I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
– Dawna Markova
Thank you, Lillian, for this visual delight. Stay tuned for more details of our Spring Medicine Walk on April 5th. I’m so looking forward to our being together again on the land!
From Jung’s “Psyche and Symbol”
We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing that the utility of the wheel depends.
We turn clay to make a vessel;
But it is on the space where there is nothing that the utility of the vessel depends…
Therefore just as we take advantage of what is, we should recognize the utility of what is not.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again , come , come.
On Sunday February 16, Lakota native, Kathy Willcuts is leading a free workshop at the Satwiwa Indian Culture Center – http://www.nps.gov/samo/planyourvisit/rsvsatwiwa.htm – to discuss the traditions of, and to show participants how to make, a four directions beaded bracelet. Will it look like the one above? I have no idea. That’s just clip art. But I’m going and would welcome company. We can talk about this on February 4th. This will not be our East medicine walk. (That will be in April.)
Meanwhile, if you have binoculars and enjoy bird watching, it’ll be all about that at Malibu Lagoon State Beach next Sunday January 26th at 8.30am. I’m enjoying how the abundant bird life brought about by this warm weather is reminding me of the eagle-eye view. I’m trying to stay about the fray. How about you?
Everything changes. When we feel stuck in the north, thinking too much, or in the west, endlessly examining our navel, or the east or the south, it’s heartening to remember that everything is just a phase. We can use our knowledge of the four shields to unstick ourselves. How is your medicine walk still working you? Did you have aha moments then or since? Use the comments section below to reflect on what you’re seeing or not seeing in this northerly direction.
Having traveled upstream and passed on their legacy, salmon both male and female hover and die protecting their roe. I grabbed this perfect north image early this month while walking through the first snow of the season on the McLane Creek Nature Trail in Olympia, WA.
For those ready to mark the transition into winter, consider visiting The Ojai Foundation for the day. Start at 9.30am with stories and time on the land led by Leslie Roberts (who will be with us in January for our medicine walk) and Lola Rae Long, a foundation elder and the woman who first introduced me to the teachings of the wheel. Follow that with a potluck lunch and then … http://www.ojaifoundation.org/events/winter-solstice-ceremony-spiral-lights-and-dance-celebration
Thank you for joining me on this journey into the shields. This will be a place for our reflections and comments to and for each other. As we get closer to January 5th, we’ll work out details for our north medicine walk. We’ll be going up high, as the place of the adult requires an overview and a big perspective. I am open to suggestions that won’t require too much driving and will allow us to be immersed (solo) in nature without too much interruption from two-leggeds. Corral Canyon is always a good bet. Are there others? Who are our wild hikers? Wertheim? Chris Rose or Imhoff? Mrs. Koff? Michelle M?
Meanwhile, here are some questions to ponder as we look towards the solstice and the true start of winter. All credit to Gigi Coyle and the School of Lost Borders website for these, which meant I didn’t have to – wait for it – reinvent the wheel. (Sorry.) And thanks to Julia for bringing the list to my attention. If you’re facilitating any council circles, many of these questions, with a little work, can be turned into excellent prompts.
How do you greet the onset of winter?
Do you consider yourself a grown up? How about your friends?
Who are your people and how do you care for them?
How do you make decisions? Do you take into consideration all of your relations?
Have you experienced a place of knowing? Do you act from there?
How do you cultivate clarity?
How fully does what you “do” express who you are?
Do you work too much? Too little? How do you assess this?
Can you support, acknowledge and truly love another person?
Is it possible to serve yourself, others and the whole all at the same time?
How do you manifest your gifts?
How do you help clear the air?
For what or whom are you willing to sacrifice?