Last night I sat on my couch and read half of my friend Cori Ellingson’s book Vision Quest – A Spiritual Awakening. The only reason I didn’t finish reading it was I listened to the voice of sensibility that told me to pay attention to my yawning and go to bed. It wasn’t easy to listen to that voice… I felt quite compelled to keep reading. I was thoroughly enjoying vicariously experiencing the Vision Quest on the mountain through Cori.
Her story is well written and very engaging. She alternately shares her experience on the mountain and her preparation for being there. The desire I often feel to escape and be alone in nature was certainly brought to life as I read. As a matter of fact, I was inspired to begin my day today that way. I bundled up and headed outside, even before the sun was up, to walk to a nearby playground with big trees. I stood with my back against a tree, closed my eyes and engaged in the 5 cleansing breaths ceremony I learned in June at the Dances of Universal Peace retreat I attended. It was so fitting, for it is a ceremony handed down from the ancient peoples of our land, just as the vision quest is. I don’t know how long I spent in the park, but I stayed until the sensations of cold and hunger encouraged me to walk back home.
Yet as I walked away from the park, tears welled up in my eyes. I can’t put a name to what I was feeling, but a great heaviness filled my heart. I knew it was too soon to walk away from mother nature and go back to the ‘doing’ of my every day life. I went back in the house only long enough to drink some water and put on more layers of clothes. I grabbed my yoga mat and headed out to another area with large trees. There I found a hollow in the snow amid a cluster of three huge spruce trees that gave me the impression that an animal had slept there for the night. Perhaps a rabbit – there are a few in our neighborhood- although I didn’t see any telltale droppings to confirm that. No matter, it seemed like a perfect place to rest my bum, so that my feet and head would be slightly elevated. I placed my mat over the indentation in the snow and lay down. Perfect!
As I lay there breathing in the sweet smell of tree boughs, I thought of my friend Rita who first taught me to lay on the ground to connect with Mother Earth and smiled. I hope she is enjoying her current stay in Costa Rica. I wish I could be someplace so warm that I could lay on the bare earth with my bare body, instead of laying on snow in layers of clothing and coats!
The cawing of a bird nearby brought me back to thoughts of Cori and her vision quest. I wished the birds would speak to me as they spoke to Cori. But I recognize she was very ready for her journey, ready to listen to mother nature. She had thoroughly prepared and was in a space of peace, appreciation and openness. I was simply in a space of trying to recover from a rather sleepless night. Yes, despite the yawning that indicated I was tired, I experienced a strange and frantic buzzing of energy in my head all night. My mind was not filled with the usual thoughts to keep me awake, but the odd sensation of buzzing energy kept me from sleeping restfully. (Perhaps the effect of energy carried by the brand new pillow I was sleeping on?)
Laying on the earth always gives me a sense of rejuvenation. I probably gave up and came in sooner than my soul would have liked, but I have to confess that the call of the ‘things to do today’ became greater than the call of nature.
As I sit here and type, I note that I still feel a bit tired, but far more re-energized and renewed after my time on the ground. As the sun begins to shine through my south facing windows, I feel my soul begin to smile once again. I look forward to completing my tasks for the day so I can pick up Cori’s book and once again escape into the tale of her odyssey of discovery.
If you’d like to read a few chapters for yourself, visit her website www.heartproductions.ca
Whatever you are doing today, I encourage you to take just a few moments to stop and connect with Mother Nature. Whether it’s to simply stop and appreciate the feel of the sun on your face through a window, or to step outside and listen for the birds chirping, or breathe in the fresh, crisp winter air (that is, if you’re in Canada, like I am!), please take a moment and enjoy the calming sensation that is invariably gifted to anyone who takes the time to appreciate nature.
Allow yourself a beautiful, nature inspired day!