, blood-surging, taught bowstring twang of the hunt.  The call to the woods, to smell the death of the world as it drifts into slumber.  To wait in the dark before earliest hints of dawn and into the dark long after dusk, breath misting in the air as my senses strain for the slightest hint of prey. I feel the call to wait, muscles straining against bow, brow flushed as my arrow seeks its mooring in steaming flesh. 

I have known that Cernunnos wanted me to take up my bow once more.  I did not expect wanting to as well, but with the turning of the year I feel it in my bones, in my blood.  The hunt is in me.  Yet there is so much I must do…check to see if my permit is still valid, look into the cost of a license, renew my long-since-lapsed FOID card, and train, train, train to regain skill with gun and bow.  The shot must be clean, and lethal.  I will not condemn a creature to slow agonizing death with clumsy aim.

I come from a family of hunters. For as long as I can remember my father would disappear for long stretches in the fall and winter, to return with some deer or none to feed us. I remember opening to door to the garage only to be assaulted by the stench of blood and death, see the body hanging from the beams.  It was natural. It was a part of life.

My father lost my love long ago by his own hand. Yet he is Herne’s own, an outdoorsman through and through, and when the call is in the air he responds.  He knows much of hunting and the wood…much that he has tried to “protect” me from, for though I hunt I have always been a daughter and not the son he yearned for.  Though I hunt I know not how to field dress any creature, have never set up my own tree stand…when I learned from him he did all himself, not allowing me to learn because it was too dangerous, too bloody.

Yet I must learn.  One day I must do this on my own.  And when the time comes I will learn, with him or without. Yet I will give him the chance…one last chance to pass on what he knows, so that the knowledge is not lost. A chance to continue on when one day he is no longer here. Whether he understands it or not, I will give him that chance.  Only then will we see if he values it or throws it away.

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