Aluna “Great Mother created the world in the Water, in the Water She creates the future. She speaks to us this way."
The canoe appeared as if in a dream – presaging the new, woven of light and of the leaves of trees, thick with sap. With me aboard, the canoe drifted into the depths of trees. Ancient roots found in the hollows of the ground. The gentle water counseled me about the time I needed, and still need, about healed emotions and about being one with myself. And so I was rocking gently, floating through an ocean of leaves, the tree roots tapping into my own fluids. Liquids within my body, the network of veins, the rivers of blood once restless now filled with strength. Soon I am turning forty. I cannot say if uniting my body and soul equals peace. Yet, the peace I now experience is completely different from that with which I have been familiar. It mimics the excitement and determination of a researcher, the hopes of a creator, the insatiability of an explorer. It is the joy of a woman warrior following a familiar path. If anything is certain now it is just this, I am following my own dream.
The canoe dream.
I was lying on a bed made of fir-tree branches and moss, nestled into the ground cover of an ancient forest. I felt as though my head was resting on the huge thighs of a woman – great, great, great, grandmother; massive leaves in a multitude of verdant hues dancing around me. Like a light, ephemeral being, a canoe was floating on their surface. This comfortable and warm vessel took me down under the forest’s roots, under the waters of streams and lakes. For the entire time, I was amazingly aware that this journey was taking place within me. I felt suffocated from a merciless fear of my own personal depth, of the personal darkness which lurked there. Yet still, electrified with curiosity, I was like a country child in the Viennese Prater. Overcoming fear, I would open my eyes and hear the sound of ice cracking in the spring. From beneath the water emerged Images – Signs. Symbols – the Guides.
The canoe keeps drifting, the smells and colors gradually changing from black to deep red. Above my head I can see a hole in the ground. Milky light is seeping through white gaps and covers fragrant, twisted red leaves with white froth and skin. The light is now enveloping in its perfect whiteness - the shape of an animal skull which is emerging from the creased foliage like a cathedral rises above the soiled ceramics of roof tops. The sight fills my heart with tenderness, much like a glass of bitter almond and sweet cherry sherry excites the palate, swallowed in one long draft in the late fall. Life is so close to Death. I can see her – Lady Death turns a baby in the mother’s womb, head down. She welcomes the child tenderly – a new pilgrim, still soft and helpless, feet that are unaware of the rough road ahead. Death stares, the spherical cycles of her pupils signaling a precise map of the chosen one’s worldly path clearly traced out until they meet again – the last black indisputable circle separating the pupil of the eye from its white. By then, the pilgrim’s feet will already have become rough, chapped, the cracks filled with knowledge. Death, the only presence. Simple in her stark reality. Uncompromisingly permanent, unfairly rejected, she releases one from fears, underlines the sense of struggle, unveils truths in a way that’s clear and ruthless. The shape of the skull is unequivocal. Life gives us a choice. Death takes it away. Being aware of this allows one to take appropriate action. Death’s presence supports the choices of the heart.