Dancing with Indian spirits
Shore near the campground on Campobello Island
Crossing over Maine into Canada, I ended up on Campobello island which is an international park (named Roosevelt Campobello International Park and it’s jointly run by the Canadians and Americans). It’s famous for being the summer home of the Roosevelts of presidential fame. You can tour their home which is preserved as if they still vacationed there.
The also island has a deep history as a home for native Indians for hundreds of years until present. It’s a beautiful location surrounded by nature and water.
This was where I camped for the first time in Canada and also the first time I dealt with native American spirits on this journey.
They showed up the very first night. I was sound asleep in my camper, wiped out from a long day of hiking the island. A few hours later, I was awoken from a deep slumber by the vibration and sound of powerful drums pounding away.
Groggily, I got up and looked outside to see where the party is. I opened the door and looked around — complete darkness and silence. Everyone was apparently asleep and there was no party of drunkards making noises.
I went back to bed, figuring it was just a dream or something.
The drums started up again after I fell asleep, camper walls pounding. Was someone playing a damn joke? I got up and looked around again.
Fuck this, I said and slid back into my bed.
Fuck no said the drums, as the pounding resumed.
Finally it hit me… Those drums… They sound awfully like ceremonial drums the Indians used. Maybe they know I’m receptive to spirits and are calling out to me?
I closed my eyes and deliberately fell into a half-sleep half-meditative trance.
The drums became louder and louder to where I felt them pounding inside and all around me. Then the Indians appeared, they were dancing all around in their ceremonial gear and paint.
They beckoned to me, dancing and waving me over. Swallowing my initial surprise, I tossed all semblance of normalcy away and jumped right in. (Yes, I may be crazy but I may as well join in the fun.)
They placed a beautiful ceremonial hand-woven robe over my shoulders and I started dancing away to the tune of their drums, following them around their land and around their campfires.
Not a word was said — it was all dance, music, drums, and smiles and laughs. All night.
And it was so very real.
I don’t remember how long I was out, but by the time we were done and I fell back in my bed with joyful exhaustion, a few hours had passed and the drums were finally silent.
I woke up late the next morning, but dang, I slept so well and felt rejuvenated. The first thing on my mind upon waking was the Indians and pondering how the hell it happened. It was too real to deny. I even looked around a bit for maybe some momentos from the night lying around but nothing.
I silently thanked the Indians for a beautiful night and a wonderful welcome into their land — I know they heard me because they’re still there in spirit, it is their home after all.
Crazily enough, it was one of the best times of my life dancing through the night with them, real or not.
I plan on returning for another round of dancing and drumming on Campobello island soon. : )
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