“Fire on the Mountain”

My friend, Russell, died early this morning before dawn. I have had the privilege to sit by his side for the past few days, keeping his wife company as we Stood Watch over his transformation. She had brought him from the city last Sunday so he could die at home. He had been hospitalized in a major city off and on since last May. About six months ago, they had decided to move from our rural community to be closer to the medical care he needed. In doing so, they left behind their small, integral group of friends and community they had grown with over the past 16 years.

Russell was dying…. And he asked his wife to move them back to their cabin home where he could pass on in peace. Heeding his wishes, she and his daughter had him transported by ambulance to their cabin this past Sunday. Only 4 days ago. When I learned that they had arrived, I took my place with others who came to Support, Hold and Witness his passing with his wife.

It is always an Honor to have the opportunity to tell a loved one goodbye before they die. To Speak words which lay unspoken in the Heart, to offer thanks for their presence and friendship in our lives. I met my friend and his wife in church when they first arrived. He was of “American Indian” ancestry, a title he preferred to be identified with over “Native American”. He was a Medicine Man in his own right, offering ceremonies for Blessing of people and places. He told me a few years ago that he no longer “felt the presence of” his Medicine in his hands….it was gone, and with it went his Song and ability to drum for periods of time. He had asked me to create a new drum, a shield, for him last year and I happily obliged.

Yesterday, it was obvious that he would be “putting down his robe” soon. A group of us, seven in all, had gathered to Watch and wish him Godspeed for his journey. We gathered on the veranda outside of his room in the evening, a little before sunset. We sat in a semi-circle facing north. We had a magnificent view of our valley which ends at the base of Fox Mountain, a sacred place for me. Light evening thundershowers were passing overhead, it was a beautiful sight to behold.

We were relaxing, some with drinks in our hands, voices low in laughter and conversation when a thick lightning bolt came and slammed into the Mountain directly in front of us. All of us saw it, together. Moments later we are reaching for our phones to notify the local sheriff office to report that open flame was visible from the lightning strike. We all sat and watched as a helicopter appeared to size up the situation, and as fire engines began to pick their way across the landscape to reach the fire. The fire spread to about 20 acres real quickly, glowing bright orange and yellow as darkness fell. I drove home late, watching the fire blaze bright into the early morning hours.

I received a phone call early this morning from his wife, telling me that Russell was gone. I jumped into the shower to quickly wash up, threw on some clothes and drove to their home immediately to be with her and his daughter. While driving there, I heard a small chuckle in my Heart….Russell had said his goodbye in a powerful way…..He left us his bon voyage gift…..”Fire on the Mountain” to those of us who Stood by him to send him off……His Medicine Renewed…

All Blessings my Friend and Love…..Godspeed.

A Place of Peace…

There is a simple place I love to visit…only minutes from my home, but secluded and quiet. I rarely, if ever, see another person there. It is a place of solace, and its quietness offers my soul a haven for peace in a disturbed World. The creek offers food and shelter to the heron, egret, hawk, kingfisher, ducks, ibis, warblers, otter and coyote. It has proved a valuable fishing spot over the past few months. Hate the ticks, but love the waters…

Knowing Hands

There is a crisp scent of Autumn in the air this early morning. I felt it as I arose from my bed and began to systematically close the windows throughout our large house. It was a couple of hours before dawn, and I wandered through the house quietly removing window screens and pushing the frames shut. The cool breeze which had been rushing into the rooms suddenly sank to the floor like a sigh. “It’s too early”, I thought to myself. “It’s only August for gosh sakes!”

Winter is the longest season where I live. The cold can come in and settle from October and stick around until early June. Although we have had traditional hot days this summer, the gardens have foundered and produced vegetables and plants that are small in stature. “The soils remained cool too long into June”, neighbors say.

Yet, it’s my hands that tell me Autumn is coming. More reliable than squirrels caching pine nuts or the full ripening of berries and fruit on the vine. I am the latest manifestation of all of my Ancestors, the thousands of peoples which lay woven within the warp and weft of my DNA. My Ancestors experienced all of the variations in seasonal change one can find in the historic landscapes on this beloved Planet. Someone in my line, probably many of them, created clothing to protect themselves and their loved ones with the coming of the cold winter months. I think most of my bloodlines came from the northern latitudes where seasonal changes could prove to be life or death. How do I know that? Because my hands engage in projects and activities my conscious mind knows nothing about….

I knit and crochet up a storm in the months of Autumn. I have for many years. I make hats, gloves, scarves, leggings, sweaters, vests and bed socks. Lots of them…. My hands can knit and crochet on their own. I don’t even need to watch what I am doing. I can converse on the phone or with other people, watch a movie or look at a landscape while riding in a car. My hands just simply know what to do and they drive me into a fervor of activity for weeks on end. I am not usually drawn to the craft until early October, but 2 weeks ago I found my hands gathering knitting needles and yarn. I began to knit a project for a head and neck covering, only to drop it into a basket with alarm…. What am I doing? I have so many other mediums to choose from for my creative expressions. Knitting is simply not one of those things I do until the change of season is upon me.

I laughed about it yesterday when shopping, I had brought the project with me for something to do. My friend, who has known my habits for decades, raised an eyebrow at me and said “You’re kidding, right? You are KNITTING?” I told her that it feels strange to me too. My seasonal clock is a bit off this year and something feels amiss. My hands speak, almost as a portent, of an early shift toward colder weather. I trust the intuition of my body….my ancestors are telling me something that might just prove to be true…an unseasonable early Autumn. Hmmmm. We will see if my hands speak truth…..

Muse Food

I have a bit of a creative muse in my Soul. She is given lots of room to use different mediums, different thoughts and impulses. I went to my local post office just down the street to get the mail. A hidden message was waiting for my muse, laying on top of the discarded mail in the garbage can. My muse’s eyes popped right out of my own physical ones, and has taken the message into Her unknown Heart. Hmmmmm, wonder what She is going to come up with…

Sturgeon Moon….

I seem to be fascinated in this month’s moon….photograph taken tonite at 9:45 pm.

As Above…so Below

This statement is often associated with Sacred geometry, European alchemy, the Tarot and modern wiccan practices. The phrase is derived from a passage in the Emerald Tablet, which was used as the foundational code for European alchemists back in the day. Today, the phrase is readily used in a secular context. The phrase refers to the idea that “the microcosm reflects the macrocosm”, that the individual or domestic ills can result from larger societal ills. I think this historical colloquium describes a sacred relationship whose perimeter encompasses a far greater potential and idea….

How many of you have a physical challenge or chronic disability? Something in our bodies that we are forced to embrace and integrate in our daily lives? A systemic, deep expression of disharmony in the body, mind, emotional plane or the ethereal or astral body? Why do I ask this question? Because I believe, through my own experience, that a disabling condition has the potential to “wake” us into a deeper understanding and relationship to Life.

When we are forced by Life to sit down and withdraw from the responsibilities and noise of everyday activity, our attention is forced into what is happening in the Body. We can no longer keep on crunching through the minutia that makes up the majority of life activities…. Answering phones, going shopping, brushing our teeth, working full-time, paying attention to everyone and everything else that calls our attention and engages our Life Force.

For many years, I was “warned” by little body and situational signs that I needed to slow down. My busyness and constant pushing to attain specific goals I desired in my Life completely engaged my mind and energy 24/7. Although I was given these signs, I regarded them as trivial or that I had enough resilience to spring back into my mainstream habits in no time. Until one day, an insignificant “slip” on damp steel work steps took me completely out of the life I knew and thought I was building for my future.

Self-awareness was not something I actively sought to do or embrace at that time. I was busy raising my children and building a successful career as an Ecologist. I became aware of “signs” that showed up periodically while pursuing my advanced college degrees. I continued to see them when working abroad, or on domestic restoration projects. I trusted in my assumption that my young body could handle anything, that I had the world by the tail. I never recognized that these “signs” were showing up to direct me to consider or surrender to a different trajectory than what I was striving to do….until the moment arrived that resulted in shattering everything I held to be true.

Mother Earth, Gaea, had been calling me to walk a different Journey, far from the masculine defined World I was immersed in on a daily basis. She literally tacked my ass to a chair. Symbolically, I could not move: left or right, up or down, forward or backwards. I was stilled to the point of complete incapacity.

My disabilities have proven to be a harsh taskmaster, and one of my greatest teachers over the decades. They have forced me to explore and embrace my body and my unexplored capabilities. They have allowed me lots of quiet time, to learn to journey into myself and into the quiet places of

the interstitial spaces between molecules in this World. The Feminine lives there.

I have learned to embrace the reality that I am not a separate entity, but live within the interconnectedness of absolutely everything. I have learned to Receive as well as Give, deeply to each moment as it unfolds, and toward this Planet. My disabilities have helped me to deepen my Trust in my own Intuition and Higher Self, and that they are directly correlated to the complex degradation of this Planet and loss of Her species. I could only learn and experience these truths through being forced into Quietness …..

“As above, so below”….. Namaste’.

Wild Water

I think Water is the greatest alchemist of all on this blessed planet. Every living organism is comprised of Water. It surges in our oceans and rises from the labyrinthine sources beneath our feet. It is the single most element which connects all of life; and life cannot exist without it. Water is alive and energized. It initiates and drives all the processes of life.

The most important function of Water is to create a pathway, a chemical communication one might say, between cells and connective tissues. Water does this all the time, in all creatures no matter what. It magnificently creates an unseen, highly sensitive network throughout the fabric of Life. This network exists even between life on Earth and the Cosmos … everything is linked together by water….

Water’s structure is known to react to any irritation. Its molecules are organized in clusters that work as “memory cells,” so to speak. Within each memory cell there are 440,000 information panels that are responsible for the interaction with its environment. A complex and complicated element indeed! Recent studies have demonstrated that whatever Water hears, sees, and feels becomes a catalyst for its change. Water has the ability to copy, memorize and even transport this change into the World….

I have read that the archangel Gabriel is identified as the “Angel of Water”. He specializes in using the element of Water to communicate spiritual truth and aids in Healing the dross of illness and weariness often experienced in human Life. Modern healing thought embraces the idea that the element of Water has powerful auric and energy field cleansing abilities. Well…..the evidence from experiments performed Dr. Masaru Emoto have me convinced of the powers of Water….but not just any water.

In cities, the qualities of water “from the tap” have been adulterated through the addition of fluoride and other sterilizing chemicals. I am a lucky girl, we draw our Water from our own well. No centralized water distribution, no chemicals. I also live in an area where Water flows Wild from spring sources in the mountains down to the river basins in the valleys below. I choose the “full immersion” method where I completely cover myself with Water, and then seek to communicate with it in a direct way….offering tobacco or cornmeal with words of gentle Thankfulness and Blessing. When afloat, I can literally feel the shadows within me be carried away. When I Rise from the Waters, I feel Renewed. My limbs have Strength and my Heart is light…. Oh the Blessings of Water!

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