Wednesday, May 6, 2009
After meeting Grey Wolf in September of 1991, we began a correspondence and learned more about each other. I sent him the stories I had been told and described my meditations and meetings with the old woman at her campfire. In return, Grey Wolf shared many stories, poems and song-lyrics with me. My songwriting partner and I put music to one of the sets of lyrics and recorded "The Lone Wolf's Last Call," as a gift to him. It still brings a smile, remembering his delight when the tape arrived.
We would talk on the phone for ages, like friends who had known each other forever. I will never forget his reply when I formally asked him to be my teacher.
"You ask me to be your teacher...wauggghhhh! Walk beside me and be my friend...perhaps we will teach each other something." I can still see how his frail body would shake with those silent chuckles.
He also began to join-in on the Monday meditations and his presence was felt in our circle, three thousand miles away. It was during one of these sessions, the following Spring, that I began to get a vision of a gathering of people. I saw Grey Wolf and, standing next to him, a woman with the headdress of a butterfly. I wasn't quite sure what it all meant.
Now, whenever we meditated, we would take the phone off the hook so as not to be disturbed. When we were finished, my friend Dale replaced the phone into its cradle. Immediately it rang. Dale called me over and handed me the receiver, my husband on the other end of the line. He told me the mail had come and there was something for me but he didn't know who it came from. I asked him to open the letter and tell me what was in it.
It was an invitation to a Wolf Clan Gathering in Spokane that coming July. My husband read to me, "The Elders invited to this gathering are Grey Wolf...and Grandmother Butterfly."
Yes, I was going to this gathering.
On the last day of June (a beautiful afternoon) I flew into SeaTac, rented a van to be both vehicle and accommodation, then headed across Highway 2 for Spokane. I wanted the more scenic route and had plenty of time for stopping by rivers and writing in my journal. I love to travel with only pen and paper as company. Sitting by the Snohomish, a Monarch butterfly came and landed on my knee. To come from New York City and be surrounded by all this beauty and peace was such tonic. For full-bodied flavour, I carried the love for my best friend who had journeyed-on, the November before. I cried while driving through a high desert rainstorm and laughed with delight at the following thick, stubby rainbow.
In the wee hours I relaxed my driving muscles at a rest stop, under a blanket of stars. It was time to recheck the map I had been sent...but couldn't find it, no matter how hard I looked. No point in panic; set my inner compass for Grey Wolf and got back on the road.
By sunrise my van pulled into the driveway of a country house, the paddock beyond a pond was filled with tents and two beautiful big tepees. Over to the right was a barn and an enclosure for a young female cougar. As the morning mist lifted I saw the rise beyond and quietly walked to the top of the ridge to watch the camp wake-up, sitting amongst a cloud of bluebells in the sweet-smelling dawn.