Here is a picture. It might not seem like much to you. But as pictures go…
It is April 19, 2019, a full moon as well as my 42nd birthday. I have just emerged from initiation- a quest for life, vision and permission.
This is the only picture that was taken. I can hear my mama sayin’- “I can’t see your beautiful face”. Mama, look close and you will see My 1000 faces.
I am in a desert- a place called Big Pine- where rivers of gold use to flow and fill the Paiute Tribe’s lives with Earth’s treasures. Now the river spirits have up and run dry for a city of angels. There is still a memory they call Baker Creek that carries Her oldest story. Water trickling over rock is how the stone people speak of the omens to come.
This trickle feeds a field of green- a beautiful dichotomy of where soft grasses meet rough and tumbled sage brush and desert weed. There are cows. Who tends them I do not know. If we left them alone to tend themselves- they would also the Earth -and all of her gardens would again grow. On this day they are birthing; an unmistakable lowing. There is something in the air that brushes against my soul. I wave away the sense of a miracle stirring as I always do. Miracles are for those other people.
Until this day…
The Sierra Nevadas are jagged and raw and snow peaked before me. Behind me Inyos- the color of Earth weathered by Sky. I did not see them at first- these old ones. But they hold the most ancient records of life. Within them stands a tree called the Bristlecone Pine. This Pine is the oldest organism we know of in this human time. I feel a deep grief in the metaphor erecting itself over this valley. The young and rugged, strong and shiny ones are all the people passing by see. No one stops to explore anymore the weathered and worn for the stories they keep.
I lean upon a Hawthorn tree that has wandered far from home. It called me there to remember itself again- a story waiting a whole lifetime and the last 42 years to share.
I have not showered in 12 days. The hair on my body grows wild and free revealing lost patterns in my ancestry. My hat is worn- woven with feather and prayer.
Just there- look close- is a Salmon who swam through the roots of Myth and transformation to bring me around another bend on this path of initiation. This tree has a tribe- a ring of fairy and fay- that hold a lock of my hair on an Irie island far away. Oh, do you see him?! the young handsome Bard singing spells of Stardrift as he hand feeds me water kissed flesh and bone? The medicine of our brethren that always swims in the direction of home.
Wrapped around me, is the vision of a Mama Bear who led me down a river’s stream to catch a salmon, Her gift to me. As she set it down at my feet, I felt that familiar urge to shut down the magic that was happening before my very eyes. “Grand daughter, surrender your addictions to doubt and seeking, of fixing unbroken things. We have been trying to get your attention. It is time to receive the gift you have denied. We need your voice to help sing Her back to Life .”
On this day there is a song in the wind through the leaves of that tree. An answer to the Mama Cow’s lowing in the fields before me. She is cautious on this day with Her Spring babes under foot; her bullmate unwilling to let me pass by. I am trapped face to face with nostrils dripping and my fear flaring or is it nostrils flaring and my fear dripping? I am terrified.
If you listen close, from a place inside, as I did that day, you will hear an ancient song. It rises from roots of the unseen when we have lost our way. But you have to ask and you must have faith- Sacred law can always hear your heart’s cry. With my handful of prayer I hold that tree for dear life and hear that Mama bear whisper “surrender”. I open my heart and a channel pours forth a haunting, wild lullaby.
The air stills as my Voice fills the sky with the stories of Creation. The Cows and babes raise their heads in my direction. The Bull bows his head to this old song of Earth devotion. I am free to pass by- the secret code was a forgotten song’s resurrection.
The Desert is a temple where things go to die. Where eventually the Sun burns truth into the tucked away spaces lies like to hide. As old skin goes up in flame like the pages of a worn out story, the tender flesh, soft and iridescent reflects the light of original vision.
Inside this desert temple of death and vision I sat upon a golden throne made by the dust of spiraling dead sea scrolls. I am annointmented from brow to toe with my womb’s timely flow. She always arrives in time for a good ceremony.
Here I wept for him, cried for His vision to appear before my naked body. I made love to Her lands on pink granite and warm sand. He must have smelled my spell of love and devotion. For as I rose from my place of prayer, he rose like a snake charmed from inside Her lair.
I thought I was alone. I am never alone. And, there he was. A desert wandering man seeking a rightful throne. Naked before me as he was so long ago.
Humble and exalted. His heavenly flesh asking if I can witness his shadows without shame. If I can surrender the story of a perpetrator responsible for all the Her wounding. His body craving to relearn devotion and boundaries in love and compassion. To oath His life to Her without fear of punishment and guilt that he is the reason for Her pain.
He then turned and walked towards the west gate and slipped back into the fray. I am sure it was Jesus, naked with a backpack, who no one else saw on that day.
How can we hold each other as One Love again? Ah, ree-myth our stories into medicine..
Like the one where we have pushed Her towards rage and expressions of retaliation to get her attention. We ache to hear Her fires roar and take a stand for Herself and stop allowing the story that she is broken- because then so are we.
But pain makes a good profit and an even better distraction from the initiations that would actually set all creatures free. But those rites have been stolen and the oaths of Queens and Kings broken. And original sin is the gospel most spoken. So we make a mess and spill Her milk while we cry for the warmth of her bosom.
I came to re-myth the real story hidden in the frayed and unfinished; as if she was knitting dreams on Her front porch rocker and then just up and fled from “something”- edges of my ancestral tapestry. I came to fill the gap between the gift and the dreams of those before me. I have always known this in some way. I was presented with a life that made no sense to the Love in me. So I cast myself into exile from the world to find the good Earth.
But did I need to be blinded before I could see?
Look again. Look close. The answer is there… In this picture is also a girl, a virgin, a whore, a mother, my grandmother, a sister of many brothers, a dreamer, a leaver, a deniar, a warrior, a lover, a punisher, a pain, a pleasure- a healing wind wielder. See the strands of silken hair (that’s what my mama says) that fell in my face as I hung my head in toilets, vomiting shame and despair?
Afraid to receive the Great Mother’s teet. Love meant loss. Life meant death. Desire meant sin. So I came to inhabit a desert inside. A body given, taken- rinse and repeat again -until there is nothing to hold- for Him- because of him- all she ever wanted was Him. I still do.
There next to that tree is a heart. A heart broken from trying to carry heavy things that severed its strings from Source. And, this is always and forever worth repeating- only through the cracks can the light get in. And that is all I am. Light and cracks I can now follow to lead me home- or away- depending on the weather channel I choose to listen to each day.
It is all there within the woman by that tree. It has to be. For the wound attracts the medicine and the medicine needs a hunger to be craved and found. How can I obey this sacred law of reciprocity without entertaining indoctrinated self punishment as the only way to receive? Suffering is optional. Love is everything. We need our cliches.
It is all in how we tell our stories that can bring down our roots to meet the real gift of our humanity. But roots find their way home in the dark and mulch and the musk of Her skin before they can rise to the light.
Before I leave this scene and make my final bow to the mystery Hawthorn and Mother Cow. I turn back towards a life where I can truly say “I would do it all over again to arrive at this day”. Thank you, forever. Yet, a curious thing question still lingers about in the air-
“Who planted this ancestor tree so far from home for me to find my song as I roam”
I hear those say that speak to me from far beyond what human eyes can see.
“Many moons ago. You left yourself a bread crumb trail to find you Soul. You just have to get back to the intuitive body that will always tell you which way to go.”
A picture is worth a thousand words. I don’t need you to believe me. But magic opens the door for vastly more opportunity.
I was born into a life of- and as a walking- ceremony. That is all I have to do- follow my heart and align to what I bow and pray. That is the hardest job and the only one truly worth getting up for each day.
The door is open if you care to know more.
I will share most of myself because I am whole within myself. No need to worry if your load is heavy. Your greatest gift to me is in you sharing your story because there are parts of you that are also in me. This is how we can all work to re-myth separation back into the regenerative medicine of reciprocity.
However, some of my stories are meant to stay between a woman and a tree. So you will just have to hear them by sitting silently with the roots ready to take you deep into this beautiful Life of myth and mystery.