Awakening to new consciousness.
My guide took me yesterday deep into the temperate rainforest of Appalachia. We drove miles and miles from the nearest small town up windy roads to Nowhere. I was disoriented, we had no signal, and a storm loomed in the distance. Casually, my guide tells me that she was swept away by the river in her sleep during her last visit to this sacred spot. She told me she awakened to new consciousness when she found herself alive miles away. Consequently I felt fear that this crazy woman was leading me and my dog to death. But when the song of the mountain beckons you, you answer and you take the journey.
On our way up the mountain, I noticed the forests becoming thicker and darker, and yet the sun shone through the clouds just softly enough there was a gentle glow over the landscape. We drove past a sign seemingly painted by Bob Ross himself where a vertical rainbow dropped down like a ladder from the clouds down to the Earth. I wondered what kind of secrets and what wealth was hidden in that treasured cove. We passed a pipe jutting from the side of the mountain where white people driving expensive foreign cars were taking their fill. We drove past cozy and beautiful cottages, cabins, and homes with acres of pasture and wildflower. The grass was so luscious and green that my pup and I likely equally desired to lay in it. We had no planned schedule, but we arrived at this closed building at precisely 1pm. We immediately hit the trail--our destined appointment was elsewhere.
We descended down, down, down into the ravine basin and I had this feeling deep inside me that I was entering someplace where you do not come back from, or at least not the same person you think you are. I kept stopping and looking at my guide apprehensively, or checking over my shoulder to make sure no one was following two petite young women deep into the woods. She beamed at me with content and excitement.
When I first heard the river my worries began to fade and I was immersed completely by all my senses to another world. The trail leveled out and we walked with the river and I began to notice the beauty of all around me. The sounds of the water, the whispers of the trees, the soft float of the leaves to the Earth signalling the present day Autumn Equinox. The air was the perfect temperature, I was neither hot nor cold. The path elevated and descended to the perfect dimension of challenge and rest to my body. The air was so clean and so pure, my lungs felt expanded 10 times. Every stone, pebble, and branch seemed to be placed just perfectly where they should be...
I began to sob, to cry, and eventually scream with grief. The best way I can describe what I felt was immense pleasure to return to a place so majestically beautiful and pure... to the immense sorrow of what I and my people, us humans, have done to this Earth. I felt and saw with my eyes and all my senses how far disconnected we have become from the sweetness, the abundance, the wildness, and humility of the natural world and my grief turned to anger. This was my home! I have been robbed of peace this whole time. This is the place I search for in my dreams and fantasy, and all that I have sought on my travels, hikes, meditations, and worships. My emotions subsided and I allowed my feet to carry me.
We reached the riverbank and beheld a huge boulder we sat upon only briefly, for it was simply not enough to admire the water, but to rest in it. Mountain rivers are so icy cold, but the water had a certain blue glow to it, it looked so refreshing. There was a smooth little waterfall pool, and with a swirling vortex in the middle where the glow seemed to emerge from. An inner voice told me great healing would come to me if I simply immersed myself fully into this unworldly vortex. I stripped down to my underwear, put my feet in and quickly rejected the idea. Even though the pool was shallow, and the river unthreatening, fear overtook me.
I retreated to my guide who herself found another pool to enjoy. I toured several of them, each having a different energy to it. I kept trying to convince myself that any of the pools would suffice for a quick dip, but the nagging feeling inside of me said they just would not do. The moment I gave up the idea altogether and I settled for one, I heard God ask me if I trusted Him. Then it suddenly started to pour and a great courage and strength filled my body and I walked to that swirly pool, and as it seemed not so threatening anymore, I dove in.
I surfaced safe and sound and sat on a rock, oddly warm and fairly happy. I combed my hair with my fingers, and an inner and ancient wisdom told me to offer my shed hair to the river and so I did. An intuition told me that hair carries codes of our DNA, and that I was offering information, or perhaps returning something to this sacred spot. I remembered my feeling of a transformational death to this journey, and I knew that my river bath was a ceremonial washing away, a cleanse, a rebirth.
My guide told me it was time to go--if she was not with me I had a feeling I would have stayed much longer and possibly have been swept away by the river like her too. I heeded her warning and we hiked back up the mountain. Again, the path was designed just perfectly so that my body was warmed just enough despite the rain and cold, and although soaked, I felt dry. As we hiked closer and closer back to reality, to our three dimensional world of dis-chord, dis-ease, and disharmony, I felt a deep knowing that I would return to this place, and that I was destined to share this experience with those who would be willing to listen, and to only ever return with those sworn to protect and keep sacred this earth healing medicine, and window portal to God-consciousness.
I end this story with a testament that God's plan is perfect. His timing is always perfect. He asks us to trust in Him and to be steadfast in our patience that while we are enduring the growing pains of a changing world, a new one shall be birthed. Trust that your sufferings are not in vain and that God is all-loving, all-knowing, and that heaven's doors open to you when you open your heart to receive His love. Let not the evils of this world steal from you, your joy, and your pureness of heart. Remain strong and sturdy as the oaks, swift and revolutionary as the river, glow in the heat of sun, surrender to the downpour, and keep wandering your mountains. Walk your journey with high faith and deep love, and plant them as seeds where you are called: this is your Earth-walk, your journey, and your mission.