There is no way to adequately describe the sensation of purification by internal wild-fire with cool quenching rain.
Yesterday, my brother and I built the ceremonial fire pit at Harmony Farm. We collected stones of all sizes and shapes, and they all found their own place around the opening dug in Mother Earth. It was good work for two brothers. Love, compassion, sweat, imagination, and play went into its making and we both asked for the blessings of the 7 directions: Jon in the inner circle and me in the outer circle. We met in the middle and felt the giddy inner spirit strongly.
After building it, I put tobacco into the center in the shape of a spiral: the symbol that is growingly ever more present here at Harmony Farm. Within a few minutes, the mischievous wind had rolled through and shifted the tobacco, and the symbol that emerged was a closed circle, with an open circle swirling into it. We both realized the significance of this symbol immediately. The circle of life is complete, but always interweaving with other circles in an expression of ever changing community and life. We also realized that the open circle was the map of the path that is to leading from the house to the fire circle, and that the shape had become a heart.
The mischievous wind that had been blowing for days, calmed down enough for us to actually light the first ceremonial fire in the pit. Wind, Fire and Earth were all present as we passed the talking stick around for sharing. There was much spoken from the heart and gratitude prevailed. Towards the end, the thunder and lightening beings came. As soon as we were all inside, the skies opened up and Sister Water made her grand entrance, filling all the cracks in the dried up earth. Cooling everything, giving her life, and flowing freely and abundantly. I harvested 150 gallons of her sustenance off of the garage roof for use on the garden, and my inner fire felt satiated and quenched this morning. There are no words for these sensations: sensations that come from purification by fire cleansed by cooling water from the sky.
Today, it is time to plant seeds in my new garden and watch life persist and thrive!
On a warm January day, laying up on the prairie at Harmony Farm, a soft breeze blew threw me. I did not feel the wind on my skin, but heard it in the trees, and then felt it gently move THROUGH my body. Because I did not feel it on the outside, I asked my friend Kate if she heard the wind too. She had, and I was not imagining things. So, the element of the East made itself known in the most gentle, intimate and tangible way it could. I received its blessing, and assurance that the Spirit of the East is present with me at the farm.
I have been wondering when the Spirit of the South, with the element of fire, would make its presence known. And it has. There is a fire burning through me. My skin bubbles and boils in the form poison ivy blisters. In sweat lodge, the most challenging round for me has always been the round in the South…the round of the physical plane. This “round” in the Sweat Lodge of Harmony Farm proves no exception. Every moment I remind myself that I am not my body as I go back inside the burning itch and experience it fully–sometimes pulled back out of my body by the intensity of the sensations. For the most part it is doable, but there are times I want to retreat back to the safety of my previous life…before the bugs…before the ivy…before the sweat, blood and tears. But I know that is not possible, and so I sit in patient acceptance while the fire burns on.
At the advice of my new dear friend and Grandmother, Minisa Crumbo Halsey, I have taken the fire into my heart, so that it does not consume me. I fed it chicken livers, and so it burns hot, but it is no longer insatiably hungry. And I rest in the assurance that the Spirit of the West is coming next. And with that direction comes water. Cool, clear, soothing Sister Water. For now I endure what I know can not last forever. It is leaving its mark, altering my relationship with the land and myself, but will probably not leave a permanent mark on my body. Everything has a purpose, and the purpose of fire is cleansing and purification. What does not destroy me makes me better, stronger, wiser, more flexible and compassionate. And out of this will come that new insatiable young green growth that always follows a forest fire. And in that, I take comfort.
it doesn’t always have to mean death and destruction. Ever since I have moved out to Harmony Farm, I have been hearing mice scurrying all over the place. I have asked them to stay outside, but still, daily i clean up the mess they have made from the compost bowl (OK…that’s partly my fault for not having it covered, a problem I rectified today…), and I have even seen them running across the counter and into the stove. I did hear a lot of activity in the stove one day, and couldn’t get the top open to investigate, so I turned the oven on to 500 and let it roast for a couple of hours. That might have been death and destruction…but I won’t know until I get the top open…
But I digress. Thanks to the ingenuity of David Yarrow, I got a new mouse trap today that helps me relocate the mice without killing them. I relies on a simple mechanism: food. A mouse is totally motivated by his stomach (not to different from me…), and so, thanks to Target, I can take full advantage of that motivation for my “human mouse relocation project” (HMRP)
And, i’m happy to say it’s working after only a few hours.
If he could communicate with his friends, still in my house, he would shout: “DON’T EAT THE ALMOND BUTTER! IT’S A TRAP” but, alas, he is now running loose out in the field at the end of my driveway, and I doubt his voice would carry that far. I wanted to take him up into the trees for safe cover, but it is late, and dark. I did tell him I loved him, but that it was time for him to live outside, and asked him not to come back.
My next task: to develop something like this for ticks!
Not holding my breath on that one…