We also laugh and sing and dance and study all the world around us, and we weep when love is lost to other planes and worlds. But mostly we burn. Burn with passion and anger and remorse. We burn the in hellfire and brimstone people toss us in. Witches burn, they say. We drown in water, too, though no one believed we could. We can say the Lord’s Prayer– some better than others. We touch those who have fits; the seizing never ends.
But mostly, we burn.
I am trying to be reunited with someone who is lost to me. Someone who has escaped into the next plane from this one. There are traces of her soul, though, here where her body is buried. You can find them if you know how to look. Witches invented the scientific method, you know. Long before Descartes and Francis, or even Roger, Bacon, we had figured out how to experiment, test, hypothesize, test again and again and again, until we had the right formula and the right brews and the toil and trouble. We are very clever, and I am now practicing that long scientific tradition.
Experiment 1: The acorns of the Northern Red Oak are often signs that the soul of a beloved has wandered nearby in the past few days. Red Oaks shudder under the weight of love that stretches from plane to plane.
Experiment 2: Cracked headstones are also a good sign that someone’s soul has been by recently. But this is not always a friendly sign. I have gazed at some cracks and felt the shiver of cold hands wrapped around my spinal. Witches run, too.
“In the observable universe, love is intangible and often misunderstood by those who would rather have empirical evidence from which to make all decisions,” she said, then she handed me a key. “But here, here is your physical proof that love is real and can span the planes, easily. Should you ever need me again, Look for the signs. Then unlock the door.”
She said should I find myself in a shade of the old birch tree, and its leaves are golden with the glow of Autumn, then I will have made it back to her. Witches burn, like branches in the fire. We drown in doubts. Run with anticipation. Pray that we will find what we seek. Witches burn. But mostly, we love.