Diaries of an off grid witch.
Entry # 1. October 10, 2023
I’ve lived off grid since before I can even remember. I came to this world in a way that kept me tethered to the ways of the quiet earth. Dark skies with bright stars. Open fields filled with berries and bees. Rivers and streams and changing leaves, these are things that make me who I am.
I arrive home, after two weeks away from my little cabin in the woods. It’s dusk and the trees are beginning to close in around me as I make way along the winding path, using the fallen birch branches I’ve place along the sides to light my way. Listening earnestly to the sound of the stream that runs year round when the weather is right and the rains have continued to fall. I hear it and make sure to keep to the left of it, the low branches of fir saplings tickling my arms as I pass by.
I knew when I left two weeks ago, my power station was at 0%, and since my cabin is completely surrounded by trees, it’s not set up to charge by the sun while I’m away…thank goodness for battery powered fairy lights and an led battery lantern an old man gave me last year. The red lantern, where is it? I look for it in all the usual places…nowhere to be seen, ahhh, my sister, she mentioned she’d been over to have a fire in my cabin a few days ago and I suspect she used the lantern to light her way through the woods to her home nearby. I text her to ask and she says she’ll bring it right over. I need it to go get kindling, which is closer to her place than mine so I walk her back through the woods, load my arm with dry kindling, pop into my fathers house to pick some extra fairy lights I left there during my camp out in his living room during the last hurricane that passed through these parts.
Settling back into the cabin, lovingly called “my tiny temple”, I find a pan of mouldy apple cinnamon coffee cake I forgot to take to the compost before departing a fortnight ago. I also forgot to empty my grey water buckets under the sink, so I do this now, finding two dead mice having met their fate in a swirl of dirty dish water. Living with mice seems to be par for the course when you live in a hand built home amongst the trees. They’re so cute, and so darn frustrating as well. They are a great teacher that the polarity of feelings and emotions can exist at once…I am both annoyed and enamoured by them. Both realities are true and it’s often hard to know what to do. While I hate to see them drowned, a part of me thinks “better than them running free amongst my belongings”…it’s tough, I love them and I find them disturbing and messy.
I light my fire, light an incense to take away that musky woods scent that seems to always come with living so close the the fecundity of the earth. Sometimes I love it, other times I want to smell frankincense or jasmine or a mixture of resins and herbs meant to mimic the scent of unicorns. I give thanks for the warmth of the fire and the sweet smells that fill my nostrils as both fill this space with life and sensual delights.
I step outside to pee, and as I squat down, I think to myself, wow, it’s been two whole weeks since I peed on the ground. There are some things in life that feel more natural than others, and this is one of those things, along with outdoor showers that seems to me to make so much more sense than their inside counterparts.
Hello home. I missed you and I am glad to be back.
morgan leigh callison
mostly i write to remind myself what it means to be me. it is through words, my soul finds expression & my mind finds a place for form to take shape.