My invitation, my challenge to you here, is to journey into a deeper intimacy with the world and your life without any promise of safety or guarantee of reward beyond the intrinsic value of full participation.
~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Storms do that for me, invite me into elemental perfection. Recently I was staying in Bergplaas Nature Reserve, where the invitations to engage are many and magnificent.
On the second day, I lay in bed in the the dark in my cottage with no electricity. Suddenly I see flashes of light behind the drawn blinds. Space ships have landed, I muse. Out here in the Great Karoo anything is possible. I peak under the blinds to see the mountains lit in a spectacular light show. The lightning had begun performing already. Soon I hear the rumblings far away of the other members of the orchestra gathering together. The thunder beings quietly practicing their rumbling, slowly warming up accompanying the lightning, joined by a gentle rain with legs so light it could easily match the innocence of children’s voices. I wait and I am not disappointed. The thunder builds, moves closer to the cottage. Within minutes the full power of the orchestra becomes louder and louder as it slowly advances. Soon the orchestra is so loud it sounds like they are playing outside my window, the rain people are pounding hard on the roof, I think it will collapse. I am strangely wide awake, as though my body is connected to the storm, electrified.
I hold my breath between loud claps, deep rumbles and crimson flashes and the loud patter of a rain storm as only the Karoo knows how to do. It is a full blown performance, thunder beings, rain people, and fire people, all joining together to put on a magnificent show. After the crescendo I am laughing and clapping, at the magic of its finale in my bed in the dark
Bravo Bravo, I shout
I hear the orchestra slowly march away, continuing to play, a gentle rumble now, a less red and more mellow flash, quietly in the distance, until finally all that is left is darkness and silence as though it never happened. I fall into a deep sleep and dream of a dark young woman with huge dark hair and her otter.
How many times have you asked the question what’s the point? When we seemingly appear to be doing the right thing, the work, what we think we have been called to do, only to find that yet another event, experience maybe even illness or trauma sends us back to our knees where we have no alternative but to surrender. How many times have we forgiven, re -evaluated our agreements, grieved our losses and trusted, only to be betrayed again, wounded or experience another death, symbolic or literal that has sent us reeling?
Recently I have been considering how participation in my life as an authentic being contributes to the world, when more often than not these days I would prefer to no longer engage with all that it throws at me on a daily basis. It’s not personal I get that. I am part of the collective consciousness and as such I am impacted by and interconnected whether I want to be or not, providing I don’t fall asleep.
My questions keep coming back to this, what’s the true nature of what I am experiencing, what can I draw from the indigenous people, how then will I live where I can participate authentically in this living human document, in the understanding that the only reciprocation is to become more of myself.
It is in the depths of difficult times that hurls us into an abyss of darkness, chaos and self-evaluation that we see more of who we truly are, raw crystal, jagged edges, rough stone, black coal until we have been eroded by rushing waters or, cleansed by the earth, brought back to our knees and cracked open to reveal incredible facets of the alchemical gold we always carry inside us. We have though, been chipped away at, unmasked, peeled until for a while all that is left is the core. In that raw state we are forever changed, another part of us has been opened, freed and we feel closer to something real, greater than ourselves, larger than life, the God of our understanding.
When we come through, everything seems the same, yet everything has changed, we have though remembered. I find myself asking this more these days, did that really happen, as the magic and mystery of Nature reveals itself, or is it that I just did not notice before?
More and more I understand the importance of not romanticising the ancient ways as if it’s a magic elixir that will solve all the worlds problems. It’s not about going back to how we once were, it’s about re remembering what we already know so we can make sense of our changing world. It’s about building bridges of connection and re connection to the past to live in the present and leave a legacy in the future.
Bringing alignment, the true order of things as per the original peoples was to live alongside nature as a reflection of our own true nature. What we love we honor, protect, preserve. How do we love ourselves without loving Nature.
Recently when walking on my favourite beach I was gifted the sighting of a whale bone skull. Can you imagine. I had to pinch myself, as I did not remember seeing it when I first arrived. It was as though it suddenly appeared. I mentioned it to someone who said “what a find, hard to leave on the beach.” The thought had not crossed my mind to take it, want it, own it. My only thought was that it was an incredible gift that day from nature, and had a message. The next day my friend who I was with had a dream. In the dream she was told that it is the skull of the original ancestor whale. I am still sitting with the hugeness of that.
When I really consider love, unconditional feels impossible, because in being unconditional it poses a condition on it. For me it has been a slow chipping away at all the ideas I have of how things ought to be, along with expectations, desires, wants and even dreams. In the fleeting moments of true surrender, the on my knees type, I now know the reward of fully participating, is that all I have, experience, am given, a whale bone skull, the sighting of 15 ostriches on a deserted beach, is enough. In those fleeting moments I am whole, vital. I have touched my wildness, my ancient being and known the God of my understanding, and it has freed me for a moment and being free grants me a reason to fully participate, until the next perfect storm.
“The creative act is a letting down of the net of human imagination into the ocean of chaos on which we are suspended, and the attempt to bring out of it ideas. It is the night sea journey, the lone fisherman on a tropical sea with his nets, and you let these nets down – sometimes, something tears through them that leaves them in shreds and you just row for shore, and put your head under your bed and pray. At other times what slips through are the minutiae, the minnows of this of idea chasing. But, sometimes, you can actually bring home something that is food, food for the human community that we can sustain ourselves on and go forward.” Terence McKenna
May all worlds bless and protect you always. Mbali