I would like to offer you an abbreviated story of a journey I took in Big Pine, CA/Owens Valley/Eastern Sierra last week. I offer it as a ponderence for your own wild heart. Who are your communities? What gifts do you offer? What triggers your own aliveness/wildness? (The four shields greatly simplified: South-body, West-psyche, North-Mind, East-Spirit)
Our Mirroring Guides sent us on a North Shield Medicine Walk to find a symbol of our gifts we bring to our community. As I began driving up the mountain, seeing the profusion of color bursting forth in the spring flowers, felt the warm spring/almost summer air caressing my skin, I felt playful. I thought, “It’s summertime and I just want to play!” I was dancing in my seat, anticipating the intensity of the sun, the full sensuality of my walk.
My first step on the trail was my threshold. I remembered the assignment and began wondering, “Who/what is my community?” I felt the loneliness of living in a new place and not being part of a local community yet; starting a new business and not having full clarity or clients yet.
I soon crossed the river as it danced down the mountain singing loudly as it deliciously lapped at the boulders in it’s path. Standing in the middle, I felt myself cleansed and filled with promise.
As I walked on up the trail a I felt the pull of a huge Ponderosa Pine. I leaned into her with my belly and my chest, as I lay my cheek upon her bark. I felt my heart nurturing her, as her roots brought the powerful nourishment of the Earth to me. I kissed her over and over as gratitude both soothed and impassioned me. After thanking her, I stepped back onto the trail and took in the vista – oh my. I began to sob as my heart broke wide open to the magnificent beauty of my awe inspiring community before me.
I soon found a sunny boulder in the middle of the river to sit on while I allowed myself to be serenaded. My mind wondered and pondered while my heart basked in this aliveness so willingly offered by Mother Earth and the wild myriad of her inhabitants.
“My gifts are like seeds that pop out of the pine cone in every direction when they are ready”, was my thought, as I made my way back down the mountain with a large pine cone. It was dripping sap and it was perfect because it was messy and juicy, like me.
I stopped at trail’s end and wrote this poem for all the shields of we:
Oh, the beauty of tree
deep roots, sensual bark, high reaching branches.
She is me.
We drink from the water of life.
Oh the singing, dancing water.
I am the water, I am the boulder,
I am the mountain!
Oh the breathtaking beauty of we;
the deep resonance on One.
photos by Carolyn Ringo