From my Gran, Sheila Ross-Kuhn:
How could I be anything but a witch living in these Mother Mountains? Within these forested hills and deep, dark hollers are women who have never called themselves “witches,” who have never entered the incense scented new age shoppe in town. They have never worn a pentagram around their necks, or attended a Pagan drumming circle or a danced within the sacred circle on a full moon esbat, and yet, they know their folk medicine well, they are intimately familiar with the native herbs and roots, they know the moon phases, they know their folk magick, they know when to plant, and they know when to harvest.
Season after season, their bare feet have walked upon the earnest warm earth, the freshly tilled soil seeping between their grateful toes. Within the knowing hearts of these mountain women lives the sweet lullaby of The Great Mother, they are grateful, they are wise and they are blessed. They are witches without the Hollywood aspects of the word. They are simply, the wise women. Women who can bend but who will never break.
West Virginia is a sage mother. What rural child has not ceased their folly to rest their warm, damp backs against a cool mossy bank on a summer afternoon, or fell asleep on a flat shady spot beneath a Red Maple or a Knotty pine tree when the excitement of a hillbilly Summer day has left them limp with exhaustion and merriment? What Appalachian child has not plucked a fat purple grape from the arbor and savored it’s roundness as a gift from the dear Mother?
There are places where the lights shine brighter and the world moves at faster pace. Me, I love these ancient hills, I love the spritely red birds and the black crows perched on the fence posts. I love learning the secrets of the woodlands, the wetlands and the wild flowers. I love the lonely hills and the jeweled green mountains. I love hearing the cricket songs on a summer evening, or walking through the early morning mist and listening for my friends, the hoot owls, that are wishing me a good and merry morn.