We have mentioned before just how important it really is to us that we do regular community service. As we like to say, it’s about “honouring the Kindreds through work in this realm.” This past year, we won our second ADF Founder’s Award for Exceptional Public Service in the past three years, and we felt truly blessed to receive it.
This weekend, our Grove took a walk down our adopted trail, the Lower Scioto Multi-Use Trail, which runs approximately five miles down the primary river in Columbus. The cleanup is always rough: carrying forty- or sixty-gallon bags full of garbage down the trail is never fun, but we always manage to find it very rewarding.
I suppose that’s the central paradox of community service: for all the work and sweat you put into it, you always get so much more out of it than you could ever dream.
Also this week, we took a “Walk in the Woods,” having a class in plant identification and herbal uses in the Columbus Topiary Garden. We spent two hours lying in the grass, discussing various plants and what they were once used for, chatting, and enjoying the summer weather. We then took a short walking tour of the gardens, identifying trees and learning their history.
Study is at the heart of ADF Druidry: we work hard to learn about the world we live in, and in doing so, we also learn to love and cherish it. While the name of a plant may seem useless to some, knowing it brings about a deeper, more intimate connection. Rather than being a simple “plant,” it begins to have a personality, a way of existing that cannot be described as mere objectification.
What we learn about, we know. What we know, we will protect and love.
-Rev. Michael J Dangler