Tag Archives: Shamanism

Return, Return, Return

 

P1190884Waking up to Kingfisher’s loud and distinct rattling call, I opened my eyes to see what was going on. The little ducks, that come to stay in the bay and grace us with their presence every winter, have returned and for some reason this is either not to Kingfisher’s liking or perhaps he is just very excited that they are back to keep him company during the darker winter months. As he is announcing their arrival to the whole world, I watch him fly low over the ducks from shore to tree and back again, over and over while rattling away.

This summer to my delight I was lucky enough to capture three of them sitting together on the rope by the dock, a favourite resting place in the mornings, after diving in and out of the water many times for their breakfast. But lately I have seen only the one coming to sit there, pruning itself in the sunlight after the morning swim and meal.

P1170257Looking at the Kiwis lying on the table being kissed by the early morning sun, it is hard to describe the joy I feel looking at their fuzzy bodies and also felt while I was picking them as the snow was coming down in silent reverence a few days ago. Standing on the ladder twisting and turning to get those hard to reach treasures, while icy cold drops from the leaves dripped on my face and neck, running down and making me shiver with aliveness, I could feel joy spreading inside and filling me, as I picked one by one and carefully placing them in my basket.

These old Kiwi vines are a huge tangled mess and I had to laugh when my hat kept getting pulled off by the branches and pretty soon my long hair also got tangled in the vine, making it at times impossible to move. It felt good to laugh out loud, slowly untangling myself and filling the basket with so much abundance. It wasn’t lost on me as I freed my hair of how it was reflecting the untangling that is happening in my own life. Now seeing the hundreds of kiwis lying on the table, I feel awe and gratitude for Mother Nature’s incredible generosity and teachings.

P1200005While picking the fruit I was singing a favourite song I learned in choir: “The Earth, the air, the fire, the water….return, return, return!”  Standing on that ladder while snow and rain were taking turns to awaken me, I couldn’t help but hear the elements around me calling to become truly present: Return! Return! Return!

As my awareness deepened, I saw pictures in my heart’s eye of how we used to honour and celebrate together the elements, the seasons, the sun, moon and stars, and our mother…how we used to dance together around the fires celebrating all that sustains life and how deeply connected and intertwined we were with life itself.

The earth, the air, the fire and the water are singing their invitation to all of us to return, return, return…

 

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Take A Closer Look

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A few of our Hollyhocks are still blooming in November. Their beauty on these often grey and rainy days is a sight to behold. As I start out on my walk with my old companion Frodo, I see the soft pink greeting me from a distance.

Making my way through the meadow I can’t help but notice many different tribes of mushrooms dotted throughout the landscape. I feel their invitationp1130315 to stop for a moment.  I take a closer look and feel touched by their mystery and beauty. Most of them I do not recognize. Life seems ever changing as I take in the many different shapes and sizes that are here today and may be gone tomorrow.

Frodo and I continue our morning walk and soon we are stepping over all the little creeks in the meadow that are making their way to the ocean. I watch Frodo stop and sniff a cedar branch for a very long time. This brings tears to my eyes. His eyesight is slowly leaving, his hearing all but gone. Each moment is becoming more precious and these walks with him are not taken for granted anymore. Quietly I watch him take in the sweet smell of cedar and who knows what else…

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A couple of weeks ago I had an experience that is still with me today. I was looking at posts on Facebook when I came across one that stopped me in my tracks. I had seen it before. Last time I quickly clicked onto something else. The image was breaking my heart. When I saw it again this time however I knew I couldn’t just pass over it. I looked at the picture of a starving polar bear floating on a piece of ice and I became very still. Perhaps you know which one I am talking about. I didn’t read any words, the picture spoke volumes. The usual feeling of deep pain, helplessness and hopelessness arose and I sat with it as I would with a friend who is sharing with me a painful experience. Then I did something else that surprised me. I asked myself not from a place of defeat, but from a place of earnest inquiry: What can I do to make a difference? I don’t usually ask myself this question, because I think I already know the answer: There is nothing I can do! Or perhaps I am afraid of the answer.

I did not address the question to that little me who feels powerless and inadequate, I asked my very core, my centre of being and the answer was matter of fact, immediate, very short and very clear: Write!

As soon as I heard it, I felt an immense amount of joy followed immediately by fear. I remember my Shamanic teacher Sandra Ingerman telling a group of us once, to only ask a question if we are really ready to hear the answer and accept it. Sometimes we don’t actually want to hear the answer and do what is asked of us. I have never forgotten her teaching and now only ask when I feel ready to honour the response.

I let the answer wash over and through me. As I watch the raindrops gather together becoming little creeks, gaining momentum and power p1130329as many become one, I wonder if that is what is needed to shift what is happening in our world today. Is this what is taking place at Standing Rock in North Dakota where tribes, nations and many people are coming together from all directions to stand up for what is sacred: our water, life, Mother Earth, our burial grounds…?

On my walks recently I have been looking for a stone that resembles Standing Rock for me and then I suddenly realized that what I was looking for was not to be found on the outside. I had to look for it on the inside. As soon as I turned my gaze inward I could see that Standing Rock is that centre of my being that stands solid and strong regardless of what is happening on the outside.

As Frodo is taking a sip from the little creek under the big old cedar tree, I am really glad I asked myself that question and for a moment I imagine a world where people come together and stand for the sacredness of life and create a new world together based on love and oneness not fear. I look out onto the garden where the soft pink Hollyhocks are beckoning: Come! Take a closer look! And I do…what I see fills my heart with joy: the seeds are sown, it is already in the making.

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Photos by Elke