My Memoir

Journeys in Liminal Worlds: Notes on Hunger

I wrote this book to reach out to all who struggle with healing from emotional loss no matter what age; people of Scottish and Irish descent; readers of writers such as: Marion Zimmer Bradley (The Mists of Avalon); Diana Gabaldon (Outlander series); Mary Stewart (The Crystal Cave series); E. B. White (The Once and Future King) and so many others who have explored the mysteries of Celtic spirituality. I reach out to all who know and love the educational community of the Park at Findhorn, Scotland and to those who seek what’s there without knowing that’s where they want to be, or somewhere very like it in temper and substance. Let us be wanderers together. I also reach out to those who want deeper connections to nature. I’ve provided practical information on “Why to, How to and When to” co-create with nature in growing herbs and making simple home remedies to support natural healing. My life was never easy, hence the reference to hunger. Emotional grief left unhealed led to insatiable emotional hunger and a life-long search for the road home.

I was born in Alberta, Canada in 1951 and Until 1969 Lived on a Farm

Darlene L. Witte

I lived with my mother, father, and brother. It was cold in Alberta in the winter and isolated. The western skyline was travelled by beautiful mountains that resolved in the east to rolling hills and the great plains. My father was a WW2 veteran. In the RCAF he taught navigation math to young pilots. After the war he taught math in public schools. My mother was an elementary school teacher. She died very young due to a tragic car accident caused by young drunk drivers. After 2 years of tremendous suffering, she left us and we subsisted on unspeakable grief set in the indescribable beauty of the earth that held us. My father escaped from his grief with my brother into the hard labor of farm life and survival in the harsh climate. He continued teaching math in Sundre, a small settlement on the edge of the mountain wilderness. It was here in this northern wilderness that I began to make connections with nature, the depths of sorrow as well as the beautiful possibilities of life.

When not in school, I was generally left alone in the house while my father and brother worked outside. It was here that my connections with nature and spirit, including the cruelty of death and the mystical presence of trees and everything around me began to blossom. Struggling for over a decade in this wilderness, cold, often hungry and barely surviving I finally made my way toward Red Deer College for two years and then I went on to a large university in Edmonton. I met mentors in both schools, Gil Farthing, Lis Atkinson, Daiyo Sawada, Lorene Everett-Turner and Moira J. Walker. These people lent me their strength and beauty of spirit until I was able to find my own.

I began teaching in an elementary school west of Edmonton in 1974, and like many young persons I married in 1977 and had a child in 1981. Unfortunately, the marriage did not go well and became as much of a struggle to survive as had been my youth. I had a child, Robin Eileen in 1982, and persevered for another few years, finally getting a divorce in 1988 and then going to graduate school.

My Mentors in University Opened Windows of Possibility

My first mentors appeared at Red Deer College in 1969. They showed me how to begin to release my inner voice. They introduced me to the quantum space of other dimensions. With their help I was able to develop my life, expressing myself more and more through poetry and narrative writing. I became more deeply aware of the mystical and physical worlds , communicating with stones, plants, divas as well ad more organized energy fields that we might call God. This realization of the world not only provided me with financial means that I desperately needed to nourish my daughter, complete my education and develop my professional life.

Slowly I began to learn how to ground myself in the real world, not leaving the mystical behind, but integrating the All into a whole that could carry me forward. I eventually held a professorship for nearly 20 years with my PhD in Education and served as graduate coordinator at Northern Vermont University. In my educational publications you will discover the importance of growth and play in childhood to overcome adversity. In my poetry you will find connections to the mystical and inherently sacred possibilities in the world around us.

Play allows everyone the possibility of growth and fulfillment. There is no one thing that differentiates us from the world around us, it is the ability to include everything from listening stones to listening to a small child. From there we grow and eventually find where it is in our nature to find ourselves, connect and flow.