Last year Janet and I drove to SouLodge Medicine Gathering from Southern California – it was an enthralling and epic journey filled with a knowing and faith in my own judgement to trust all that was to unfold. Getting to know someone I had never met before, sharing the intimate space of my packed to the gills pickup truck for 16 hours, was just the beginning. I had driven long distances by myself many times – Burning Man, Fire Family Gathering, but this was different. There was an instant connect and we delved deep into our new found friendship, so much so, we lost our way at one point even with our smart phones – laughing as we retraced the 60 out-of-our-way miles back north to Redding for an overnight stay and entertaining motel breakfast before pressing on to the unmistakable peak of Mt Shasta. After a fabulous 70’s time warp shopping spree of crystals and gems in the world renowned new age high street, we made a stop at the park. I had a frame drum to bless for a sister that had purchased from my Etsy shop in time for the gathering and Janet was equally excited to sit and dip her toes as I drummed and sang to the ice cold head waters of the most pristine H2O this side of the globe. It was a sacred moment witnessed in time and space by bare foot locals who routinely fill their bottles among the rushing current and slippery moss covered rocks. A Canadian brother delighted enthusiastically about the Bear totem artwork, sharing stories of his own connection to Bear medicine – gifting us a sprig of sage for the prayers I had offered the waters and wishing us safe passage for our onward journey.
The town sign ‘Weed’ had us giggle and take a brief stop for a bite and photo moment before we set forth for the last miles of our journey…. the landscape shifted again driving through small, one gas station towns geared for big outdoor living. The once constant ribbon of cars now replaced by huge junipers dominating the landscape. And then all at once, one turn from the highway onto a side road became a lane leading us into paradise – we had arrived. The fragrance of sun kissed earth filling our nostrils as we tumbled out to stretch, breathe, gaze and take in the silence. Wagging tails happy to see us was the first sign of life – then from out of nowhere appeared “the cowboy” to help us park, unload and ferry us on the mule across tall grassy fields to the Sacred Meadow. We crossed small waterways lush with vegetation, twisting along winding tracks -the pack running like a cavalcade along side eagerly welcoming us into their wild, spirited and natural world and while the cool afternoon air refreshed our travel worn faces, our smiles reached as wide as the landscape before us. There in front of my eyes was the vision I had dreamed many moons back in sacred circle – white teepees between earth and sky set against a backdrop of trees arranged in a half hoop with a creek running along side – it was now real!