This weekend I had the joy of celebrating the Summer Solstice a few days early, with a group of kindred spirits ranging from those in infancy to those in senior adulthood. My friends Stephen and Kathy Redding hosted an annual gathering at their home which is a glorious haven in bucolic Green Lane, PA. Among other things, he is an arborist and his family business is called Happy Tree Farm. Indeed those woodland beings are happy there..it is so easy to tell, because the minute I have set foot on the land, I sigh and just let go, as if being reminded by the trees and flowers to sink my roots in and reach my branches up, blossoming beautifully. It helps that in the middle of this multi-acre property is what I have come to think of as a magical lake. There is something about it, that feels qualitatively different from other bodies of water into which I have immersed myself. I had a dramatic healing experience after taking a dip last summer.
A year ago, Memorial Day weekend, I was weedwhacking and wearing shorts, not considering that there would be a need to keep my legs covered. In a moment of unconsciousness, as my son called my name, I turned my head and didn’t take my finger off the button. The cord kept on keepin’ on and whipped its way thorough my right calf. I didn’t even notice or feel pain, until Adam called out “Mom! What did you do?” as the blood dripped down my leg. YIKES! I ran into the bathroom and rinsed off the remnants, offered myself Reiki and then headed to the ER where a tetanus shot was given and blessedly no stitches were needed, only clean up and patch up. I did wound care for a few weeks, reconciling myself to the idea that the 18 lacerations would likely stick around for awhile. A few weeks later, I was invited to Stephen’s place for a relaxing swim. He told me that I would likely see an improvement in my condition after being in the water. As I slipped into the rippling water, I could feel a tingling on my skin. I paddled about and conversed with Stephen about ‘life, the universe and everything.’, which happens to be my favorite subject. We stood on top of submersed rounded boulders that he calls “Goddess breasts” and mused about miracles. When I got out, I noticed a distinct difference. Now, a year later, only faint scarring remains.
Today’s celebration allowed for more swimming, sun bathing and communing with nature and friends. One of the attendees is a wonderful yoga teacher named Kristen Lambert who offered a lovely class in the midst of a lush (albeit gnat swarming): field under the shade of hovering trees which swayed in time to our breathing; or perhaps we were breathed by their movements. I had forgotten my mat, so her mother Maria Plass loaned me her blue ‘magic carpet’ which is how I think of the yoga mat which takes me on all kinds of inward journeys. Together they run Experience Nirvana which is a center in Frenchtown, NJ.
Later in the day, while we were all enjoying a potluck dinner, Stephen spoke about his spiritual learnings that came as a result of numerous death experiences; the first at age 4 when he was flattened by a hay making machine in a field on his family farm in Gettysburg, PA. The next came at age 8 when he froze to a fence in a blizzard while walking home from school. Since then, he has been struck by lightning, been in car accidents and been stung by swarming yellow jackets. He has written two books: Something More and More or Less that describe what transpired when he crossed over and returned to share about it. When this university educated man who specialized in psychology, criminology and sociology speaks, I find myself listening as if in a trance. It feels like ocean waves lapping on shore, taking sand back in and then re-depositing it over and over.
I was speaking at one point with my friend Charlie Ladany, an artist whose work reflects his unique world view. He made a statement that remained with me as he was sharing his happiness about two of his pieces selling at a gallery where they were displayed. He has been at it for a long time and he is now recognizing that the dream is not out there somewhere, but that we become it as we merge with it. Merging with the dream…mine has long been that of speaking and writing the words that the Divine whispers in my ear and whatya know…I’m doing it everyday. What is your dream?
Later that night, I watched in awe as a fire licked the sky that burned through a year’s worth of collected fallen tree bark that took 6 hours to build into a huge tee-pee tower. The sparks leapt onto the darkened night canvas as we drummed and danced, shakin’ it with the celestial spirits; seen and unseen. As I walked back to the car, meandering on winding paths lit by tiki torches and flickering fireflies, I gave thanks for the dance and the dream.
Inviting you to dance and dream along with me~