Today I’d like to pick up the story of my journey to my first vision fast. When I left you last time, I had set out on the road trip to Boulder, Colorado, for a week-long intensive at Naropa University, prior to going with my classmates to our vision fast site in Wyoming.
The first night of my trip I had camped in BC. The next day I travelled through Idaho, finishing the day at a Super 8 Motel in White Hall, Montana. Bad idea! It was a tough day overall, as I passed a total of three dead deer by the highway. I was exhausted by the time I reached White Hall, and thought I’d treat myself to a motel room rather than camping. I checked in after midnight. I was relieved to just be able to crawl into bed, but I soon found that I felt itchy and creepy. I looked more closely under the sheets and saw bedbugs. Gross! I still feel itchy just remembering this event that took place 6 years ago!
I brought in my sleeping bag from the car, and slept on the floor. I woke at 6:00 am and wanted to hit the road right away. I left a note for the manager, with a sample bedbug on a kleenex, asking for my money to be refunded. The office didn’t open until 8:00 am, and I didn’t want to wait around, so I packed to go, carefully shaking all my belongings to make sure I didn’t carry any of the bedbugs on my journey. (Needless to say, I never heard a word from the Motel 8 manager, and my money was not refunded on my credit card.) Perhaps this event was one of the heroic ordeals that the adventurer must pass through on the journey to the treasure!
The next day’s drive was better, and I paused to visit with flowers and a Russian olive tree on the way. The Russian olive tree is a survivor, and it reminds me of my family’s history. Transplanted in the new world and finding nourishment, even thriving. I saw a prairie dog, lots of magpies, and 3 antelope. I’d never seen antelope before, so this was a special treat. I was driving through the grasslands of Wyoming. The land was so beautiful, but it saddened me that all the fields were fenced off and “owned.” Although the rain continued, the soft mist felt like a gentle holding, palpable, soft, and loving.
I reached my friend Tom’s place near Boulder by 7:30 pm, in plenty of time to settle in, pitch my tarp in the back yard, have a shower, and rest from the journey before class started the next morning.
The week at Naropa sped by, with each thought, dream, and learning seeming to have significance for the upcoming vision fast. So much was new and unfamiliar, it allowed me to open to new parts of myself. I dreamt that one of my teachers was in the back yard at Tom’s with me, whirling me around and hugging me. Energy and essence of many colours swirled around and through us as we whirled.
A classmate set me up on a blind date, and it was the perfect date. We had a delicious dinner at a restaurant in Boulder called Saffron (wonderful vegetarian food), and then happened upon an outdoor movie as we walked through the streets. It was The Motorcycle Diaries, a foreign film—the dramatization of a motorcycle road trip that Che Guevara went on in his youth that showed him his life’s calling. The theme of road trip as inner journey continues! I hoped that my upcoming vision fast would show me my life’s calling… To be continued…