Alpine Lady

Honoring the natural world through prose, poetry, music, sounds, photographs and musings.


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Help out a special child this summer!

My recently published Kindle edition e-Book, “A Rare Purple Bear,” will make a thoughtful gift to give to that special young child who recently lost a close relative or loved one. Clancy and his cast of colorful holiday characters can also make a thoughtful gift to present to a caregiver of a child who has a terminal illness, or to a hospice summer camp. To a summer hospice program, consider gifting a Kindle eBook portable reader downloaded with “A Rare Purple Bear” available through Amazon.

Thank you and many blessings on your day.

 

http://www.amazon.com/kindle/dp/B00U5G7M46/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_eos_detail

Cover for eBook: A Rare Purple Bear

Cover for eBook: A Rare Purple Bear

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Raven’s Journey Home: A Kindle ebook

Book Cover for Raven's Journey Home

Book Cover for Raven’s Journey Home

Writing this novella for young adults is a significant achievement for me as it took navigating realms of technology that have changed substantially since the book’s conception over forty years ago. My works always start with pencil on paper and then progress to typewritten. Well now, I can chuckle looking back through the drafts of my early work typed out on paper with a portable typewriter, never dreaming that one day, I’d have a state of the art computer upon which I can write, edit and publish with ease and release it into the ethers to be captured and read by others around the world. I still start out with pencil on paper, however.

Raven’s Journey Home has been substantially changed since I wrote excerpts for Alpine Lady, enough so I feel the reader might like to purchase a copy of the new one launched as an ebook and now available through Amazon Kindle Books.

Book Description

Who hasn’t heard of Raven, a corvid with legendary status? Tales abound of Raven’s trickster spirit helping shape the destiny of mankind. However, in Raven’s Journey Home, having been seduced by his own ego and the materialist greed of humanity, he has fallen from grace and blames himself for the partial demise of First Earth and the ensuing Time of Great Sorrow. To regain the trust of the spirit forces who are reclaiming the land, Raven must confront his own shadow and release its grip on his psyche before he can, once again, act as archetype and creator for the Mystery.

Like stepping onto the Holodeck of the Federation Starfleet vessel USS Enterprise, in Raven’s Journey Home, the reader begins a voyage of environmental fantasy to sensually  experience and practice the transformation of life’s boundaries. A thought-provoking novella for young adults, written to enliven the reader’s curiosity about the magic of living systems found in the natural realms of a northern rainforest, it’s an expressive journey rich in imagery, filled with transformational magic, and flowing with the rhythms of nature. Patricia DeMarco has created Raven’s Journey Home complete with engaging possibilities that challenge the reader to become personally involved in the co-creative re-evolution of a more compassionate humankind.

FOR a very long time, thick mists and unrelenting rains veiled both the forest and seashore. Even the distinctive hissing sound of Raven’s rhythmical wing beat and his guttural croaks were subdued by the sounds of drenching rains assaulting the environment.” And so the scene is set for Raven and the reader to explore the mysteries, navigating between the Forever Worlds of past, present and future with a hummingbird, a river otter, the Peoples of Gaia, Grandfather Whale, and the Elders of the Thirteen Moons as guides.

Please follow the link to Amazon which I’m providing and open to view some of the inside pages. You’ll get a hint of what’s to come.

http://www.amazon.com/Ravens-Journey-Home-Patricia-DeMarco-ebook/dp/B00SPY8ND4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1422396165&sr=1-1&keywords=raven%27s+journey+home

Please don’t hesitate to share this post with your friends, family, and social networks around the world. Thank you!


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Poetical Gifts for the Fall Season

Frosted Fall Roses

Frosted Fall Roses

“November”

November,

a gateway into winter,

poised to swing open

as temperatures,

wind and daylight

declare its time for

the brilliant hues

and cornucopias

of fall’s bounty

to cease;

and the unruliness

of the seasons

capricious winds

to weave a way

deep into the raw,

bone-chilling days

of winter’s wrath.

*

Cloud Dragon

Cloud Dragon

“Cloud Dragons”

I’m watching cloud dragons

descend off the mountains today,

ferociously roaring as they pass by.

I’m witnessing gun-powder gray trailers

shredding in disrepair

as stronger dragons take to the air.

Their presence measured in leaves

tumbling and cartwheeling across the yard,

grasses yielding to breaths blown hard.

Flocks of smaller birds careen and break apart,

others hide in the boughs of the evergreen

safely riding it out in a natural windscreen.

But now the dragon riders have taken to the air,

gulls and crows, masters of flight, soaring with the wind,

as if caressing and playing with an ancestral kin.

*

Silken Threads

Silken Threads

“The Great Tapestry”

Let’s look at threads,
you and I,
fibers plucked from
experience and grace,
each weaver creating
a personal strand,
and spun together
forming a unique yarn
to dress our life’s loom.

Let’s now take those threads,
you and I,
those strands
of twisted fibers
forming our yarn
and instead of making
a personal tapestry
filled with our life’s events,
let’s collectively spin spools
of co-creative energy
and dress a loom together.

Let’s spin those fibers,
you and I,
into distinctive yarns
some as light as mohair.
some as sheer as spider silk,
others as sturdy as flax,
some dull, others bright,
some rough, others slick,
some thin, others thick
in all colors of humanity,
with all colors of soul,
to dress a greater loom.

Let’s together,
you and I,
weave a tapestry
adorned with
healthy trees and forests,
nurturing cities and towns,
clean lakes and rivers;
bound by oceans
rich in diversity and motion;
with air to breathe filled with
brilliant sunrises and sunsets,
mists, rains and rainbows;
in cooperation with the rhythms
of sun and moon,
and glittering with brilliant stars.

Let’s stand back,
you and I,
to admire
the assistance of the unseen,
the invisible dynamics that
helped us weave this
rich tapestry of life and livelihood,
that has us bound naturally
to one another,
which allows our hearts
to beat and fall in love,
to nurture and create family,
sustain our lives with
abundance and health,
grace and peace,
and let’s give thanks.

*

Campfire Incense

Campfire Incense in the Making

“Campfire Incense”

Alluring tendrils of smokey haze

dance their way

past the fire circle and

curtsey to the

newly-arrived brugmansias.

From their balcony seats

on the fence line,

the angelic trumpets

lift their skirts

and step forth

to join in with an expression

of divine fragrance.

Under the silvery glow of

a waxing crescent moon,

the wood smoke and

trumpet flowers swirl

until the luster of the last ember

is exhausted and extinguished.

And for those privileged to be

in circle with the celebrants,

their memories and hair will

carry this embrace of lovers,

as a campfire incense,

sweetly exotic and smokey.

*

Graceful Sky Feather

Graceful Sky Feather

“A Simple Ceremony”

our singing bowl sang

a song for you today;

the simple grail

filled to overflowing

with eagles’ calls–

high-pitched,

carried aloft

by soaring wings,

rising on

warming thermals;

the hawks’

raspy cries

danced and spun

even higher,

their songs

disappearing

from sight and

re-emerging in

a silent,

downward spiral

of speed and grace;

the raven’s

swift wingbeat

kept time

to the slap

of salmon’s tail

forming a

redd to cradle

future lives

in the river’s bed;

and throughout,

the graceful gesturing

of a flight

of seaward gulls

drew forth

the bowl’s song,

conducting

it’s rhythm and flow.

*

Thank  you for taking the time to read my poetical gifts.


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Diving into the Mystery: A Mystical Journey

A Mystical Journey

A light rain was misting the tips of the yew, showering its green needles with a silvery hue, when I was stopped in my tracks in the woods near my home, where often it is that I’ve taken to roam and sort through the events of my day, letting its problems and stresses fall away. I find the woods comforting, quiet and cool, magically transforming my fears by the rule of entering into stillness, which allows me to hear, sense, see and feel into other realms which in their content seem just as real as where I now stood, close by a yew tree, deep in the wood.

The air was expectant, full, awaiting discovery when I chanced to look down amid all the rain-soaked shrubbery and saw fibers of light covering the vicinity like a million spider webs trailing off into infinity. I breathed a full breath and let it out slow, and another, for I wanted to know, what is this phenomena that I’d chanced on today, that seems in this forest to magically underlay all the living greenery that is part of the scenery.

In the blink of an eye, the fibers faded from view and I was left wondering why they all withdrew. But as I questioned what it was that I’d seen, the answers welled up from that place in-between and I knew I’d encountered yet another gateway, to the wondrous realm of the dragons and fae. “Water, roots and fungi,” the words popped into my head, looping round and round, that’s just what they said. I stood very quietly, making not a stir, trying to understand what the words did infer. “Water, roots and fungi,” I was left with little doubt, that’s what I heard this forest world silently shout.

Over the years I’d discovered magic in forest, rivers and sea…a journey spiraling through time and space giving me, opportunity to encounter realms all manner of size in places I never expected to see them materialize. Now today, in this rain-graced space, I heard the words of the forest folk but saw not their trace. I leaned against the trunk of an old medicine tree…a hemlock, taller than most, much thicker than me. The yew was close by, mist welling up and dripping, drop upon drop quietly slipping onto the ferns and mosses, lichens and grass lining the trail on which I was to pass if it were not for the pull of the gateway and another opportunity to enter the land of the fae.

Feathery branches hung down in front of my face, absorbing the drops that fell upon this place, helping create an image destined for me, deep in the forest close by to the sea. A bold, woodsy fragrance ushered from the wetted wood, a crisp odor of evergreens, wild gingers and one I should be able to name for it reminded me of something familiar but not, something on the edge of almost forgot.

Dungeness River

Dungeness River

I instinctively looked to the forest surrounding me and felt at my back the support of the wise old tree. To my left which was east were two moss-shrouded humps with the trail meandering between what was left of their stumps; directly in front or south across the trail, a clump of green yew, their trunks papered with red-brown scale; west, to the right, here the snow-swelled river crowded its mossy shore, filling the glade with a rich, thunderous roar; that left the north or what was behind where it was I was to find, the purpose of this visit today of having been called forward by the fae.

When I looked above and into the tree, thick branches, criss-crossing as far as my eye could see created angular panes of dim light, amid a blur of green extending the full height into the soft-crowned canopy of the hemlock tree. Fungal beards draped pendulously on the limbs’ roughened bark, their sodden filaments weeping moisture off the matriarch, splashing upon a pile of rodent bones bereft of meat, lying partially buried in the mosses at my feet, stained a dark algal green containing a story now seen as a fractured skull, curved teeth and a line of bead-shaped vertebrae lying underneath, slowly being reclaimed by the elements of earth, dismantling crystalline bone salts in a rebirth.

I leaned back, stilled my thinking, identified my space and let my body sink into the hemlock tree’s grace. I could feel the fibers of my being push out and slip into the forest floor, and like dogs sniffing out who had passed this way before, I found the hemlock’s root hair and slid myself along side, relaxing even more and got ready for an extended ride into images fueled by magic. Immediately a familiar dynamic journey began and . . . I found myself intertwining with the roots of trees and shrubs pulsing along with earthworms and slippery, slimy slugs amidst the clutter and debris carpeting the forest’s floor underneath the trees, helping to enrich and enliven the subterranean soil by passing gases, ferrying water, and minerals as my toil while sucking in the sugars that fueled my form until I encountered the extra moisture of an autumn rainstorm. My Being filled with water and I pushed up through the duff, under a fir tree standing along a golf course’s rough.

The Prince ~ Agaricus augustus

The Prince ~ Agaricus augustus

Now I’m the titled “Agaricus augustus: The Prince,” growing on the border of forest and grass, a most civilized mushroom that once identified is hard to pass without picking and enjoying its essence, a fine aromatic almond, the quintessence of the spring and autumn “shrooming” season which my now standing with a knife in hand the very reason I am at the cutting board letting sacromagical words roll off my tongue trying to relate their meaning and practices in a manner that rung a bell of clarity inside my head rather than just words that my mentors once said.

Although analogies abound, my sphere is my kitchen space where I practice daily with crucible and flame, the alchemy of transformation or cooking by its other name; bringing together the earth, air, fire and water elements, treating them as holy sacraments. And as I watched the Prince saute under the lid of glass, it began to express its reason for being popular: a distinctive, spicy, almondy juiciness. A moment of aha-ness, a signature action I could recognize is that cooking a mushroom is a very wise alchemical analogy, part of the Mystery, happening right in front of me.

Our one common ancestor, an algal cell, gave birth to plants and animals as well; but then nature took a break, sparked a compromise and voila: an alchemical surprise giving humans and fungi a genetic sterol not know in the plant realm at all. So as I stood watching the slices shrink into pools of liquid gold, I got further into thinking how the birth of each mushroom naturally enfolds; by their processing alchemical Mercury, Sulfur and Salt, then passing along to me through the gestalt of their water, essential oils and body, what the myriad of mycelial networks connecting to the fir and the other kingdoms of nature surrounding me were, in co-evolution with the faerie realm helping to transform, the perfection of my Being, a spirit in human form.

And how if I had not been magically chosen to eat these particular allies in the fungal world today, the process the ‘shrooms would undergo in nature as they started to decay, which a few had already begun once exposed to the elements and the over-world sun. They would pass along their Princely spores in the guts of worms and bears encased in feces, ready to produce more if the fermentation conditions are right once they tap back into the under-world’s light adding my working thoughts, magical feelings and carings into the collective of the fungal networks’ healings and sharings. But I’ve chosen to cook mine instead and as a reproductive body they are probably dead, yet inside my gut, by the digestive process they transmute their signature use into blood, muscles, bones and nerves capable of fueling all senses, emotions and curiosity which serves me to explore the depths of magic, myth and space, perceiving the realms beyond which brings me back to this place, of standing up against the hemlock tree, deep in the forest near to the sea.

And where perhaps one day, my ashes will lie, sprinkled upon the damp mosses near to where the trail I often traversed crosses, returning my body’s ashened minerals spagyrically-honed into the same soil as the rodent’s algal-stained bones, which lie at my feet, where the faerie worlds of over and under meet.


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Meeting the Weaver of Butchart Gardens

Just a Ferry Ride Away

A few summers ago, our friend Dawn who was visiting from Hawaii, suggested we all take the ferry across the Straits of Juan DeFuca and tour Buchart Gardens, fourteen miles north of Victoria, BC. Since I’d never been there but wanting to, it sounded like the perfect thing to do. Michael declined as he knew we needed “sister-time.”

Dawn and I along the Dungeness River

Dawn and I along the Dungeness River, Olympic Peninsula, Washington State.

Our port of departure was Port Angeles, approximately a half-hour ride to the west of our home in Sequim, Washington. We were to board the Black Ball Ferry Line “M.V. Coho” for the ninety-minute trip across the Straits. The “Coho” wasn’t the only vessel on the water that day. Besides the normal marine traffic of fishing fleets, cargo and container ships, oil tankers, tug boats, military ships and nuclear submarines, the indigenous tribes of Washington and the First Nation peoples of Canada were setting out on the continuation of The Paddle to Swinomish, WA. in their traditional cedar, ocean-going dugout canoes.  The long dugouts, decorated with traditional designs and paints, were departing Port Angeles when we arrived and we took time to watch them being blessed and launched into the waters.

Paddle to Swinomish traditional cedar dugout canoe.

Paddle to Swinomish traditional cedar dugout canoes.

The first thing we noticed when we got to the ferry terminal was that since it was the height of the tourist season, we quickly had to adjust to standing in lines. Queuing up for the ticket purchase to ride the “Coho”, to get on the ferry proper, to get off the ferry, and then winding our way down the ramps and through Canadian Customs got us firmly into the habit.

Victoria is a lovely city, vibrant and full of cultural and architectural wealth spun into a world community. It was difficult not to make Victoria our destination and spend the day, but after a few questions on how to get to the public transit bus that would take us out to The Gardens, we became American tourists in a foreign land off on a botanaical adventure. According to a brochure I picked up on the ferry, once a limestone quarry and cement factory operated by her husband, Jennie Butchart began reclaiming and transforming the future site of Butchart Gardens in the late 19th century into what today is series of gardens now covering fifty-five acres. The closer we got, the more intrigued we became.

The following is a prose poem I wrote describing our July 18, 2011, visit to the astonishingly beautiful Butchart Gardens.

Approaching Victoria, BC, Canada

Approaching Victoria, BC, Canada

 “Meeting the Weaver of Butchart Gardens”

Upon arrival at the Butchart Gardens bus terminal, we tourists descend the steps of world-renown BC Transit Route #75, search out the loo and relieve ourselves of a long, herky-jerky, stop-and go, winding ride.

Then adjusting camera straps, pulling out the credit cards, we simultaneously charge the ticket booths and pass through the turnstyles like horses at the Derby sprinting out of the starting chutes, determined to make it around the floral track at a fast trot only to be slowed to a snail’s pace as we encounter congestion at the first garden entrance.

I notice bickering spouses, sniveling children, bored husbands and pouting teens with texting fingers ablaze, looking neither right nor left but eyes on screens following the shirt tails of the person in front as we slowly snake along making me think if this was a good thing to do.

Finding our place, setting our pace in The Garden.

Finding our place, setting our pace.

We adjust, spread out, leaving room for the slow walker, the sad, the flamboyant foreigners posing for photos, the boisterously-happy- finger-snapping yappies, the snuggling lovers, the plant fanatics, the photo junkies, the cane-bearing shufflers and the wheelchair-bound needing to do their own thing at their pace.

Meanwhile my judgements arise and pass away…descriptions noted and filed.

Star Garden.

Star Garden.

Soon these queues begin to form threads of humanity dispersing throughout the gardens ultimately guided by our thoughts and emotions and supported by the the fae and spirits who reside here, for they know there is magic in the social web co-creatively being woven as the mystery invites us to explore.

The Weaver of Butchart Gardens plies these impulses into our own personal thread. She entices breezes filled with fragrances and pheromones wafting about the Garden to assist in igniting within our souls a need to search out a fulfilling experience or memory.  We begin to follow our thoughts and intuitive insights hither and yon, around and in-between plants, strangers, lovers, insects, creeks, along pathways, around sign-posts searching for the elusive adventure or hint of future possibilities.

Surrounded by beauty.

Surrounded by beauty.

I began recognizing that the Spirit of Beauty entices the visitor to traipse down every path, wander under every canopy and search out every floral-covered corner in the Garden while maintaining a restricted vocabulary of “oooohs and awwwws.” The Spirit of Fragrance bids welcome through coaxing and subtle aromas softly sifting through on the breezes. The Spirit of Touch adorns the plants with soft, fuzzy leaves or velvet-like petals inviting the hand to pet and caress, squish and fondle. The Spirit of Impatience herds us to the displays of conifers and hollies, cacti and thistles. And the Gazing Ball in the Rose Garden invites us with its crystalline-filled magic to linger, reflect, and imagine a world filled with peace and love.

Rose Garden

Rose Garden

At times the individual gardens become crowded and more like riding bumper cars; at other times a party atmosphere prevails; some gardens are cosmopolitan with groups of Japanese, Italian, German tourists talking and laughing throughout; while in still others, sedate energies swirl by tugging at our feet, encouraging us to walk slower, more attentively.

And as we walked the floral track, the flowers called out their names and told us about themselves: “Hi, I’m Yellow Rose, full of friendship and joy.” “Hello, I’m Peruvian Lily. I also offer friendship and give you my devotion.” “Hi there! I’m the spiky Gladiola, full of strength and passion.” “Ho! I’m Oregon Grape. I’m bitter and will help tonify your blood and clean your liver.”

Oregon Grape.

Oregon Grape.

Not only the Spirits of Nature but the Spirits of Hunger and Purchase propel us via the homey fragrances of baked goods, of a finely brewed cup of coffee, the sound of clinking silver on china in the open-air restaurants, the sight of tongues lapping up the lemon ice, and tinkling of cash register bells behind the gift counters reminding us to fulfill our needs, rest awhile, reflect.

Through four hours of time and the six principal gardens, we weave our threads into a tapestry of color, fragrance, texture and sound embellished with nodding of heads in passing, faces softening in smile, and finding ourselves sitting on benches listening to the melodious tones of languages foreign to our ears becoming as pleasant as the bird song filtering down from the tree tops.

Sunken Gardens.

Sunken Gardens.

And as we approach the finish chute and the major exits, the children seem less fussy, the husbands hold on to their spouse’s hand, conversations are quieter and the pace becomes even slower. It’s as if all who have walked the paths want to finish this race together, savoring the moment not just as a camera impression or a photo on a post card, but one held in our hearts and woven into our memories.

Reflection pool in the Japanese Garden.

Reflection pool in the Japanese Garden.

Homeward Bound

The trip back on the bus was still herky-jerky, stop and go for Dawn and I, but we had lots of talking about plants and impressions of our day to share. Fortunately once we arrived in Victoria, we had time to stroll the Inner Harbour, admire the artwork, listen and watch as the buskers performed, catch a light supper and buy a few gifts. Then back to queue status to get on board.

Mosaic Orca in the Inner Harbour at Victoria, BC.

Mosaic Orca in the Inner Harbour at Victoria, BC.

Leaving the harbor, we got to check out the scenic house boats moored along the wall, the yachts in the marinas and the cute little water taxis zipping by to pickup and deliver their customers. I do enjoy spending time in marinas and harbors, imagining what it must be like to be aboard ship and away from land for weeks at a time!

House boats in Victoria Harbour.

House boats and yacht in the harbour of Victoria, BC.

Our trip across had a few more swells to ride out which made me wonder again of what it would be like on a larger ocean-going vessel! Alas, I was hoping to see some whales from onboard but the fogs closed in and we saw only a few waterfowl and gulls close by the ferry.

Our approach to Port Angeles was beautiful, the city aglow through the lightening mists. Another few queues to get off, to go through security and customs and even, ha! to get past road construction on our way home; but by then, we were pros.

Port Angeles Harbor, Washington State, USA.

Port Angeles Harbor, Washington State, USA.

I do hope you consider visiting Butchart Gardens. It’s a particularly beautiful space and graciously cared for by a friendly staff and knowledgeable gardeners ready to answer your questions. And in the gift shops, there are seeds for sale. This is where I fell in love with the Tibetan Blue Poppy! I came home with several postcards to remind me of it, and my time with Dawn. Lo and behold, just the other day, my neighbor pointed it out to Michael and I growing in his nursery bed. Memories of my love affair with it came rushing back and I knew I needed to put my notes in order and revisit the Weaver!  Thanks for visiting. Aloha!

Tibetan Blue Poppy grown at Butchart Gardens since the 1920's.

Tibetan Blue Poppy grown at Butchart Gardens since the 1920’s.

 


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Raven’s Journey ~ Chapter 21: The Magic of Spirit Flight

Raven by Canadian artist Sue Coleman

Raven by Canadian artist Sue Coleman

What happened? croaked Raven in a mixture of Birdspeak and Mystery.

Otter chuckled. You experienced the magic of spirit flight and now have more mastery over traveling within the between realms of the Forever Worlds–their past, present and future.

For Raven, this was a significant moment and he felt relieved yet a bit anxious. Experiencing the future as a human with his human sister served to  strengthen the admiration he had for Otter’s talents. Before this, he had doubts that he’d ever gain access to the dimensions of spirit flight except as taught by one of the elusive shape-shifters. Indeed, Otter had become an even stronger ally than he possibly could have imagined.

Otter continued: It is time I also answered your questions and share with you information about the Survivors, the Human Essence and the Aware Ones and their roles in the re-emergence of Humanity.

The humans you call Survivors are scattered in groups, some fairly large, some still very much intact as before the destruction, droughts and illnesses. During the time of great sorrow, they banded together and re-established skills long lost and needed for living in community. Although much of the technology suffered, there was enough to provide for their needs and they prospered. Your message to them has been delivered at an appropriate time for many are at that crossroads of having enough but wondering what it would be like to have even more…that point of dissatisfaction, a critical stage in their re-evolution when the steady and cumbersome pace seems slow when compared to earlier times. Their impatience is beginning to surface.

The Human Essence, which you were instrumental in attuning, acts like a network, a web of collaborative consciousness between humans and the realms to insure thoughtful action and creation. As the world’s population increases and humans look to expand their territories, instead of seeking land for domination and resource extraction, your message has prompted a genuine sharing of ideas based on the new communication skills I’ve mentioned before. All this will become more apparent to you, Raven, as you venture forth as an Aware One. 

The Aware Ones live a life in gratitude. We bear sacred witness to the Mother and to the Mystery of what we see happening in Her realms. We witness the change of the seasons, the growth of the plants, the fires of destruction and their evolutionary re-vegetation. We give sacred witness to the fish runs, the flights of birds on migration, the health of her tribes. We acknowledge the Ancestors of the Land and its many Peoples, the ones who have come before and their many evolutions throughout time. The contents of the box from your vision retains their collective first intentions and memories. 

We acknowledge when we walk into the forest that there are other Aware Ones paying attention to us…they know us by our footfall, our rate of breath, our body’s energetics, how we are treating each other. The fungal net at our feet feels how we walk the path, the birds hear our songs, the plants know our hearts. 

And we share with our minds and shape with our hands the resources of the Mother and She sees Beauty through our eyes, through our actions, through our caress. 

She already knows of the signs of struggle, has tasted the blood of war. She’s felt the toxic sickness of pollution, the burns of fire and radiation. When Humans struggle, the Mother struggles…

It is not up to the Aware Ones to judge or condemn, only to witness and release. Opinions are optional and only that, opinions. The Mother and the Mystery respond by bringing everything back towards Balance and this may involve hardships but it is in the name of compassion and awareness for All Beings.The energies in the Medicine Box in the old village aid in regaining and maintaining that balance.

“Ritual or prayer is no longer enough to satisfy the magic needed in the world. Co-creative action between all realms is necessary to create sustaining peace, health and abundance. The Mother and the Mystery need to witness this as happening.”  

Yes, you are an Aware One…the Mother listens to you, the Mystery listens to you. They always have. We all watched you regain Spirit and Magic. We held trust that it would. That’s why you’ve been entrusted with keeping the sacred memories.

Raven was quite relieved to hear he was back among favor. It had been a very lonely time during the Separation. He asked Otter: How will I be able to identify the Aware Ones?

First, they will be from all realms…you cannot discount any thing, any plant, any landform, any brook, any animal, any human. They all share the opportunity to serve a greater purpose as Witnesses to Beauty and Cooperation. Of course, it is up to Humans to use their free will in a co-creative way or to feel the Balancing of the natural forces once again…only time will tell. 

It will be apparent when you are near or with an Aware One for communication will come very easily; you will feel comfortable; there will be no reason to be other than who you truly are. In the presence of an Aware Forest, you will feel compelled to stop and spend extra time being at peace, wanting to share your gratitude for its gifts of breath, bird song, mushrooms, and breezes. It is the same when you are around an Aware Landform. You will suddenly feel at home and know your skills and talents are compatible with being or living there. Your health will be good because the water and the air are healthy for you and you will naturally strive to live a life in gratitude. The plants and animals necessary for your re-evolution will be drawn to you and give their energy to maintain your health. The gift of their lives will be honored and not taken for granted. 

And the Mother will be listening to your heart and the hearts of all the Aware Ones for the internal drum beat is another rhythm of Truth and Beauty. And there will always be a shifting as We seek Balance within the Darkness and the Light. And Raven, you may be called upon with the important task of assisting in the adjustment of the Balance by delivering the Initiatory Memory Patterns within the Box. How you access that box and its contents will be the shown to you when the need arises.

But for now Raven, you must be hungry.

Raven was hungry; however, he continued to stand quietly in front of Otter savoring her wisdom and appreciating her guidance. He was happy yet intrigued to learn more about shape-shifting and spirit flight. After Otter’s assistance in his initial journey with his human sister, he knew it was only a matter of time and practice before he could journey unassisted into her timeframe. He looked at Otter and started to form a question but she answered it for him: Yes, Raven, I will answer questions for you then, as well.

Raven clapped his beak together several times making a unique signature sound for displaying his pleasure. And now he was not only curious to find more Aware Ones but to fill his belly. Otter chuckled and quickly descended into the river’s riffles.

Raven took wing and made his way up the river thinking to seek a quiet place to feast and rest. But as he thought that thought, another raven flew up beside him and glanced his direction. It was a young female who had gone several years without finding a mate. Raven had briefly joined her earlier in the spring when many of the young, unpaired birds were engaging in skill practice and play. Raven had not given serious thought to finding a mate, until now. Maybe, he thought, it was time to share my magic with family…

Below him the river songs blended together with the trampling and territorial huffs of the bears, the screeching and sqawkings of the eagles, gulls and ravens in the ultimate celebratory feast of birth, death and rebirth as the Salmon People gave Potlatch to the Forest.

The End of Book One: Raven’s Journey


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Raven’s Journey ~ Chapter 11: Answers

Raven flew straight to the river where he’d last seen Otter with hopes of locating her close to the spider’s web. Indeed! he wondered, Would it still be there? The web was easy to find; Otter, wasn’t. He spiraled upwards for a higher perspective in the area of the now tattered web; but he found no trace of her nor of the mysterious spider who wove the orb.

The weather, however, was cooperative. The sun continued to shine and the mists dissipated in its heat, tendrils of steam caressing the trees. Raven flew back down the river to where a series of shallow rapids ended at the braided, boulder-strewn mouth. Here the stub-tailed, gray Dippers dove into the water searching for aquatic bugs to feed their numerous broods. Here is also where he’d seen Otter snatching fish from the pools before they moved upstream during the migrations. Raven really didn’t expect her to be there and was pleasantly surprised to see her basking on one of the rocks.

He flew over her body, casting a shadow across her face. She looked up and lazily slid off the rock and entered a deep pool upriver. He landed on the rock and waited for her to resurface. Otter took her time chasing down a meal of salmon smolts, young salmon resting in the pool before completing the last leg of their seaward journey. At last her hunger appeased, she climbed out of the pool, shook water vigorously off her pelt and joined Raven on the rock. She chuckled but instead of being irritated by it, he felt somehow comforted.

Otter stretched and carefully began grooming her fur. Raven cocked his head studying Otter, much like Hummingbird did with him when they sat together on the web. Hummingbird knew Raven almost too well and now he wondered how well he knew Otter. It had been lifetimes since they had spent spirit time with one another, a time so distant, his memory of it remained sketchy.

Otter, sensing his need to talk about the task just completed and remembering Raven’s propensity for questions, decided to set the tone of their discussion, first by speaking in the universal awareness of all tuned to the Spirit of Mystery: through imaging and telepathic thought. She began by refreshing his memory by sharing many of their episodic adventures from lifetimes spent together as archetypes of creation.

She related to him that after his sister’s death, because he showed an ease in communication with the realms, Otter took on the task of training Raven in land and water magic. As she continued to fill in the history, his memory of the events began returning. Raven remembered shape-shifting and flowing into her universe of rushing waters, tidal shifts and migrating salmon, of fulling living in the moment. But when he was ready to leave her and seek a teacher who could teach him the magic of flight, he became infatuated instead with a newly-emerging life form: humanity.

Raven, however, struggled in remembering the string of events involving humans that caused him to lose favor within the spirit realms. Otter patiently aided Raven in piecing his lengthy story together, answering his many questions. No matter how reluctant Raven was in hearing some of his indiscretions, he knew he must be truthful with Otter, but even more important, truthful with himself.

He had started out full of curiosity and compassion for the humans and willingly helped them reach their potential as stewards of the land. Ancient stories abound with how he helped in their emergence. But Raven became bored with their eagerness yet at the same time growing fond of their modern representations: the artwork and masks, the jewelry, the ball teams that hosted his name and graphical images of his likeness, the countless road markers, businesses and boats that bore his name, the poems about him and the movies where he was the subject of adoration. However, humans proved to be even more beguiling than Raven could have imagined. He fell into an ego trap and ended up being seduced by their greed, glamor and power, eventually living off their spoils, a most humiliating position for Raven.

Now, however, he’d been given a chance to repair his reputation and reclaim his true spirit. Raven wanted to know more but the events and excitement of the day had taken their toll. He struggled with fatigue. Otter agreed to share more when he was rested. Quite humbled, he left her and flew back into the forest to rest seeking a spot not far from the remaining shreds of webbing.

Raven entered into dreamtime almost immediately. Bathed in the moon’s soft glow, he dreamed of a time long ago when the light that emanated from all living matter stitched together a fabric of life…fibers, strangely glowing, connected in a tapestry rich with motion. Impulses of thought, feeling, information, flickered over this intricate living web in full witness to all beings everywhere: a magical time, a time before this time yet a future time.

River otter on tidal flats with flat fish

River otter on tidal flats with flat fish

When Raven awoke, he felt quite rested. After stretching and flexing his legs, feet and wings, he flew directly to the surf to grub about for food. Satiated with snails, several crabs and a dead fish, he flew back upstream to the same area he shared yesterday with Otter; but there was no trace of her. For a change, Raven felt no impatience; instead, he checked out the remains of a fish he found scattered on the rocks just above the flowing river. It looked to be from the large, flat fish he sometimes found scavenged on the beach, a favorite food of eagles. It surprised him, though, that one this big would be so far inland. It’s skin had been peeled away and the bones were stripped of meat but instead of being torn off the bones, it looked almost as if it had been cut. He wondered if a bear had drug it up there and sliced it apart with its razor sharp claws.

(To be continued in Chapter 12: Humanity’s Essence)