These woods are like home to me. Whenever I return it is as if I have come back to my spiritual center. This is where it truly began for me. I was a misguided youth full of angst and hostility, disillusioned by the world, and spiritually injured. But these woods are a place of healing and renewal, and they changed me. Over the years I’ve seen other people changed by these woods as well.
The medicine is strong along this creek. The waters are crisp, clear and purifying, and I swear I can hear the voices from generations of spirits echo through the clay-bank valleys, enticing me to release the stresses and pains of my mortal existence, bringing my spirit back to light.
I had my first powerful vision here, where I was healed and transformed into something that could be of better service to my people; something I’m ashamed to admit I had strayed too far from over recent years.
I have experienced giving, sharing, and loving in these woods that are too rarely found in the outside world.
We’ve had gatherings of great souls, teaching circles, solstice and equinox festivities. Barefoot hippies, country kids, urbanites rediscovering themselves and an assortment of other wanderers have met here as family to share in each other’s good graces. Bonfires and drums, maypoles, and moonlight dancing bringing people together in love and laughter. Here, we are free.
I remember a stew once made. A dozen camps contributed to it. The missing ingredient to tie it all together, an onion was nowhere to be found. Then down the trail came some new arrivals for the evening, and packed in their gear was just such an onion which they gladly contributed. “I don’t even know why I packed it.” He said. “I just grabbed it and threw it in my cooler because I thought it might come in handy.” So into the stew pot it went, to simmer over the open flames. A dozen camps were fed from this stew and there was an abundance that never seemed to end. It was like a true “loaves and fishes” story.
Here we were free to be in our spirits, and the only law was love. Not a law to be rigidly enforced, but simply lived. This is where I learned to love openly. I felt the darkness I carried with me lifted and I was made new. It was beautiful. It is beautiful. And it is where I learned to see beauty in this world that I had for so long been so cynical about.
This is why these woods and this river are the place I return to when my spirit needs healing, or if I just need to get away from the noise and distractions that cloud my visions and confine my inner light. Meditation is stronger here. Prayers become reality and love can be embraced.
Though I have experienced many great lands and beautiful environments, I’ve never known another place quite like this.
We all need something like this in our lives.
This is sacred space.