I didn't plan to become a Druid. I didn't wake up one morning in the certain knowledge I'd found my path, or even with the desire to look into it. I was looking for something, that much is true. Somewhere out there in this great universe there had to be answers, I knew that even before I was sure what the questions were, and I looked for those elusive answers everywhere I could. I was looking for peace, I think, something to fill the spaces in between my everyday existence and I wandered, lonely, through the crowds in a seemingly fruitless search.
I was looking for something which could make sense of my past, make tangible the present and lend a guiding light to my future...
... and I found it unexpectedly one day, in the basement of a bookshop, when a strange old man in a dirty mac sidled up to me and asked 'have you seen the lights?'
I edged away and shook my head and wondered at my infallible ability to always attract nutters, but it was under his steady gaze that I realised at last what he meant, and that I had indeed seen lights, hovering infuriatingly at the edge of my vision. Maybe he wasn't a nutter after all...or maybe I was.
That man became my teacher, and more than teacher to me. He showed me the heart of darkness and the way to the stars, he opened my heart and eyes and soul to wonders I had never imagined. He made me think and question, always. He was harsh and kind and too beautiful a soul for this world. I watched him open his door to strangers in need, I saw him draw serenity around him in the face of adversity. He was quick and clever and gentle. He was cantankerous and difficult and he made me work harder than I have ever worked. He taught me that I can hide from anyone but myself, lie to anyone but myself, and that the past will always catch you no matter how fast you run. He made me face my fears, discover myself, he showed me my future.
All this he did for me and yet I barely knew him. Of his life before I had only hints. I knew only that he was Druid; of the old ways, bound by no one, he walked his road alone. I was not his first pupil but I was his last and I miss him still. I always will. It will be fifteen years in October since he left this mundane world behind and journeyed on and I still ache at the loneliness he left behind, I still yearn for his wisdom, and still fume that he was taken before my training was complete, and yet in many ways I know he is still with me, still guiding me, still kicking me up the arse when I don't work hard enough!
Trylionn, this mighty man, this Druid, left a legacy of life. He taught me how to find the sun, and learn from the dawn. He taught me to listen to my heart and feel its beat in the earth around me, he taught me to be still, to hope, to find, to live, to see beauty where others see none, to extend the hand of friendship, to help others, to offer hospitality even when I have nothing, to share, to love, to dare to be who I am.
These are the duties and responsibilities of a Druid. These are the rewards. Thanks to him this is the road I walk.