Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Side Of The Road

It was Grey Wolf who gave me the name of Walking Wolf Woman, for the colour of my eyes, the clan he was adopting me into, and for the miles under my feet. Fitting that we met on the side of a country road, 'round Fulford Harbour, on Salt Spring Island, B.C.

What do you say when you ask for strength of spirit on a walk...and a car almost immediately pulls over to the side of the road behind you? How do you explain when on old First Nations man gets out of the car to take you in his arms? If you are me, and have trusted the journey since birth, you say thank you and hello.

I had come from New York to this small island in the Georgia Strait to say goodbye to my best friend of twenty years. In 1991 they had not made all the advances with breast cancer that are available now. Still, we had our small miracles; she woke up from a coma the day I arrived in February, and we were able to take her home two days later. I came back to her in September, knowing it would be our last visit. She was so tired but still neither of us wanted to let go.

This is what I was wrestling with, in my heart, when Grey Wolf came into my life. His eyes looked so big behind the thick glasses he wore. His frame was frail and crooked but his strength of spirit was to change my life forever. After our hug, he told me that he had to run to catch the ferry but made sure I had his address to write.

A couple of weeks later it was time to say goodbye to my best friend. We were a generation of the road so, of course, we were once again beside it as I headed towards the ferry and a flight back to New York. Both she and Grey Wolf felt so small in my arms; both so large and connected in my life. Anne journeyed-on with the full moon of November that year. Still she kisses my cheek in the passing breeze, as I walk along the byways.

Grey Wolf and I began a correspondence and the trading of stories on the "talking leaves," as he called letters. The road was to lead me back west and my first visit to Washington state by the following summer of '92.

Still, Silent Snow

Patches of wet sticky snow on the grass, the deck and the blackberry brambles as the sky begins to lighten...also in patches of silver, slate and pewter. The morning seems to be holding its's just so still and muted. Not one car goes by on the road...well, it's Sunday, early and slippery. The tall standing ones, fir, pine, cedar...all are frosted and ready for a Christmas close-up. I'll have to take my camera on a walk later.

A Great Blue Heron just went gliding by with effortless wing-strokes, almost invisible in the grey light. The water in Joe's Bay is at high tide...and looks such a deep teal against all the softened colours around its edges. The water's undulation and the birds catching air currents or orbiting around feeders gives the morning some movement.

In just one week it will be the Full-Tilt Boogie...the Long Night of Stories....the Solstice of Winter....Yule. A moment of stillness and then we begin our journey's wobble back again...the endless rhythms of our lives and our planet in a great symphony of Creation and Being. The path or religion doesn't matter to the rhythms and we are notes, playing across the score and telling our stories into the darkness receiving.

A faint pink blush appears over the ridge, on the underbelly of the clouds' quilt. Goldfinches dart about like bits of escaped sunshine and the lighter green of the Scotch Broom shows as the day comes on. Oooh! Flashes of bright red and yellow on black...the Redwing Blackbirds have come in chorus to sing this Sunday into being.

I love this early time in the morning to centre myself within the greater movement...and the greater stillness from which we came.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Warrior’s Counsel Fire

Come by the fire, young warrior, and sit with me a while. Your quest has begun in difficult and confusing times. What magic can we stir here in the fire to give you aid? Lean in little sister, little brother, and I will share with you secrets of the journey that were once shared at the warrior counsel fire of an old, wise man.

These are his words:

First and foremost, respect yourself.

This means to honour and care for yourself. You are a beautiful, intelligent human being. You are worthy of love. Walking within your own honour, respect and love has a better chance to keep the control of your life in your hands. You are worth too much to throw yourself away in violence, gangs, addictions, or any control but your own. Make heroic choices (even in the little ones) and be a champion. Be brave enough to meet yourself and issue the challenge.

Have respect for others. Your space ends where another person’s begins. Respect and honour their space as you would have them respect and honour yours. It is not your right to judge another…but it is your responsibility and perhaps a matter of your survival to judge the situation you find yourself in. Think…SHOULD I BE HERE?

Ideas put into words are your greatest tools, so learn words and how to use them. Talk about your feelings. Many of us keep the counsel fires going for you. If a situation arises that seems too big, think and talk, until you can begin to break it down into the small steps necessary to start tackling the problem. Be honest. Lies grow a life all their own and steal your control, your self-respect and your honour.

Before you do or say anything please think…WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? When you think ahead a few steps, you will be able to tell if there is something wrong with your plan before it’s too late. To talk or act without thinking is to offer your life, at no cost, to trouble.

Making the world a better place seems such an impossible task; the world is so big. But it IS possible, for a corner of the world touches each of us. A corner of the world is under the control of our every choice, every day…even when it doesn’t seem so.

The magic motion, my young friend, is from the inside, outward. Start by taking pride in yourself, for you are a unique gift to this world. No one can take that from you. Take care of your home, as it is your first movement, outward. Become involved with your community, sorely in need of your new ideas and help. Learn how to make our world move forward from where we are now by moving yourself forward in the same way; walking the true warrior’s path with honour, respect, humility and love. Achieve the quest.