It’s been a quite a re-entry since my last post when I was in the midst of making preparation for the circle practicum I co-called last weekend.
Together with sixteen remarkable women – exceptional in that we are from the same vicinity and that we spanned the generations from our 20’s through late 60’s – and our remarkable teachers, Christina and Ann, we were held in an Indian summer warmth with golden aspen and black spruce, coyote call and cattle song, sailing hawks and herons, and the ever chipper, persistent squirrel gathering his winter caches of mushroom and dried berry. Strawberry Creek Lodge’s Brenda hosted us kindly, preparing delicious farm fare, easefully accommodating to several of our dietary needs.
We gathered for Thursday supper, and made our ways home exactly four days later, filled to the brim with circle wisdom, gleaned from the gentle invitation and holding of our open hearts and minds. Words spoken to the centre, a ceramic lotus flower with its centre a tea light, something I intuitively packed along, gracefully surrounded by the deep crimson silk boa, an offering from another. A rim held steadfast with our commitment and intent. Connected to the centre by colourful shawls, our “love gifts” from Ann and Christina. Energy and instruction mindfully paced…host and guardian…bell and binders.
It took until Tuesday mid-afternoon to finally feel all of me had arrived home. Born a “bridge-walker,” birthed in one country and days later crossing the bridge home to live my life in another, now a citizen of both, I often think of myself as having a foot in two worlds. A strength of my work was being counter-cultural, bringing a different perspective, skilled at seeing patterns, reframing, speaking another story. So while I cognitively understand this transition lag, and have experienced it with travel, especially over time zones and oceans, the deeper I dive in, the more acute that feeling of anxious discombobulation. I wonder if I’m losing my mind, and perhaps I do, for a bit, until it arrives home, after doing mundane, though grounding home care like laundry and gardening.
Noticeably related, Thursday I went over to the new Buddhist temple to watch visiting Tibetan monks create a sand mandala, this one The Wheel of Compassion. In its centre rested an intricate tiny lotus blossom, carefully tapped into place, grain by grain of white sand. I’d wished I’d brought my camera, though had thought it might be inappropriate. (Funny that a fellow had, and his battery kept running out of charge – the day before he lost all his photos, and this day, too. I offered it might be impermanence. Grateful that someone from the temple had taken and posted photos on Facebook.) I watched how these monks, one with a Tim Horton’s paper cup at his side, each of them sitting up to smile at the gathering onlookers, or chat with each other, appear to have a way of effortlessly walking in between the mundane and the sacred worlds. I took notice and realize I am finding my way along this path, bridge-walking without dropping so deeply into one or the other. Or as the rune I cast in last night’s full moon offered, the SELF sideways: “Be in the world but not of it…living the ordinary life in a non ordinary way…looking inside, in silence, to break the momentum of past habits.”