Journeys: Thoughts from a Druid Path

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Thinking of Kim

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Thinking of Kim
When I look up at Jupiter and Saturn, moving together in the evening sky, I think of Kim Welch. When I see the Sun rise over the trees, I think of Kim Welch. When I see the New Moon, open to the early evening sky, I think of Kim Welch.
About a month ago, my phone rang, and Kim’s number showed up. When I answered it, it was not Kim, and I knew something was very wrong. Kim had died the night before and his sister-in-law was calling with the news. When I hung up the telephone after a brief conversation, I felt rather hollow inside.
I first met Kim in 1992. He was being elevated and I was presiding at the ritual. We met again in 1995. We were being ordained together and we were getting together for a ritual to celebrate the occasion. I had never met Kim before, but I had written to him via email. He was even more enthusiastic in person and we d to keep in touch.
I would email or talk to Kim on occasion over the years, but I never had the opportunity to see him again until a few years ago. I am not sure why we got together again. That reason isn’t important; that we got together again is the important point.
Kim and Molly first joined ADF in 2007. When they rejoined, a few years ago, it was nice to be back together again. We decided to go to ritual together as soon as we could and that ended up being Pan Pagan 2019. We decided to stay at the Astoria Inn in Knox, Indiana and we proceeded to spend much of the next few days together at festival, at meals, and at times in between.
The one thing that struck me about Kim was his depth of understanding and his great passion for the things of beauty in his life: his wife, Molly, his dog, Hopscotch, his studies, and his practice. Even though our paths had crossed many years before, we were still on the same page with our practices and our understandings in the now.
When I sat back and thought about it, more than a generation had passed since Kim and I stood together in that ritual space where we were joined in common purpose and pursuit. The passage of time may have cost us some immediacy, but the time we spent together made it seem as though we stepped from the decades past directly into the present moment.
We spoke from time to time after Pan Pagan and planned on our next reunion. We discussed ogham, teachings, future directions, and future moments together. That meeting was just within our grasps. He was so excited for the work that he was doing, for the world around him, for the days ahead. I planned to make Pan Pagan our annual reunion, as it had once been in years long passed.
Sometimes, our reach and our grasp are unable to hold anything substantial, just what may have been.
There were a few projects that we had discussed, and I think I will follow through on several of those and maybe create a few new ones based upon ideas that Kim gave to me.
After Kim’s passing, it took me some time for me to come to term with his death. It still did not seem real, but, sadly, it was. After several weeks, I added Kim’s name to the list of my mentors, my teachers, my Sacred Allies, and my dearest companions on the path. I say his name every morning now, during my morning devotionals, and I feel his presence around me as an amazing blessing.
I wrote a prayer for those who pass, and I dedicate it to Kim.
A Leaf Falls
A leaf falls,
In the spring;
Young leaf,
Palest of green,
Quickly you fall to earth,
Gently you land.
The Earth Mother
Welcomes you home:
Earth Mother,
Hold them in your hands.
A leaf drops,
In the summer,
Green leaf,
Full of life,
You drift to earth,
Gently you land,
The Earth Mother
Breathes in your name:
Earth Mother,
Hold them in your heart.
A leaf spins,
Clockwise in the autumn,
Leaf of green and yellow,
Touched by the Sun,
Called to the earth,
Gently you land,
The Earth Mother
Cushions your fall:
Earth Mother,
Hold them in your broad fields.
A leaf rustles,
Separated from a branch,
A long-time friend,
Weathered by time
Falls to earth in silence,
Gently you land,
The Earth Mother
Becomes one with you:
Earth Mother,
Hold them close to you.
When I find myself in the company of trees, I think of Kim Welch. When I listen, I hear the trees call his name.
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Tagged in: RDNA adfdruidry
I am a long-time pagan and charter member of ADF, Ar nDraoicht Fein, a Druid Fellowship. I am a Senior Priest in as well as the Arch Druid of ADF. I am a Druid of the Third Order, RDNA; Druid Grade, OBOD; and a Second Degree Druid Companion in AODA. I love Druidry!  


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