I drove up to Shasta County by myself on Friday, following a trail blazed by Jeff and Fern who had left an hour earlier. Fern and I would be staying into the week, while Jeff had to leave on Sunday, so we took separate cars.
Saturday morning at Vulture Flats. New butterfly net, for catching pretend butterflies only. She wants to be like the Hemulen.
Rarely do I have such a stretch of uninterrupted head space. My mind felt too full and my heart felt fiery, and I let it all unravel, streaming out the windows behind me, bumping down the highway in the rearview mirror.
I fall into a lot of traps in the city. I fall prey to comparison, especially professionally. I doubt what I know. There’s a pressure to dress it up more, maybe with some crystals and beads, sprinkling the word Shaman around a lot, to get some kind of cred. Los Angeles is about who you know. The Bay Area is about who you know, in other realms. Or, my spirit guide is bigger than your spirit guide.
Lassen. Kohm Yah-mah-nee.
Goldfields. No, really. The flowers are called Goldfields.
I always remember this story, I think from The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, about a meditator and his instructor. The instructor advised his student to not be thrown off by phenomena, to always come back to the breath, to what is. The practitioner, after months of intense meditating, began levitating one day. Thinking he had reached some kind of spiritual prowess, he excitedly told his instructor about his accomplishment. His teacher responded. That’s nice. Now go back to your breath.
I sought baptism, jumping into Dry Creek, with singing waters that had been snow only a day before. As Mt. Shasta was washed clean, her bathwaters flowed downstream to me. I let her grace open my eyes and untie the binds.
I was accompanied by beings great in their humbleness. Everywhere we went, they spread glad tidings, and whispered wisdom in quiet voices.
Harvest Brodiaea, or Indian Potato. The corms are edible, but it’s not a good idea to dig them up. Dug up corms = no more flowers.
The realm of the mind is fascinating, truly an upper playground. It is also a place of illusion, and easy to get lost in without an anchor of humility. Humility can be sexy too, you know. So can truth and vulnerability. I find it easiest to abide in these things when I can hear the Earth, when the din of humanity is far enough away, when I feel safe enough to feel my heart beat.
At the local Salvation Army, the woman who rung me up looked care worn, and had traits I often see on people in Redding. Someone whose childhood was rough, who probably did not get proper nutrition or dental care, who may have struggled in school. Definitely no beads or crystals. She noticed my hair ties, ones that used to belong to my mother. She said I like those. My cat actually brought me something like that once. Your cat? I ask. Yes, my cat often brings me objects. Other animals do too…animals always bringing me things.
Animals respond to the heart.
And then the mind empties out. I am lost in the scent of Locust blossoms, their flowers tasting of sweet bliss and nuttiness. I marvel in astonishment at the Wild Carnation.
I could stumble around all day, sunstruck and wordless.
What gives you faith in your own heart?