"The Embrace of Valley Spirit Woman"

"Any day can be a Threshold Day

if approached in the proper way."

Darion Gracen, Clan Douglas


I had been 'out-beyond' --

out beyond the breathless constriction

of the Sharp-Edged World.


The morning had been spent reading

poems by the "Japanese Druid", Bashō.


His instructions

attune the heart-mind

to pay attention

in the best of ways;

to the spirit of place

to that which is stuck, stored, or moving within one's own body

to what the ancestors are saying

to what is being said by the Spirit of the Times.


'Follow the Creative. Return to the Creative,' he says.


>|<


When you leave the Sharp-Edged World behind

you leave the Sharp-Edged Times behind.


With tendons in my legs

aching for a jaunt,

I complied.


I slithered like a Welsh dragon

through deep ravines and high hills.


I became so aligned with the numen of the trees

even the herds of deer

merely gave me a glance

as I sauntered through them.


Beside the River of Painted Rocks,

an abandoned stone croft

reminded me of Scotland.


An old bamboo forest

reminded me of Bashō and Japan.


I offered tobacco to the spirits

who walked this land

and walk it still.


I sat enveloped in the kind of silence

that heals the soul of long-held burdens.


A reverie began.

Quicksilver imagery.


Eyes in sockets.

Sockeye salmon.

Seed in a beak.

Knife in a sheath.

Ghillies for feet.

Wood beam for a roof.

Flagstone for a hearth.

Moonlight rippling on the surface of moving water.


Then, a woven strand of words

dripped down through sunlit branches.


Everything is being held.

Everything eventually finds its place.

It's how lost souls come to remember their face.


Air held within lungs.

A vision of years guiding us along.

Sacred words

uttered, sung, writ ---

all for the one

who most needs to hear it.


Any day

can be a Threshold Day

if approached in the proper way...


...but you have to surrender your armor

to receive the embrace

of Valley Spirit Woman.




image: Benn McGuinness