Seek the truth beyond tradition, definition or image
I love to hike and backpack in the back country away from the crowds of people. That way I can converse with the spirits of the land without distraction . So , consequently I look for places to hike away from the centers of population. And, I look for off days when most folks are not out in nature. I also seek times of the year when people are not likely to be out and about. Like the colder or the hotter weather, or even the wetter parts of the year!
Not too long ago, I read something by Henry David Thoreau, that really touched my heart and deeply affected my life. It read:
“Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snow in the fields and woods if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary.”
I lived the truth of this the day I climbed up Truman ridge on Mt St Helens. I started out wearing three layers of clothing, each suited to a different type of weather. The first part of the hike was a bit chilly but dry. Then I descended into a cold pocket where I had to add on warm outer clothing. Then, as I climbed higher, rain began to fall and the wind increased its strength. The fog settled in around me so at times it was even difficult to see the path. Finally I was above everything, even the clouds. The wild birds were flushing as I approached. It was bitter cold, powerfully windy and raining so hard I had to stop several times to be sure I was not headed toward the edge of the cliff. With wind, rain and fog I just could not see. Having glasses made things worse because, like a windshield with broken wipers, the rain hindered my vision even more.
I was cold!! I was getting hungry. And I was definitely weary. Going up and up and up , only to find there was more “up” to go, tired me out.
BUT, I HAVE NEVER FELT MORE ALIVE IN MY LIFE!!!
The mountain spoke and her voice was loud and clear!!! The earth vibrated with her energy!!! The animals fluttered and cried out!! The wind careened around me whispering its messages. Yet, the silence was so deep it was beyond human ears.
Before I ever go hiking, or even visiting people in another town or state or country, I always make a visit in spirit to the spirits of the land where I am going. I ask permission to come on that land and I ask what gifts they would like. Then , in spirit, I offer those gifts. I had done this before my climb that day and my prayer was rewarded ten fold and more.
Sometimes, it is the trees that offer permission. Sometimes the response comes from the indigenous original people of the land. And sometimes it is the animals or the dirt itself. So often we go for a walk and ignore the spirits where we are walking. It is like having a stranger walk into our homes without permission and just taking over , doing what they like when and where they like. It is just plain rude!!! How can we expect the land to accept us, without showing some basic courtesies. And, as for revealing her secrets, never!!! We must show respect and courtesy to the land and her inhabitants, if we are to hope for her to reveal her miracles. She loves us, but we must show her proper care.
In parting I have these words for you. Unfortunately I do not remember where I read them. If anyone remembers, please let me know. But, it is important for you to know that while I am not the originator of these words, they impacted my soul as I hope they impact yours.
“You are no swift burning spark. You are a torch against the night, if you dare to let yourself burn.”
Go to the earth, blending your light with hers, and burn together. She has healing gifts for you, if you would just approach her properly. You will find yourself in her.