Here is a picture. It might not seem like much to you. But if you look closely it holds an ancient myth- of a woman and a tree.
It is April 19, 2019, a full moon as well as my 42nd birthday. I have just emerged from initiation- a quest for life, vision and permission. This is the only picture that was taken. I can hear my mama sayin’- “I can’t see your beautiful face”. Oh but mama dear look close and you will see the 1000 faces of Her in the silhouette of a woman and a tree.
I am in a desert- a place called Big Pine- where rivers of gold use to flow and fill the Paiute Tribe’s lives with Earth’s treasures. Now the rivers run dry to feed a field of fake dreams in Los Angeles. There is still a trickle they call Baker Creek that carries Her oldest story. Water rushing over rock is how the stone people speak. Here is where I listen deeply for as long as she tells me.
This trickle feeds a field of green- a beautiful dichotomy of where soft grasses meet rough and tumbled sage brush and desert weed. There are cows here- many. Who tends them I do not know. If we left them alone to tend themselves- they would also the Earth -and all of her gardens would again grow. On this day they are birthing- an unmistakable sound. There is something in the air that stirs me deeply. I wave away the sense of a miracle stirring. I shove these knowings into a pocket- filled with the jangle of change in the air I often ignore.
Until this day…
The Sierra Nevadas are jagged and raw and snow peaked before me. Behind me lie the Inyos- the color of Earth weathered by Sky. I did not see them at first- these old ones. But they hold the most ancient records of life. Within them stands a tree called the Bristlecone Pine. This Pine is the oldest organism we know of in this human time. I feel the grief in the metaphor I am witnessing in these very differing mountains traversing each side of this valley of lost dreams. The young and rugged and strong and shiny ones are all the people passing by see. No one stops to explore anymore the weathered and worn for the stories they keep.
I lean against a Hawthorn tree and fairy ring that has wandered far from home. It called me there to remember itself again- a story waiting a whole lifetime and the last 42 years to share. It is in between the giving time as its flowers have fallen to bring berry and leaf and thorn to bare. I have not showered in 12 days. The hair on my body revealing ancestral patterns. My clothes are clean. My hat is worn- adorned with feather and prayer.
Just there- if you look closely- is a Salmon swimming under the roots of this mystery tree ring who has a sister on initiation island that holds a lock of my hair, cut by my mother and woven with a prayer. And the young handsome Bard singing poetry of my Life whilst feeding me the flesh of a fresh caught Brethren that swam in a sacred well that quenched the question of why am I here. And could not be if I had not been there -with that prayer- did I know?…
Do you see her?- the Mama Bear that led me down a river’s edge and pulled my gift out of a rainbow pool as it swam upstream to its inevitable end- willingly. “All you have to do is receive” she said.
There is a song in the wind through leaves of that tree. An answer to that Mama Cow’s haunting, lowing, birthing sound from the moment before. She is cautious of me this day as she is surrounded by her spring babes- unwilling to let me pass by on Her sacred land. I am trapped from leaving. Her bull stands me down- nostrils dripping. What do I do? “Remember”- I hear my ancestors say.
If you listen close and in just the right way, as I did that day, you will hear an ancient cry — rise from me by way of that Hawthorn tree and release a Celtic lullaby. It stills the air. The heads of all the mamas and babes bow, the bull backs away. Initiation or wild imagination?…
In this picture is a piece of Death Valley where I just cried for a vision. Where I sat upon a golden throne of clay and ghostly spirals from the sea. I wear my womb stained flesh as a coat of arms showing the world my claim as Queen- my moon always arrives when there is a good ceremony. This is how I rise in royalty and make love upon Her lands- I honor my wild beauty and sovereignty. This is how I adorn my King with essence and musk of the dark and beautiful forgotten things that govern a woman’s body. So he can rise inside of me, spread his seed without worry and again walk free. That is reproductive freedom and integrity.
Oh yes, out of the barren desert where I was sent to cry alone, he appeared for me in his naked divinity. Don’t you see him? -just there- in the swoon of my easy lean against this tree? I do. He stood revealed before me, naked. The scent of sexual wounding releasing from my body as I re-myth indoctrinated stories of sin. He is my Yeshua, my Shiva, my King- in a fancy backpack as the times have changed. Humble and exalted, his heavenly flesh is asking… if I can witness his shadows without shame rather than the story of a perpetrator responsible for all the Her wounding. His body craving to relearn devotion and boundaries in love and compassion- and oath His life to Her without fear of punishment and causing Her pain.
How can we hold each other as One again- a necessary medicine? We re-myth our stories through a new lens.
Like the one where we maybe we push Her towards rage and expressions of retaliation to get her attention. We ache to hear Her roar and take a stand for Herself and stop telling the story that she is broken- because then so are we. But pain makes a good profit and an even better distraction from the initiations that would actually set all creatures free. But those rites have been stolen and the oaths of Queens and Kings broken. And original sin is the gospel most spoken. So we make a mess and spill Her milk while we cry for the warmth of her bosom.
I digress. I can’t help it. I was born this way.
In a way that can see everything underneath the wounding, listen and follow the forgotten and unseen streams towards trees that speak. I came here to come home again. I came to re-myth the real story hidden in the frayed and unfinished- as if she was knitting dreams on her front porch rocker and then just up and fled- edges of my ancestral tapestry. I came to remember Love and fulfill the gift and dreams of those before. I have always known this in some way. I was presented with a life that made no sense to the Love in me. I know now this was so the medicine could not only heal, but also reveal the true gift I was sent to carry.
But did I need to be blinded before I could see?
Look again. Look close. The answer is there… In this picture is also a girl, a virgin, a whore, a mother, my grandmother, a sister of many brothers, a dreamer, a leaver, a deniar, a warrior, a lover, a punisher, a pain, a pleasure- a healing wind wielder. See the strands of silken hair (that’s what my mama says) that fell in my face as I hung my head in toilets in shame and despair. Afraid to receive my Mother’s nourishment in fear of feeling and speaking the truth of the voice that I shoved so deep inside. A body burned and bruised from crawling through the trenches of “what I, as a modern woman, am supposed to do”. A body given, taken- rinse and repeat again -until there is nothing to hold- for Him- because of him- all she ever wanted was Him. I still do.
She holds a heart broken from trying to carry heavy things that severed its strings from the lightness of Source. And, this is always and forever worth repeating- only through the cracks can the light get in. And that is all I am. Light and cracks I can now follow to lead me home- or away- depending on the weather channel I choose to listen to each day.
It is all there within the woman by that tree. It has to be. For the wound attracts the medicine and the medicine needs a hunger to be craved and found. How can I obey this sacred law of reciprocity without entertaining indoctrinated self loathing -and punishment as the only way to receive? (oh this question) Suffering is optional. Love is everything. We need our cliches.
It is all in how we tell our stories that can bring down our roots to meet the real gift of our humanity. But roots find their way home in the dark and mulch and the musk of Her skin before they can rise to the light.
As I write I look out the window of my 300 square foot hobbit hut or fem den (as it has been called). Bone broth simmering in the background, the smell of copal in the air. My idea of paradise is here. I have riches and Sources in endless abundance- the kind my heart has longed a lifetime for. There is a cat prowling around a huge apple tree- the first one to grow on this land she tells me. The kind you climb for a whole day and dream. A huge lawn I just mowed- only men do that ya know… “She’s like her mother”. I digress again…
Before I leave this scene and make my final bow to the mystery Hawthorn and Mother Cow. I turn back towards a life where I can truly say “I would do it all over again to arrive at this day”. Thank you, forever. Yet, a curious thing still lingers as I stand by that tree-
“Who planted this Faery Ring way out in this desert scene” ~
“You did”- ‘they’ tell me.
A picture is worth a thousand words when we take the time to tell and listen to the myth and medicine and inspiration underneath. I don’t need you to believe me. But magic opens the door for vastly more opportunity.
I was born into a life of- and as a walking- ceremony. That is all I have to do- follow my heart and align to what I bow and pray. That is the hardest job and the only one truly worth getting up for each day.
The door is open if you care to know more. I share this one blink of my story so you can maybe know me beyond “what I do”. There is no separation from my life and the gift I am here to bring to you. Identities of what I am entrap me from the wisdom flowing and the knowing growing and arriving authentically to weave with yours and create something new.
I will share myself because I am whole within myself- so need to worry if your load is heavy. And your greatest gift to me is in you sharing your story because there are parts of you that are also in me. This is how we can all work to re-myth separation back into the medicine of reciprocity and belonging.
However, some of my stories are meant to stay between a woman and a tree. So you will just have to hear them by sitting silently with the roots ready to take you deep into this beautiful Life of myth and mystery.