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Meanderings

Lesson from the egret and the wind

The other evening I was sitting at the edge of Newnans lake soaking in what was left of the light. The wind was blowing harder than usual, whipping waves out of the surface.

A solitary white Egret came into view, flying into the wind as it tried to cross the lake. For a few seconds it wasn’t going anywhere, held still by a force of nature even as wings flapped.

Rather than struggle the Egret changed tack, veering sideways and utilized the wind to push it across the lake in a roundabout way. Much like sailboats do that zig-zag thing when going against the wind.

Newnans lake is big and it was a long way across. I watched the Egret until it became a tiny white speck nearing its destination on the other side.

The whole thing piqued my curiousity because it was nature (the wind) within nature (the Egret) existing seamlessly within conflict. The bird could have kept on struggling into the wind until exhaustion, but it knew to change tack.

Witnessing this was a reminder of one of nature’s maxims: Know when to go with the flow.

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Meanderings

Yay for more small victories

Today was a good day in terms of big little milestones in my ongoing recovery from Lyme disease…

I was able to drive around 60-70 miles without any fatigue, very promising for being able to get back on the road in my little camper-home.

Also managed to walk nearly a mile this early evening in 90 degree weather without my energy plummeting or feeling sick. That’s a big one for me because until recently I couldn’t even go outside unless it was below 85 and only for about 20 minutes at that.

That brings a lot of quiet joy because I very much miss my jaunts in nature. She is my true love, my forever love, and my soul. Without her I am nuttin’.

I celebrated with a sunset view on the shore of Newnans lake, here’s a short video of solitude below for you.

Thank you for following me on this journey — I truly appreciate it.

-Ray

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Photos

View from this evening’s meditation

Sunset on Newnan lake
Sunset on Newnan lake in Gainesville, Florida
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Meanderings

Dancing with Indian spirits

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.

Nothing. Nada.

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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Photos

Kansas sunset and the back story

It was a surreal early evening in Kansas near the town of Council Grove when I took this photograph.

I was camped on the edge of Council Lake and the wind was harsh, whipping up large waves on the lake. It was an unusual sight seeing whitecaps on top of angry waves — as if I was already on the coast of Florida.

The entire sky had a burnt orange look to it. It felt alien and exciting at the same time. I ventured to the edge of the lake where there was a sea of seagrass (lame pun?) bent to the will of the wind.

I looked up and saw what looked like the eye of Sauron in the clouds, boldly spying upon us. Vast groups of birds were flying under and away from the sun, urgent wings singling unrest.

I stopped at the edge of the lake, where dry mud of the earth was cratered. I could go no further else I’d sink into the cracks. Flocks of birds were huddled there, seeking refuge from the wind. Torn feathers were scattering all around, ripped from their hosts.

Standing there, it felt like quiet madness everywhere — the sky, birds under siege, an angry lake, howling winds, the sun a burning coal staring down at us.

Later that evening I remember the winds rocking my camper as I slept fitfully through the night.

Looking at the photo alone without the back story seems to convey a sense of serene, calm beauty, doesn’t it?

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Meanderings

Heart torn wide open

A recent dream reminded me of an old flame of mine who was one of the great loves of my life. It was one of those tumultuous relationships with a lot of soul and ups and downs.

Some might call us karmic soulmates brought together to learn from past lives to face unresolved issues and challenges both on a life and soul level.

I read something from Andrew Harvey’s “Sun at Midnight – a memoir of the dark night” that struck me as defining our relationship through my eyes — it was a message delivered from the divine through a dream to him about his own relationship:

[She] is the spear through which I have opened your heart. Now it can never close.

She broke my heart wide open, showing me a love I had never known before. She didn’t do it with finesse – it was blunt and at times terrifying. It was raw and honest. She tore through my walls and left an indelible mark. We challenged each other, at times pushing each other off metaphorical cliffs to burn off our own insecurities and fallacies.

Our souls were intangibly woven together through many past lives; we had a deep metaphysical connection to one another.

Long story short, our paths eventually diverged sharply — we each had our own lives to live and callings to follow. We were no more.

I still think about her from time to time. I’ll also feel her now and then when she thinks of me. It’s that kind of connection.

I don’t know if we will ever circle back, she’s tried and I’ve tried but circumstances and boundaries and bad timing made it not to be. It’s as if life deliberately placed an invisible buffer between us. Perhaps it’s for another lifetime and we’ve done our part in this one?

Life goes on as it always does. Sometimes I struggle when I fall in the grips of the past through sudden memories or when I feel her, but I’ve learned to flow through it. To trust — to surrender and hand it over to the Beloved, to keep living my life to the fullest.

And most of all, to honor the greatest gift from all this by keeping my heart torn wide open to true love.

It’s all I ever wanted.