Unknown Date, Duwamish Bay, wendy bird

6 08 2006

My first awareness was a feeling of heaviness, as if my skin weighed too much for my sinew and bones to bear.

My next awareness was of a rhythmic sloshing, a heart beat, the steady sound of the surf.

I am walking along a beach at sunrise. Someone is walking beside me, his arm around my shoulder. I cannot see his face, but his presence is comforting, his low voice soothes me. “Peace, daughter. Your sins are forgiven. Every charge laid against you has been absolved at the foot of the throne of the Most High. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. I made you. I knit you together in your mother’s womb. Every one of your days are numbered in my book of life. Your name is engraved in the palm of my hand. Your image rests in the apple of my eye. I rejoice over you with singing, I quiet you with my love. I lay down my life that you may live. Perfect love casts out all fear.”

I was crying, pain crushing my heart. “But my love is not perfect!”

“Peace, daughter. My love is. My grace is sufficient for you.”

I am released into light, joyful and weightless. I find myself on an island off the coast of
Alaska. It is familiar, the summer home of friends. Behind me are vistas of rugged beauty. Before me is a circle of heart shaped stones, marking the grave of my friends’ child. Flowers bloom there, the most lovely a rare, blue, alpine poppy. Light is everywhere, not from a sun but simply there. There are no shadows, but rainbows where a shadow might be expected. I am utterly at peace, happy beyond comprehension.

I see a young man approach up the narrow trail along the cliff above the rocky beach. His hair is red-gold, freckles spatter across his face. He is smiles at me, quickens his steps. He is a youth, but the wisdom of ancients is an aura around him.

I know this boy! I love this boy!

“Anders!” I run to him. He swings me around in his arms like his brothers do. “I am so happy to see you!” We hug for a long time, time that satisfies my heart, time that feels like enough.

“I love you, Mama.” Anders holds me at arm’s length. Looking at him is like thirst being quenched. “But my sister needs you, and my brothers. Dad is lost without you.”

“Yes. Yes, I must go. I can go. Now I know I can go back.”

“It’s not for long, Mama. In a little while we’ll be together forever. All of us.”

“Yes. That’s why I can go. I love you.”

“I love you too, Mom.”

With that I turn and face a churning grey sea. I throw myself into the water. It is shockingly cold as it closes over me, and all is darkness again.

*

Then I am cold, so cold, retching until my every bone in my body aches. I am weak, lying limp, unable to open my eyes, my head swimming, my ears buzzing. I feel warmth being tucked around me, my head being gently lifted, my face and mouth being wiped with a wet cloth. Fresh water is dribbled into my mouth; I swallow although it is painful. Each swallow becomes easier. The buzzing stops and the dizziness subsides.

“Poor, dear thing,” I hear a twittering voice croon, as I feel I soft cloth dabbing at my face. “She’s not shivering as much, and looks less blue, don’t you think?”

Whoever she is talking to grunts.

“You go fetch a litter.” The twittery voice continues. “I can manage here. But hurry, she needs to be indoors. Shipwreck do you think?”

“Probably,” replied the growly voice.

The crooning voice softly sings a melody. I begin to feel warm and sleepy.

*

I hear birds warbling. Through my closed eyes I see the dappling of light through leaves. I am warm, encased in softness. A breeze caresses my cheek. I smell fresh bread and a tantalizing aroma of herbs. My stomach grumbles. My eyelids flutter open, needing time to focus. I am enshrined in a cupboard bed, the hearth beside me. The room before me is clean and simple. The walls are whitewashed. From the timbers supporting the roof hang baskets and bunches of herbs. Lavender is the only one I recognize. A folk painted chest sits beneath the open window, two tidy beds, covered by gay patchwork quilts, stand on either side. A mirrored sconce with an unlit candle is near the door. The wood floor wears a woven rug. A rocking chair is near my bed, a little table next to it.

A diminutive woman enters. She is plump and rosy cheeked. Blue eyes twinkle in a round, wrinkled face. Her grey hair is a long braid down her back. She is dressed in blue homespun covered by a snow white pinner apron. She wears a wreath of blood red roses in her hair.

“Ooo!” She squeals, it is the twittery voice. “You are awake! I am so happy to see you awake. Are you hungry dear?”

I cannot find my voice, so I nod. My head wobbles, and that slight movement creates stars before my eyes and makes my head spin.

The Bluebird Woman, she reminds me so much of a chipper little bluebird as she flits about to serve me, brings me broth and bread. She props me up a little at a time, careful of my wooziness. Slowly she feeds me, dipping the bread in the broth, giving tiny bits at a time. After only a few bites I can eat no more. I feel my eyelids drooping. I sink into sleep once more.

Every time I wake the Bluebird Woman is there with broth and bread. Each time I eat a bit more and stay awake a bit longer. The Bluebird Woman talks to me, but I cannot attend to what she says. I know the words but do not comprehend the meanings. Still I cannot talk, my throat feels too raw. Nor can I think of anything to say.

One day I rasp out the question, “Where am I?”

“You are in bed, dear.”

“You are in Duwamish.” It is the first time I have heard the growly voice. I follow its sound to see a second diminutive woman, this one as sinewy as the other plump. Her black eyes are sharp in a brown leather face. Her hair, as much grey as black, is pulled into a knot at her neck. She wears a brown homespun dress and a green striped apron. A wreath of dry, autumn leaves crowns her head.

The Bluebird Woman laughs. “Of course! This is Duwamish. Not really Duwamish, as we live some ways outside of the actual town, but we are closer to Duwamish than anyplace else.

Duwamish
Bay is just at the foot of the cliff. You can’t see it from here, too many trees in the way. Of course the trees protect us from the sea winds and weather. Good thing! I shudder to think of what would happen to our dear little house if we weren’t protected by those trees! And the salt air would ruin our gardens. Simply ruin them”

“Amma,” interrupted the Wren Woman.

Bluebird Woman stopped talking, smiling sheepishly. “I do rattle on, don’t I?”

Wren Woman spoke again. “Yes, you do.” She fixed her bright black eyes on me. “Do you know how you came to be here?”

At that time I could not remember. I recalled only images of darkness, glowing fires and despair, of relief and peacefulness, deep contentment and freezing cold water.

“No.” My head ached from trying to remember more than those fleeting images. Wren Woman nodded her understanding.

“Do you know who you are?”

Tears stung my eyes. “No. I cannot remember anything beyond being here.”

Wren Woman nodded again. “You have experienced trauma. It is normal to have no memory.”

She caressed my cheek gently with her gnarled hand. “Don’t distress, dear. Your memories will return. We can help you. You are not the first waif to wash up on the shores of

Duwamish
Bay.”

I was reassured.

Each day I gained more and more strength. They gave me a cotton chemise, and I sat at the window gazing out at their gardens. The women grew herbs, vegetables, and flowers. As I grew stronger, I did small chores of shelling peas, shucking corn, hulling berries. Eventually I was able to walk about the cottage and putter, sweeping, washing dishes and making beds. Ere long I graduated to being in the garden, weeding, harvesting.

They gave me a skirt, bodice and apron. I was bald, so they made a turban for me. In the evening we sat by the hearth. I embroidered on a pocket for myself. Wren Woman spun wool and Bluebird Woman wove cloth.

They took me for walks, longer and longer as I grew healthy. Until I was strong enough to leave.

One evening, my last evening with them, though I knew not then, Wren Woman stopped her spinning and looked at me kindly.

“Tomorrow we will go into Duwamish to the ferries. It is time for you to find your memory and your way.”

I felt my face turn to wood. My fingers trembled with the last stitches of my pocket. “I don’t understand.”

“Of course you don’t.” Wren Woman continued. “Let me explain. One of the ferry women will speak to you. Well, they all will speak to you, but one will feel like a kindred spirit. Trust your intuition and go with her. She will take you to The Isle of Ancestors. It is there you will learn who you are, or at least where you came from.”

“Oh, Gemma, there is more to it than that!” Bluebird woman turned to me. “You must have a gold coin for the ferry woman and a gift for the ancestor you will meet. We will give you the coin. No, don’t protest. Money is one thing Gemma and I do not need. Don’t worry about a gift for your ancestor, whoever you meet is dead, and the dead have no needs. You will find you have the right gift with you when the time comes.”

“How will I find my ancestor on the
Island?”

Bluebird Woman smiled, “There is no way you cannot find your ancestor. Just follow the path from the ferry landing and there you’ll be.”

I stood slowly, my knees shakier than they had been when I first rose from my convalescent bed. “I best go to bed now.”

“Of course, dear.” Bluebird Woman cooed.

“Sleep well, dear,” added Wren Woman.

But I did not sleep at all.

Advertisements




10 Canoe Rules

1 08 2006

mount.gif

This advice comes from Quileute Tribe http://www.quileutetribe.org/7.html .

I hope you will take the time to visit this link as The Quileute Tribe of the Pacific Northwest tell a legend that I think some of you will find interesting

( from the Quileute Site )

According to their ancient creation story, the Quileutes were changed from wolves by a wandering Transformer. By legend, their only kindred, the Chimakum Tribe, were washed away by flood and deposited near present-day Port Townsend (where they lived until Chief Seattle’s Suquamish Tribe wiped them out in the 1860s), leaving the Quileutes with no known relatives on earth. Quileutes were thus were surrounded by unrelated tribes, the Makah — Nuh-Chul-Nuth who migrated down from the west coast of Vancouver Island.

I wanted to share this with you becauseThe Tribes mentioned above and this story in part inspired me to create our “ Duwamish Bay.” It seems fitting that this be posted along with the rest of our adventures.

Anita Marie

10 Canoe Rules

The Ten Rules of the Canoe were developed by the Quileute Canoe contingent for a Northwest Experimental Education Conference in 1990.

http://www.quileutetribe.org/7.html

1. EVERY STROKE WE TAKE IS ONE LESS WE HAVE TO MAKE
Keep going! Even against the most relentless wind or retrograde tide, somehow a canoe moves forward. This mystery can only be explained by the fact that each pull forward is a real movement and not a delusion.

2. THERE IS TO BE NO ABUSE OF SELF OR OTHERS
Respect and trust cannot exist in anger. It has to be thrown overboard, so the sea can cleanse it. It has to be washed off the hands and cast into the air, so the stars can take care of it. We always look back at the shallows we pulled through, amazed at how powerful we thought those dangers were.

3. BE FLEXIBLE
The adaptable animal survives. If you get tired, ship your paddle and rest. If you get hungry, put in on the beach and eat a few oysters. If you can’t figure one way to make it, do something new. When the wind confronts you, sometimes you’re supposed to go the other way.

4. THE GIFT OF EACH ENRICHES ALL
Every story is important. The bow, the stern, the skipper, the power puller in the middle – everyone is part of the movement. The elder sits in her cedar at the front, singing her paddle song, praying for us all. The weary paddler resting is still ballast. And there is always that time when the crew needs some joke, some remark, some silence to keep going, and the least likely person provides.

5. WE ALL PULL AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER
Nothing occurs in isolation. When we aren’t in the family of a canoe, we are not ready for whatever comes. The family can argue, mock, ignore each other at its worst, but that family will never let itself sink. A canoe that lets itself sink is certainly wiser never to leave the beach. When we know that we are not alone in our actions, we also know we are lifted up by everyone else.

6. A HUNGRY PERSON HAS NO CHARITY
Always nourish yourself. The bitter person, thinking that sacrifice means self-destruction, shares mostly anger. A paddler who doesn’t eat at the feasts doesn’t have enough strength to paddle in the morning. Take that sandwich they throw at you at 2.00 A.M.! The gift of who you are only enters the world when you are strong enough to own it.

7. EXPERIENCES ARE NOT ENHANCED THROUGH CRITICISM
Who we are, how we are, what we do, why we continue, flourish with tolerance. The canoe fellows who are grim go one way. The men and women who find the lightest flow may sometimes go slow, but when they arrive they can still sing. And they have gone all over the sea, into the air with the seagulls, under the curve of the wave with the dolphin and down to the whispering shells, under the continental shelf. Withdrawing the blame acknowledges how wonderful a part if it all every one of us really is.

8. THE JOURNEY IS WHAT WE ENJOY
Although the start is exciting and the conclusion gratefully achieved, it is the long, steady process we remember. Being part of the journey requires great preparation; being done with a journey requires great awareness; being on the journey, we are much more than ourselves. We are part of the movement of life. We have a destination, and for once our will is pure, our goal is to go on.

9. A GOOD TEACHER ALLOWS THE STUDENT TO LEARN
We can berate each other, try to force each other to understand, or we can allow each paddler to gain awareness through the ongoing journey. Nothing sustains us like that sense of potential that we can deal with things. Each paddler learns to deal with the person in front, the person behind, the water, the air, the energy; the blessing of the eagle.

10. WHEN GIVEN ANY CHOICE AT ALL, BE A WORKER BEE – MAKE HONEY!





The Library in my Room

29 07 2006

Well don’t know what l’Enchanteur left in your rooms, but when I arrived there was a whole shelf full of interesting titles, some being novels and others on spiritual themes. Anyway in case anyone would like to read some of these books, here are the titles.

–The Red Tent by Anita Diamant : this one resonates so well with the whole theme of the Heroine’s Journey that we are all following that I guess everyone should read it. Anita Marie, you come especially to mind when I remember the main heroine in this story cos she, just like you, survived a truely horrendous experience, and managed to transform it into the means of becoming a wonderfully strong, spirited and authentic soul.

–The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd: Just because it’s theme is spiritual growth, plus it has an interesting perspective on Mary the Mother of God and the Sacred Feminine. Loved it!

–The Mermaid’s Chair by Sue Monk Kidd : same reasons as above, but even better written than her first novel. Manages to capture the agony and the ecstacy of sweet yearning. Just reading her words makes me ache!

–The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd : this one is her autobiographical story of her spiritual journey and how she found the Divine Feminine. She recounts each step of her own personal journey.

–Soul Sisters by Pythia Peay : Yes this is where I got my blog name from. This is full of lots of pieces and stories of spiritual development and transformation. It is sub-titled The 5 Sacred Qualities of a Woman’s Soul.

–Art is a Spiritual Path by Pat B. Allen : the newest book, only found it on the shelf today, but already love it. Author writes about how our art (images and writing) can take us into the ‘place of all possibility’, where we will learn to become’vessels for new wisdom’, as ‘our long-held beliefs are loosened’. Yes, yes, yes!

–The Marry Your Muse workshop by Jan Phillips :series of 6 audio tapes full of truely inspirational stuff. Really loved this one!

–The Woman’s Book of Spirit by Sue Patton Thoelle : a book of meditations and visualizations all centered around the Sacred Feminine. Wonderful way to start the day, then follow up with a few yoga Warrior asanas. Talk about getting into the flow and hitting the zone….





A Night Ride, She Says

27 07 2006

A Night Ride She Says

 

 Pt. I

I paused, with the twilight fading into night behind me, at the open double doors into the barn.  A warm, welcoming golden light burnished the coats of the horses looking at the woman at the far end of the spacious barn.

 

I walked slowly toward her, pausing to let this horse or that horse whuffle the palm of my hand . 

I had almost reached the other end when a handsome paint horse stretched his head and neck out towards me.  He rumbled softly in his nose, then turned to face me, his eerie blue-white eyes studying me calmly.

He looked so familiar, as if we’d known each other forever, I ignored the last half-dozen stalls and stopped in front of him. His mostly white face moved closer to me and sniffed, I let him smell my breath and become acquainted with me. 

His face was carved in the finely chiselled lines of the Andalusian forbears in his Mustang heritage.  His solidly muscled frame was a testament to the care he was getting. 

“I see that Chippewa chose you.  He has ignored every other person that had come in search of mounts for the Night Rides.”  

“Chippewa??  His name is Chippewa??”  I looked closer at the liver chestnut and snow-white paint horse. 

He was the living breathing incarnation of one of my two favourite Breyer’s horses I’d had when I was a child.

“Yes.  He’s named Chippewa.  Why?”  The stable Woman smiled a bit, her regular, unexeceptional features were tanned to a lovely golden-brown shade. with the promise of future laugh-lines at the corners of her eyes.

She was unremarkable to see, until you met her eyes.  There was such a calm happiness lighting her blue-grey eyes. 

Her dark brown hair was mostly caught in a braid, with delicate curls forming a halo around her face.  The silver strands around her forehead sparkled with life and vitality, much like her charges.

She had hands that were classic Stable Woman hands, strong from years of work, calloused, with short nails; yet they were sensitive and gentle hands. 

She wore no jewellery, and a small man’s watch was peering from beneath the cuff of her shirt.

She was dressed in a soft tan shirt, tucked into brown denim jeans with a slender leather belt.  The legs of her pants were tucked into a pair of worn Welly Boots.  She had splashes of mud, horse slobber, and road apples from shoulder to toes and still seemed to have an elegant grace. 

She even smelled like a barn, the sweetness of hay and straw, the rich perfume of stored grains, sharp-smelling liniments, saddle soap, and the scent of healthy, happy equines.

“He looks almost exactly like this Breyer horse I adored when I was a kid.”

“Does this surprise you dear?  Isn’t all of this conjured by your imagination?”  When she smiled widely, her appearance was transformed, she grew incandescent and unforgettable. “It does make sense.  Chippewa was always the horse I dreamt of riding.”  I blushed, and then grinned.

“I’ll bet he takes a rubber bit, and has a soft, soft mouth, doesn’t he?”  I automatically tugked an arm under the horse’s neck.  He in turn leaned closer, then nudged my ribs gently. All the memories associated with that particular model horse came cantering back to me.  So many hours I had escaped from an unhappy childhood, astride my sturdy, tireless Mustang.

Sometimes we would gallop as far and as fast as possible, stopping for brief rests in sheltering shadows before resuming our headlong flight. Other times we wandered slowly, pausing to graze here, then splashing through cold, clear streams and up the grassy bank on the other side.

When things were worst we simply stood beneath the shadow of an enoprmous oak tree frosted with mistletoe.  We were side-by-side, my arms around his neck and his head a warm comfort over me shoulder. Tonight I hugged his neck and scratched his ticklish left ear.  I thought of how pleasant it would be to  spend hours in a broad meadow beneath the stars.  As he would graze on the dewy grass I would lose myself in the slow, stately dance of the stars.

I knew, in my spirit, that this was the beginning of a great adventure for Chippewa and myself.  Of what sort I had not yet intuited, yet I doubted it would be a sweet stroll on the grass.

Pt. II

I had slid onto his warm broad back, with only a tied-on blanket between him and I.  I held the reins firmly, relishing the feel of the well-cared-for leather reins between my fingers.  I had foregone even an English saddle, I had never used one on Chippewa in my youthful  dreams.

We trotted into the darkness, crickets chirrrrrrr-chirrrring away, and the occasional frog ribbbitting sleepily from a nearby pond.  We had hardly passed between the brick-and-wrought iron gates when a gravelley, unhappy voice spoke from the darkest shadows. “You’re early.  Good.  My sisters will be here soon.  In the meantime…”  I heard the sound of unshod hooves on the smoothly raked sand of the trailhead.  The horse and rider were huge!!

I was sure the horse was at least part draught animal, and the rider may have been sired by a giant on one of the sisters of Medusa.  He was tall, and heavily muscled, wearing armour reminiscent of the figures on Ancieint Grecian pottery or mosaics.  The inky black horse towered over Chippewa, giving him the look of a slender pony. Chippewa looked up at the horse and bared his teeth, with ears flat against his neck.  This was the only time I had dreamed/ fantasised/seen him behave so, normally he was gentle and sweet-tempered.

The man(?) laughed, sounding like a rockfall from the side of a box canyon.  The horse shook his head from side-to-side, the armour he bore clanking like cast-ironware.  The disturbing thunder of the other Furies (even I could intuit that was who they were) on their black-black mounts grew louder before they joined us by the side of the road. The Sisters were twins, both Giantesses, on enormous mounts, the hair of all three was stiffened into spikes, and I could see the greeney-grey tracery of scarificated tattos on their pallid faces.  The eyes appeared to be black hollows barely lit by deep-set, glimmering flames of red.  The weapons they carried were glossy from care, and each was unique with one purpose. 

Their leather gloves were bristling with spikes, and their hobnail boots had spurs that resembled small scimitars, instead of facing back to spur the horse, these faced outward from the rider, another weapon made to protect vulnerable ankles.  I had no doubt they could have held off the Mongol Hordes with no other warriors at their side.    Their forbidding and angry visages were warning enough for even the foolhardy souls.

“Come!  We’ve much to do tonight!!”  The man spoke sharply and his Sisters shrieked like a storm rampaging in from the North Atlantic.  All four horses broke into a run and then began to gallop towards the stars. I was mesmerised by the landforms reeling below us; I could have sworn that a yellow glimmer from below was the sulfur rising in Crater Lake.  I knew then where we were going, and why

Pt. III

As we circled over the cluster of lights I sensed we were hovering over the small town I had lived in with my ex.  It was time to release the anger, send the ugliness home to where it had been born. 

All the nights I didn’t know what would be worse, another visit from the police or my so-called husband’s rages when the drugs wore off.  The days when I was too ashamed to be seen in public, fearing that everyone assumed the worst about me too.

All of the fights that began with another person, before he carried them home to be his excuse for the heartless and cowardly words.  I nearly drowned on the tears I refused to shed, not wanting him to know that he still had that much power to wound and embarrass.Too many days I wandered away from the house to seek quiet and calm in the library, those states of being were extinct in the building I called ‘home’.

I subsisted in fearful aloneness, and was drowning in the self-doubts that he had hammered into me with spite and a sick sort of vengeance.

I felt every inch a bean side when the cries of justifiable rage that had been kept silent for far too long burst into inchoate voice.

I could feel the cords in my neck swell with the depth of my cry, and tears blurred my vision of of the still-hurtful memories.

As my voice swirled in the heavy air, accompanied by the Furies’ shrieks; a vicious storm burst into noisy, electrified life below us.

Lightning sliced from clouds to the ground below.  The thunder was satisfying in its volume and ferocity.

Hail fell heavily, bouncing almost two feet up after it impacted the ground.  The winds were powerful enough to swirl the hail as if it was Autumn leaves.

Finally, the storm broke, battering against the houses, the heavy raindrops beating trees into submission.

My voice broke as well, with a painful crack;  I gasped before collapsing on Chippewa’s neck and I cried.  Cried with great sobs, tears freezing on my cheeks from the altitude.

The Furies’ Brother angled his horse closer, this time Chippewa did not lash out.  I felt the mailed, enormous hand of Brother Fury carefully encompass my shoulders.

I finally looked up, and stared, for a moment I could have sworn the Brother Fury had a human face, and sorrowful blue eyes.

“It is finished?”  He rumbled, removing his hand from my back.

“Yes, for now.  I will shed quieter tears in bed later, in private.”  When I spoke the ice on my face shattered, and when it landed on my hands it was not ice but crystals.  They had shattered longitudinally, becoming graceful leaves of clear crystal.

After studying the crystals for the moment I tucked them into a pocket.  “I’ll cleanse them when I get home.  Then I’ll keep them, to help me be empathetic to other’s heartaches and secret sorrows.”

“It is time to go, look…”  I followed Brother’s pointed finger, to a sunrise that was just beginning to lighten to the East.

“You’re right.  It is time for me to rest well, and enjoy happy dreams.”

The swift ride back to the barn was taken in utter silence until we landed near the barn.  Chippewa looked in the direction of his stall with longing.

“I believe that it is time for my old friend to rest too.”  I finished the sentence to no-one, the Furies had gone to their home.

I cooled down Chippewa, stroking him from time to time.  He was silent, as was I.  When he was dry and relaxed under my hand I led him to his stall, and gave him some tepid, clean water.

I left the barn, knowing that if I should need him, Chippewa would be waiting for me, stretching his head in my direction.





Let’s go for a Sail – Soul Sister

25 07 2006

Her longing tasted like black blood

Congealed from lack of attending;

The fears screamed by the wind

Tugged hard at cloak and hood;

The ground beneath shook

With the force of threatened truth-telling,

But her trapped tears refused to fall,

Like rain clouds that would not burst.

With stooped shoulders and a shawl slung around,

‘’Let’s go for a sail’’, said she.

‘’For the deep waters of the dark sea,

Will swallow it all, and then —

I shall be empty, open and free.’’





Waiting

24 07 2006

I am the Ferry Woman
Who waits
Patiently
On the shores of Duwamish Bay

Who will choose my craft?
Who will know to come to me?

To row across the silken waters
As the Duwamish people
Sing old songs
Of yearning
Of belonging
Of times long gone.

Who will plant the seeds I have gathered from the old people?

Heather Blakey July 2006





Home Away From Home – Ashley Shea

22 07 2006

I’ve taken so many journeys in my life. Some have ended at glorious pools of refreshing cool water. Others have kept me running in circles never to find an end. The ones I find most enjoyable are those that take me on a spiral path. With each turn I have the opportunity to gleen wisdom from past experiences and use that wisdom to face what’s ahead of me.

One particular journey was very disconcerting. It ended at a dimly-lit crossroad. There I stood in the middle of the intersection, barely seeing the roads before me, not knowing which path to take. I stood there for years. I was afraid to take any particular path and it be the Wrong path. It wasn’t until after I made a choice that I realized that no path is ever the Wrong path. There’s always something to learn down every lane.

This latest journey, starting here in Duwamish Bay, feels different from my other travels. I am scattered, chaotic, anxious, ungrounded, and uncentered, oh, and a little lost, too. I feel almost as I did at that crossroad so many years ago.

I’ve settled myself at the Duwamish Inn. I haven’t gone out to meet the rest of the travelers who are obviously enjoying each others company. A smile is brought to my face just by hearing the song of their infectious laughter. I’m not ready to step out into the group. I feel mussed up….on the inside.

For now, I’ll listen to the laughter and excited chatter. I’ll let it wash over me, bringing calmness as I catch my breath and settle in.