On Saturday, July 16, three hardy souls joined me for the four directions teaching and medicine walk at the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve. The day was grey but our hearts were light as we joined together in the ancient ceremony of sitting in circle on the earth. Our basecamp was in a sand-floored clearing beside the Seymour River. The river’s water level was much higher than it was during last year’s event, due to all the rain Vancouver has been getting this year. I was worried that the entire clearing might be under water, but luckily, there was space for us to put up a tarp to seek shelter from the rain. The participants helped me to erect the tarp, and I must say we erected a very skookum shelter for ourselves! There was a slight mishap with a falling branch, but luckily no harm was done and it became part of our group story for the day.
There was a berry-filled bank of bushes containing the gold to ruby tones of salmon berries, and we stopped to sample these on our way to the basecamp site, and again on our way back up the trail at the end of the day. It is so wonderful to find literal as well as figurative nourishment from nature, freely offered! One of the gifts of the south and summertime is the lush fruits of the earth, there to pluck and to share with the other creatures.
Once our shelter was ready, we set up an altar with coloured stones for the four directions. Each person placed an object that was special to them on the altar, and we had a circle-round of sharing our current state in the moment and our intentions for the walk. I felt very moved by how strongly each person had felt called to come on this walk to explore something they cared deeply about. When I set the date and put out the offering for the day’s event, I offered the day quite lightly (partly because I never know if anyone will want to accept the offer), but it seems to send forth an energetic beam that draws people who are really into what I am offering. This is magical to me, and I am so grateful. As I have mentioned previously on this blog, the flow of events unfolding is an important indicator to me of how to offer my gifts into the world. If I offer something and there is no response, I conclude either it is not the right time, or it is not the right offering. This year three people came, and a few others almost came, so this tells me the flow is happening! And that bringing the nature teaching closer to Vancouver (rather than only offering events at Monkey Valley) was a good idea. I feel so psyched about the medicine walk day that I am inspired to offer a yoga and the four directions workshop in the same location in September!
After a teaching on the four directions, and some grounding in safety principles for their solo walk, the three participants set off on their three-hour meander through the woods. When they returned, all safe and not even too wet considering the heavy downpour that occurred during the first hour of their walk, I felt joyful to see their faces. We had a late lunch together, and each person told their story of what occurred during their walk. It was such a gift to hear how nature responded to their open-hearted intentions. Each person had a unique story, and it was fascinating how the details of their journey reflected their inner guidance and wisdom. The mirroring of nature is so beautiful! I am always amazed at how it seems that exactly what is needed is what occurs on the medicine walk, in the sacred space of the ancient ceremony. The perfection of the unfolding of the universe is revealed so clearly when the intention is to see.