Although we did very little during our time away, much happened. We visited, shopped, read, rested. I took photographs, painted a bit, wrote, spun a bit of yarn and knit two pair of what Young Ms. DD refers to as "dorky socks," with the first foot of a third pair now cast on and partially worked. I was very busy, doing.
Everything I did while I was away pales in comparison to the experiences I had when I was simply Being. I don't know how a born and raised prairie girl came to love the mountains and forests so much, but I understand why these places have always been honoured as sacred, healing spaces. On our second last night away, sitting in a rundown camp on the outskirts of Golden, B.C., I had what I recorded at the time as "a deep, spiritual experience when the mountains sang to me and Raven came calling." I was sitting out reading a book (on yoga, no less), when this lovely creature barked at me:
We had quite a chat; he/she tolerated my attempts to capture a photo before Raven flew away to the top of a tall tree in a forested valley at the edge of our camp. I thought, "What am I doing, reading, while there's a cliff in front of me, mountains in the distance, creatures everywhere and I may not pass this way again?" I moved away from fellow campers to a quiet picnic table, taking my camera and paintbox with me. Raven watched from her perch:
As I sat, and watched and listened, something strange happened: the mountains began singing. I can only describe it as a combination of intense, vibrant humming and a force similar to whales sounding, but it was loud and it was clear. I'm sure there's a logical explanation for what I heard. The valley was perfectly suited to echo sound, so perhaps it reflected back highway traffic and trains clacking along mountain tracks. In that moment, though, there was something much more. Whatever it was, I felt it to my bones.
I'll leave you with a quote from my journal. I have never shared my journal entries with anyone, but the only way to hint at my experience is to reveal what I wrote the next day. I don't know what any of this means, if there's meaning to be found, but what I had reinforced on this journey was that we live too much in our human made, material world. We ignore the natural world around us, a world that contains beauty and the power to destroy us at any time. We don't need to worry about destroying Gaia. It is She who tolerates our presence; it is She who will decide when her tolerance ends:
I felt at peace and understood how forests and mountains are known as healing places. In bed, I felt that this-this valley forest, these mountains-would be where I ended and I wept tears of joy, contentment and bliss. It was a rare, but increasingly less rare, moment of perfect unison-Me and the Universe. You had to be there. Namaste. (June 4/14.)