The year was 1998. I was 33 years old, embarking on my first vision quest in the eastern Oregon desert. This journey was led by a member of Lost Valley Educational Center outside of Eugene, Oregon, which I had been a part of the year prior.
If I remember correctly, the entirety of this journey was 2 weeks. Preparation. Three days and three nights in the desert. Integration back into the community.
As I sat in meditation this morning receiving inner guidance, I was reminded of a specific teaching during this quest, all those years ago.
After arriving at our location under the hot sun, the 6 of us participants began to make our way with jugs of water, tarp, & whatever minimal accoutrements needed for our solo journey. We all went our separate ways from base camp to listen to the call of the land which would become our individual home for the next 3 days.
As I wandered under the weight of my water jugs, my mind pilfered through anxious story lines of night time hours, out under the stars, alone.
There was a river that ran down over a cliff from where I’d been walking and I felt called to make my way to see how far down it was, thinking perhaps I might find a place by the water. As I came to the end of the cliff I felt a pull to these beautiful, graceful, looming, Ponderosa Pines across the way.
They were positioned above the ravine where the river ran, two on the north side, and one a bit to the south-east. They stood as three powerful guardians, standing in a half circle. I wasn’t consciously aware of the subtle communication that was about to take place as coming from the trees at the time. In my mind, I was appreciating them and still looking for a way to climb down to the water.
As I began to explore another way to descend, I was moved to a narrowing area of the cliff and guided that this was ‘the place.’ Well, I was very much in resistance on a number of different levels. And decided to go my own way, deciding from the intellect, that there must be a mistake. Turning to walk away, I was compelled again back toward the jutting point of the cliff.
Realizing THIS was a part of a vision quest journey, succumbing to the land speaking to me, I sat for a moment with the intent to compromise which what the guidance was asking of me. The long and short of the many alternatives I proposed that would keep me off the jutting point, I surrendered to the guidance.
Once I set up my camp … meaning my sleeping bag and tarp, I gave the positioning of my bedding a test run. The jutting point not only narrowed out over the water, it also sloped slightly downward. I guess one could say that the land offered me comfort by some rock formations at the end of my bag, that would foot rests so as not to slip-slide toward the end of the cliff.
That night I reconciled the location, the position, and climbed into my bag, tired & dusty, to be present with the in-creeping fears of the night, which I’m proud to say that I found peace for the rest of this adventure.
It was the second day however, that light was shown on this specific teaching topic.
Was it morning or evening, I don’t recall. I do know that whichever it was, I began to see clearly why I had to be camped where I was shown. At this time when I sat on my pointy perch to rest, to just be, to presence myself with the beauty of the Mother Nature that spread out all around me, I once again connected to the Ponderosa Pines.
I began to receive their message for me. The were grandmothers of this area. While they were three in their half circle, I, on my cliff point completed the circle. As I listened and gazed in an open eyed meditation, their elder wisdom, maturity, ancientness, primordial presence spoke to me. They mothered me. Showed me who I would remember myself to be. Their deep feminine essence of both strength and nurturance held me as the precious neophyte I was, but assured me that I was brought into their circle as a reflection of my presence, as them.
Our communication activated a deep knowing of the wizening (a term I deeply cherish from Clarissa Pinkola Estes) of my soul-essence, that I would one day come into full embodiment of. I felt the sacred power of the grandmothers beating in my heart and living in my soul from then forward.
Now, those of us who are on a deep, stunning, soul path of awakening, realize that the full embodiment of many living teachings that we’re initiated into can take a very long time to be fully seasoned and come into maturity.
We can have so many glimpses along the way, peeks into our future timelines, yet in present still be moving into the depths of soul embodiment, which in time births us into the wizened ones.
This morning, after this month of January profoundly anchoring new levels of my own Wholy-Wholeness into my heart, I opened my eyes after meditation, to see the large Maple reminding me of the Ponderosa medicine I received in the desert.
The question they all asked … Are you ready?
And I ask each of you who carry your own next level of embodiment potential … Are you ready?