Debut With Spirit/Eagle

by Shannon McArthur

The quiet solitude here is very good for my creativity. I sang to Mother Earth tonight, as She was embodied in an eagle. It was completely magical!

Yesterday was more beautiful than I could have imagined: at Paul Lake, close to Kamloops BC, my hometown, we had come to rest, and find our way forward. A quiet walk along the water’s edge; found a stick shelter, crafted by scouts perhaps, up against a big rock on the mountainside. Took time to offer our minds and hearts – I was inspired and enfolded into the beauty. I breathed, and shimmied with the energies flowing through me. Later, left alone with the beauty, I said a prayer and felt the power of it. It will go with me – it holds power for others too. I will share it… but not now.

Now is to remember tonight – we went out again. Stood in the midst of green. We drank in the silence, accentuated by small nature sounds, sharing a smoke; and worked hard to see where the squirrels were that chirped and chattered at us, just like they did earlier… It’s springtime though, and it wasn’t us they were interested in – I don’t think they noticed us at all!  We watched their racings through the 3D maze of the branches of the trees, and laughed at their antics.

Peace, punctuated with natural accents, is so powerful… As we gazed, I pointed out a snag on the other side of the bulrush-choked pond – its colours were brilliant yellow, red, orange, brown and black. We watched as a big bird came into sight, and it seemed Spirit wanted to help JJ see which tree, as it flew to the top of the very one I was trying to point out.

We couldn’t figure out what kind of bird it was; its movements were very like a seagull. Then JJ got cold and we turned to go in but then JJ turned back to me and said, “if you want to walk slow and take your time, I’ll go ahead. Just be back before dark or I’ll have to come and find you!”  I didn’t have to ask; I felt very loved, supported, and understood.

I walked back towards the meadow, watching my feet, thinking about how each foot was placed on the face of Mother Earth. Once, I lifted and turned my head; my eyes immediately fell upon the stump of a big old tree, cut off just above the ground. I imagined me standing upon it, looking at the snag upon which the bird had stood. Walking towards the stump to do just that, I found myself turning to the left, walking sun-wise around the stump. In my head: three times to create sacred space…

Pacing my way ‘round the last time, not knowing exactly where I started, not knowing… but guessing, going with it; I stopped and raised my eyes – and they walked up the length of the very same dead tree, with the bird standing on top looking at me from far across the slough. I was in awe; I bowed deeply to the eagle, turned and mounted the stump, stepping carefully.

Each step revealed the next step; my path outlined by remnants of the old tree, bark from long ago. I carefully chose a spot on the uneven surface, moving from one foot, to the other, and then to another spot, and… and I looked up to see the bird doing the same dance, choosing the best vantage point on his snag so he could survey his world with the greatest of ease; and then swoop down to trace a path over his domain, keeping watch… 

I hugged my wrap around me and stood, breathed… already the memory is fading; the magic hiding itself… why does it do that? I remember “calling in” the four directions, and being deep in inspiration (I saw the west as orange, like a sunset. But then I also said blue, as is customary.) I remember the bird was a focus for me as he frequently moved about, making his short flights, preening and stretching his wings. It was during one of these stretches that I saw the colour scheme of his underside and was finally convinced that he really was an eagle, and I felt honoured.

I also remember singing my mantra, “Great Mother, My Lover,” trying different ways of using my voice. When the last notes of my song drifted away, and I opened my eyes, I saw the eagle sitting looking at me. He had heard and seen the entire thing. He spread his wings and flung himself from his tree. I felt like it was a standing ovation from Mother Earth.

The wind was picking up and it was getting dark… didn’t want JJ to think he’d have to come find me, so I started back. Walking slowly down the rough dirt road through the birch and evergreen forest where the squirrels had played, I took my time, enjoying the freedom; the peace; the quiet; the mushrooms and the flowers. Crossed the road and through the gates of the private paradise where we have been so beautifully, casually received. The lake is amazingly blue in the sunshine during the day, and in the starlit dark, I can clearly see its deep dark blue (though perhaps only in my mind!)  Soon we set our selves upon the path – the road calls – but for now, paradise upon Mother Earth, and She the witness…

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