Journey Inward: Swan Dive

Quietly, like a maiden sneaking through the woods to meet her lover, I lifted my skirts to Tree Goddesstip toe over twigs and stones following an unmarked path. I gingerly jumped over brooks and streams to stay mostly dry. Coming to the edge of my forest again, I was suddenly disoriented and high above my usual perch, looking out over the familiar pool of crystal clear turquoise water.

“How did I get up here?” I wondered, looking down a bit nervously as somewhere inside me I knew I’d come here to dive and this height was way beyond my comfort zone. Then his voice sliced easily through my memory, its tone and the words he spoke, seeping into my head. “No thinking; no projecting.”

“Okay.” I said, “okay, I hear you.”

Swan flyingAnd without hesitation, I dove, like a swan face upward toward the heavens, arms spread, breast bone pulling the rest of my body out into the middle of space above the pool.

In no time at all, I glided out to a place where I tilted my wings and rolled my body slightly left. Naturally, automatically, my feathers folded and lay along side this body; the velocity increased, parting the surface waters with every nearing inch. I spiraled head first into the pool, and once under the protection of the water and cradled in its warmth, I was a dolphin undulating and weaving between the rays of sunshine that penetrated its depths.Dolphin fantasy

Upward again to the surface, nose first, standing on my tail, I launched into the air. I wanted to flip, yet my fins became arms as I reached for the sky and I floated untethered for a while.

Still no time passed as I hung in the ethers, my fingertips feeling for raindrops inside the clouds. The white gown I wore fluttered in the wind like a sail in mid tack. I was light and full simultaneously, consumed by amazement and joy. My eyes had softened and relaxed, deepening back into my brain. I floated there, just trusting, looking at the edges of the rocky beach surrounding the turquoise pool. There were hundreds of people there circling the rim, applauding my dance!

In a breath, I was walking down a tree-lined path with my Indian friend. He held my elbow as though I needed a crutch and I kept looking over my shoulder to see where I’d come from.

“Was it real? Did I really dance in the water, fly through the air? Was I there, or not; and was I truly so free?” I wondered this all to myself, though my Indian friend answered.

“You’ve been a Queen,” he said, “yet here, you feel the energetic weight and the awkward, crumbling bones of a crone. Never forget though, you can soar inside your soul anytime you like, becoming the maiden once more, or forever, if that’s what you desire.”

“How trite,” I thought, feeling really gypped. “He’s mumbling inanities.” Unable to contain my sudden frustration, the truth of my disappointment leaked out and I shriveled down, ever more helplessly overwhelmed by the sudden onset of old age. I felt like a china doll crashing to the floor, dropped by a careless child.

So caught up in the shock of it all, I barely noticed when he lifted this old bag of bones up to his heart. I felt like a babe when he kissed my forehead and threw me out as though returning a bird of prey to the airwaves, freeing my mind yet again. I flapped once and then flew. Wind washed my face and the sun’s warmth penetrated the spaces between the bones of my feathers.

Quickly passing familiar landmarks, staring down at the crystal clear turquoise pool, I Earthnoticed how tiny even my dream world seemed from here. Ranging higher and further, rising fast on an endless thermal, the Earth’s whole blue-green body came into view and then faded away. It was a black dot, then a pinpoint, soon disappearing completely as I caught my next ride on the pulsing currents of the galactic waves.

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Journey Inward: At the Edge of the Forest

Life is a sacred journey; we need only go within. This is the first in a series of inner world, shamanic journeys.

The Pathway In

The Pathway In

At the Edge of the Forest

“Who do you want to be–you or some accommodated version of another person’s projection you believe is a true reflection of you?”

I sat on my stump at the edge of the forested path, contemplating his question, looking out at the rounded landscape embroidered with the last vestiges of Spring’s wildflowers. They were almost impressionistic, maybe like the surreality of Monet’s inner world.

Trying to make it all feel less like a dream, and avoiding my own inner world, I searched for the sea beyond the fog. As always, in the Summer months, it was there, just beyond my vision, at the edge of the hills behind a fluffy yet formidable white wall. If I touched the fog in my dream, it would dissipate and I would find my answers lying out there lifting with the swells in one moment and lost in the troughs the next. Right now though, I wasn’t ready to see.

He was standing nearby, one foot on his own stump, breathing down on me like the wind and towering above me like a giant tree god. His skin was the same rusty color as the local redwood bark, his hair polished, long and black. Almost like the searing and burnished charcoal wounds inside the remains of a fire-gutted trunk, I’m certain lightening had struck his foliage many times too. Even his gaze matched the lifelong scars of courage and resilience on those gigantic trunks, his formidable stature was powerfully duplicated in each of his subtle bodies.

As age rings on a tree claim another year of growth and wisdom, each layer of his energy was individuated and clear. The golden threads of connection sewing the memories together synergistically, and like the volunteers growing from dismembered stumps into a circular fortress of new growth, he was also immortal. When he glanced down at me, his eyes contradicted this mystery. One blue, one green, each reflected a picture window to all souls. In them, I could view the history of the Universe, if I chose to see it.

“Are you searching for acceptance?” He prodded me again.

“Yes,” I said. “From myself.” Then I became whiny. “Why do people feel so put off by me…as if I have an expectation of them?”

“Because you carry pictures in your field as you work through the old energy,” he was still standing on one foot, gazing into the forest in the opposite direction of my outward view. “As it is scraped from the marrow of your bones, its dust covered gumminess begins to surface. Eventually the rain washes it away. Because you don’t hide it, you expose it. Because they don’t want to deal with their own lack of acceptance, you light them up in ways they don’t want to acknowledge…ways they feel they are superior to you. Just by doing your own housecleaning they are shown the dirty corners of their lives they believe they’ve already cleared. You show them their lies,” he sounded as though this all came from a place higher than the tree tops.

“Maybe they’ve already completed those lessons and they have no tolerance for someone like me who is just now getting to that sticky stuff,” I was so willing to dismiss myself and my progress.

He stood there for a moment, the precise triangular corners of his eyes looked at me with one eyebrow lifted, seemingly debating whether or not to give me any more input. I could tell he wondered why, in these moments, he even wasted his time. It was his usual response when I disrespected myself, yet this time he showed me some mercy. “No. They are projecting onto you so you not only do your work, you also hold their secrets. Why would you want to carry all that?” This was a constant question. Why would I want to carry all that?

“If you believe you aren’t equal to them, if you give them your power and recoil, you also allow them to lord their illusion over you like an invisible ceiling.” I turned away from my fog bank to look up at him. He’d definitely used the right words. I was suddenly and totally present.

“Unconsciously they want you to believe you are the cause of the upset inside them. What you expose in yourself uncovers and mirrors the secrets they try desperately to hold in place. If you anchor your truth in your belly and your feet on the ground, their lies will ultimately be revealed to their own consciousness and they will no longer stomach the energy as it rushes upward giving them a big nauseating headache. One day they will spontaneously throw-up when you aren’t around, projecting this delusion onto themselves. That’s when they’ll know.”

My eyes were closed through the last bit; I wanted to envision this part of the story. Then I swiveled around, slowly lifting my lids to the wild flowers looking through my eyelashes at the golden hills. And turning the rest of the way around, I looked out wide-eyed at the ocean. It was calm and flat, like glass, the still pool of true reflection.

The Christmas Village

When Jamie Reynolds comes to his grandparents’ Vermont home for Christmas, he just wants things to go back to the way they were before his dad disappeared. Time and again he is drawn to Grandma’s miniature Christmas village, where he imagines that life is perfect.

Christmas VillageLate one night, the village comes to life before Jamie’s eyes, and his fantasy of escaping into it becomes very real indeed. He discovers that the village is called Canterbury, where the year is 1932. Jamie becomes fast friends with Kelly and Christopher Pennysworth, and is taken in by Ida, who runs the local boarding house. But he also makes a dangerous enemy of the mysterious and menacing Jim Gordon, whose return to town is nothing but trouble.

As Jamie desperately races against time to find his way back home, he is suddenly faced with a terrifying choice: to go ahead with his plan to leave, or to stay and help his friends, at the risk of never going home again. The Christmas Village is an adventure the whole family will love, filled with suspense, secrets and surprises to the very last page.

The Christmas Village is available at Amazon in Kindle edition or hard copy. Enjoy the suspense as town hero, Jamie Reynolds finds his way through his own life challenges by helping others.

Christmas VillageMuch of this review is was taken from the Amazon book description.