New Beginnings

I knelt before Singing Man to receive his blessing.   He took my hands and looked into my eyes.  

What is your intention today?  He asked.

Grandfather, I had a dream the other night that left me disoriented.  Spirit came to me, filling me with energy.   But I did not understand the message.  Today I ask for clarity on what Spirit is directing me to do.”

“You are a woman of balance and many look up to you.  Be open and Spirit will provide you with the guidance you seek.”   Grandfather gently gave me his blessing.   His kindness prepared me for the sweat lodge. 

The sweat lodge and its rituals are sacred.   While Grandfather opens his heart and his lodge to all who wish to participate, out of deepest respect, I will not write of the specific traditions but know that I am drawn to these Earth Honoring traditions which are rooted in prayer, songs of praise and humility before the Great Spirit.   And I can share the personal impact these traditions have on my soul.

The darkness of the third hour of our sweat lodge was upon us, a time of prayers for self, prayers for guidance.  My cotton dress and hair adhered to my heavily perspiring body, mud and grass itched my bare legs and feet.  My towel was of little use.   I surrendered to the heat and steam rising from the glowing volcanic rocks. In right relations I listened as each friend spoke aloud his or her prayer request.  No thought came to me.  Clarity eluded me.

The great Eagle Feather passed to my hand.   Although I could not see it, the feather felt soft and heavy in my hand, a reminder to me of the bird’s strength and power.  What would I ask of Spirit?  Surrounded by friends, emotions thickened by heat and darkness I thought truly what did I need?  I had air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat, a good home, friends and family, sunshine, flowers and trees. 

“Great Spirit, this is Kathy.   I am your daughter.   You know me.   You have already given me everything and brought me to this place in my life, fulfilled and blessed.   Thank you for caring for my physical needs, thank you for the life lessons you have sent my way.  You have blessed me with tools and talents to bring my life to balance.  You have watched over me and cared for me all these years and I am grateful.  I ask for nothing, knowing that you continue your watch, knowing you stand guard.   Knowing if you perceive a need, you will provide.  I am grateful for all you have given me and for all that you will continue to give me.  I surrender myself and my soul to you, trusting that I am well cared for and blessed.   Thank you.   Aho.”

Later as I stepped from the sweat lodge, the breeze cooled my skin and refreshed the heat in my lungs.  I gathered my things and walked to the outdoor shower.  Standing under the trees, I flipped the latch to allow the cold water to pour over me slicking away sweat and soap.  Washed and clean, I pushed aside the tarp and emerged from the shower dressed in fresh clothing.   I stepped into my sandals and looked around, eyes opened wide to take in the crisp colors of the August afternoon.  The land was pristine. Each tree in the surrounding forest, every blade of grass, even the tiny stones at my feet were distinct from each other yet all blended as one, each dependent upon the other for sustenance and support.   And I thought “this day is a miracle”.

MorningStar came to me and said.  Let’s pick tomatoes.” 

We walked together to the garden, bending down amid the vines to find plump red Roma tomatoes, meaty and firm.  From the corner of my eye, a rabbit bolted, showing me his white tail. 

Look!  I said. 

MorningStar grinned.  We have tomatoes bursting with seeds and the blessings of Rabbit.  They bring us fertility and new beginnings.”

We walked back to the lodge bringing sun-warmed tomatoes to the waiting feast. 

Aho.

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