Safe among the Stones
At last I am still
from my breath to the birds
Tree boughs bob and shimmy,
and winged missiles streak through my peripheral vision
as if to say
You cannot see everything,
Cannot know all,
Cannot control your world.
And this is as it should be
Silence seeps into the dirt
and into my own parched heart,
–through the wind raking the hair against the grain on my arm
soaking between the freckles
reminding me there are nerve endings on my back that love caress and tell my soul
where I am rather than where I’ve been.
I already know the secrets whispered between the pines’ fingers
but I’m happy to hear them again.
(ml 8/18 tres piedras)
References about animal totems generally agree that the medicine of the winged Jay family is Proper use of Power. Many spiritual disciplines consider the mind to be the prime source of human power.
As I sat in meditation Saturday morning, I reflected on the previous day’s Course in Miracles lesson: I rule my mind, which I alone must rule. Not an easy task for most, yet mastery of the personal mind seems key to liberation …into a much greater Mind.
I’ve been faced with some core triggers lately, unbridling my own mind. Humbled, I’ve watched it rear and buck like a bronco with a burr in his back hatch, stomping many of my trusty tools for taming it.
On this morning, as I sat watching my own mind throw every weapon in its guerilla’s arsenal—more likely a gorilla arsenal for the monkey mind—a stellar blue jay landed in the clearing before me, as if to punctuate my ruminations. I felt the blue flash brush my heart; I nodded and re-closed my eyes. To make sure I got it, he soon flew in for a sloppy landing in the juniper right next to me, jostling the branches in all directions for effect. I smiled, “Got it; thanks.” But did I?
As I packed up for my weekend away, I realized the two humans I would be visiting that day were also both named Jay. Wow. Thanks. Not just one pebble to my window, but three stones. And by that afternoon, I had rendezvoused with the second human Jay just to the west of Tres Piedras.
We walked up onto two of the three (piedras) the following day (Sunday). The second is a more extensive cluster of globular formations, many with cliff faces as sheer as their curves can generate.
But we eventually found our way up a sloping side and came upon an uncanny staircase—un grand escalier –in the folds of the rock, beckoning us to the summit. From the bottom, Jay and I both spied the “troll” in its folds, looking like Yoda’s menacing dragon cousin….
Although we were by then tired, both of us feeling our trick hips beginning to object, the Capricorn in me felt compelled to climb it. I got fairly close to the top—within 25 feet, estimated Jay, who stayed below– and I could have gone farther. But I paused, to be content where I was, taking in the view, feeling the tug upward, but knowing I had nothing to prove. In mastering both mountain and mind, we mustn’t push beyond wisdom.
The fact was, I was content, happier than I ever am in town. While I have companions who prefer to hike nude, clothes were no encumbrance to my sense of freedom, now that I’d shaken off the oppressive clamor of the city. That was enough.
Sometimes a warrior’s power is in knowing her limits.
One but asks to know what is hers to do…
When the call is true,
help is already due…
Later, as bats flitted above my head in the dusk, Mars pierced the blue with the fiery color of last weekend’s red ruins. Mars itself is about personal power, summoned for both inner and outer jihad.
Below him, another sort of power cast its light about inside a thunderhead, like a burglar behind the bedroom curtains: Lightning ricocheting through its belly and turning a bright white ghost amber.
I greeted Mars and invited any messages. Immediately I heard the wordless reminder from him that he cannot tell me anything I don’t already know. He can only embolden me to act fearlessly from that intelligence.
Every time I look at him, he seems larger; the message however, does not change: clear as light, true as blood, steady as stone.
Just as I was noting to myself that Mars would turn direct on the morrow, I realized there was another light source to the east. I turned and met full moon, looming large between low clouds, illumined in blushing ivory.
What a Feast this Sabbath!
What a feast this planet.
What a Feast this life.