It's a question I've been pondering quite a lot just lately. Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and ask 'Is that who you really are?' At first the answers seemed obvious, and the question silly, but over time it niggled away at me. Is 'Druid' what I really am?
I have often found it hard to reconcile my past with my faith today. My military career, a career that was in my blood, doesn't sit easy with the peace loving druid. From the moment I was born my Dad raised me to be a soldier, and although I fought against his brutality, and was released from any pressure or obligation by his death, a soldier is exactly what I became.
The things I was trained to do, the things I was expected to do, are not the things expected of a Druid. I was no angel. I fought hard, played hard, lived each day like it was my last. Hell, it could have been! I saw things no man should ever see, did things no man should ever have to do. I thought things I should never think, felt things I wish I didn't feel. But I was a soldier, a warrior. I was loyal and true, and brave, and scared. Just like every soldier, every warrior, before me down the centuries.
Civvy street was not, is not, somewhere I feel comfortable. I was a fish out of water. I still stumble from day to day, still struggle to find my feet.
So can I be a Druid?
I am at odds with OBOD, or is it that they are at odds with me? Either way I don't fit that 'druidic ideal' that so many aspire to and feel comfortable with. I don't read the 'right' books and like all the 'wrong' ones. I voice opinions that make others uncomfortable and I don't conform to what others expect. I take my inspiration, and lessons, from the strangest of places. I don't observe things I should observe, I talk to the Gods in a manner
some, most, probably all, would consider disrespectful, so, I ask the question again, Can I really be a druid?
But then I think Can I really be anything else?
It's me you see. It's the way I am. It's what is deep inside of me. It is the beating of my heart and the rising of my chest. It is my breath on cold winter mornings and my sweat under the sun. It's the light in my eyes as I gaze at the stars, and my whispered prayers in the dawn. It's the love I hold for my wife, for my children, my grandchildren, my fellow man. It's the trust I have in the Lady, the hope I have for each new day. It is what I was, what I am, and what I will be. It is everything. And more.
I am a warrior. I am a druid.
I am me.