When I arrived back to my house after the Vision Quest, there were many deep moments of introspection and seeing. It is only now, a few weeks after the Quest, that my spirit and body have begun to recalibrate and I can really start to decode this very beautiful prayer. This deep and humbling work of the vision quest is the most powerful expression that I walk in my life. This journey guided by the elders and held by community is more powerful than words can convey, but after completing my first 4 year cycle it becomes clear… the importance of suffering, the importance of thirst, the importance of service and the appreciation for this life that we walk on this earth.
On a very humbling level this work is an old echo reverberating within, calling me to be more of service, service to the community, to my family and the earth… a call to get my personal story out of the way and heal that part of myself that keeps me separate and isolated, lost within my own story. The way community comes together for the quest is nothing short of humbling, harmonious and extraordinary. This Vision Quest is like an ancient remembering echoing in the sounds of the sweat lodge, crackling in the fire, spiraling in the smoke, crystallizing in the stillness.
It is a precious moment… dropping a self oriented frame and melting within something communal and deeply unified…to connect to this earth medicine, the sweat lodge, the plant teachers, the offering of the thirst for the family and for this collective prayer is a potent guide for life… to remember these ancient practices and reignite the memory that is written in the land, the memory that is burning in the fire, the memory that is stored in the stones, the memory that is stored in our bones…. An old dream reawakening that is helping us become more human, simply by connecting us with our mother the earth and our father the sky…we can learn to bridge the call of the soul with the embodiment of our life walk on this planet. And somehow that feels like the call of this very important time on the planet… how can we anchor our spirit calling in the foundation of our home, in the expression of our community, in the fabric of our work?
This work of the Vision Quest is a platform to see how we can bring simplicity back into our lives…in a very complex reality. Can we use the simple reflection of the elements to communicate with the divine and allow that connection to ripple into the simplicity of our life, in the eyes of our daughters, in the walk of the mundane, in the space of our home…
Our elders speak of this prayer like paying our spiritual debt (karma) for all ignorant and selfish action towards the earth…an opportunity to realign our prayer and therefore call our life back into harmony with our mother the earth. Somehow asking for the power of the miracle to realign our way of life, to help us walk lightly on the earth, to take care of our word, to step down from our battles and to have compassion for ourselves.
These ancient cultures have preserved these precious ceremonies to awaken the mysteries, rearranging our perspective so that we can again live in harmony with all. The prayer ripples so deep into our being that it begins to rearrange our make up on levels that are beyond our understanding…bubbling up from deep within – a new sight, a new vision, a new walk, a ripple that pulses on the cellular level and reveals a call back to the earth and an urgency to act….NOW.
Through the suffering of thirst there is deep respect and a remembering for this important a very volatile resource of water. How do we become protectors of this precious water? How do we again make pilgrimages to those fresh water springs bubbling up through the earth? How do we infiltrate the consciousness of those unaware of the importance of our lands fresh water basins, springs and water sources? How do I look after this asset so that I know my baby girls and their children’s children will have the possibility to drink fresh water from the earth?
This path, this Quest, this moment in time is allowing the crystalization of what is important…stripping away the surface layers of life and calling us back to the deep foundation of family, the earth and how we walk in service. Somehow the path is not flattering or easy in moments and the greatest challenges and disorienting moments have proven to be the greatest teachers… As we bridge these teachings into life it is certain that we are going to brush up or hit up against challenging moments. Our ability to get out of the way of ourselves will serve as a bridge for our own evolution, as we learn to bow in gratitude and honor these intense moments as marker points, realigning our path…
As the ideas of who we are supposed to be fall away there is a possibility to BE, to rest and to allow the imperfect nature be a refuge from the criticism of our own minds.
The simple thank you, rippling into existence, rippling in the inner waters of my own being somehow is the unifying energy that helps continue the cycle of love, life and trust in the master plan.
What a time to be alive, so intense, so beautiful, so many colors… And yet a calling to rest deep within, not chasing the spiritual highs, but resting in the ceremony of life, allowing the sacred Quest to be alive in each moment.
Art by Isabel Bryna