Well, it started with my parentage. Mother is neo-pagan raised Methodist. Father devout athiest (or so he says... I still think he's agnostic). As such, they decided I wouldn't be Baptised until I decided it was right for me. During my youth, I attended approximately two months of Sunday School. While I enjoyed the crafts (which included pressing leaves and drawing pictures), the bible study became tiresome. I had an "old school" bible teacher who didn't believe in questions.
Having always been a nature-based person, and having to reconcile the spirituality of my mother with the science of my father, I spent years knowing my beliefs and my path and shunning names, lables, specific religions, and organized religion overall.
In college, I made friends with a self-proclaimed Druid. She was intreguing, but she tried to fasten me into Druidry. It seemed to me like "recruiting" very much like Christian Missionaries do. Being highly independant, I preferred not to do what SHE thought was right for me. I then spent the next several years watching her profess one thing and do another.
During this time I met an older man (in his forties, I think) by the name of Glenn Allen. He wore a Celtic torque and was a skilled musician. He recognized the Bard's spirit in me and encouraged me to play Celtic music on tin whistles with him. Being classically trained and posessing a VERY limited knowledge of Celtic music, I was timid. He told me, one day in conversation, that he was a druid. When I mentioned my friend (still a friend at the time), he said, "a lot of people say they're druids..." I'm not sure what his order was, but he was wise and he restored the word Druid for me.
Years later, he has gone gypsy... in his absence, I have begun to play with a local Irish band' we have become a regular stage act at our local Renaissance Festival. I have found my own druid path. I have wondered at his situation, location, etc., and longed to tell him that his words spoke volumes to me. *shrugs* Ah well.
In researching religion, I took the beliefnet quizzes... while surfing (and asserting my neo-paganism), I found a druid wedding ceremony posted. I'm not sure if it's one the OBOD would use, but that's not the point. The point is that it was well ballanced and included elements I'd never before seen in a marriage ceremony. I appreciated the use of the cardinal directions, the gender ballance of the ceremony, and the overall salient feel. I decided to research Druid Orders.
First, I looked for something in the US... ADF is, of course, the largest here. I found that they weren't as philisophical about Druidry as I preferred and looked to the OBOD next. It was a great fit. I then spent the next few years posting on these boards, waiting to find a job so that I might order the courses. Here I am.
--Laurelin Linrilwen Tauregwaithalion
P.S. I like your avatar, Nineflowers. I believe those are The Two Trees, Laurelin and Telperion from "The Silmarillion"... no? Beautiful.
"It's a very rare person who is taken for what he truly is." --Schmendrick The Magician