Connection. {{Earthed}}

This writing is going to be a little of this and a little of that.  A bit of tbt and the here and now.  It’s going to be the first in many just normal blog posts, like I used to do, writing about what I love, my practice. which is my life.  Some times I get so caught up creating things around what I love, I begin to forget to continue to do what I love {more on that soon}. and this is the place and time where all that bullshit stops.  i love to write. and so this is what it will be. it will be words.

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Today it’s about connection to land.  And how my flesh has been pulling off my bones and literally diving itself inside the ground in my yard, how my bones follow, and that my spirit, which has been waiting for a long time, screams in delight and how my winged heart just flutters there above ground, alone, wondering- okay, so, what next? 

* * * 

The first time I was connected to land, like the kind of connection that you would lay down and die for, was when i lived on National Forest 6,000 feet or so feet elevated in a tight river valley nestled in the Sawtooth Mountains of Idaho.  Of course as a child I had experienced this kind connection day in and day out, mostly under the old chestnut tree or by the creek at my grandpa’s house.  But as growth + maturation wears on us and adult life smooths our raw + ready edges, I began to connect more and more to people, things, food, sounds, distractions, money, sex, love, wants, rituals, relations.  All good things of course, and worthy,  but they lifted me farther and farther off the ground and began to feel rootless, scattered in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world, wondering where I belonged.  Then I landed, by some random act of grace, in Idaho. 

 {next few photos by by dear friend, Courtney Stuart-Alban. Circa 2000. Idaho.}

I lived in a little house shaped like a pyramid on a few acres directly across from the east fork of the Cottonwood River in a “town” called Triumph {population 45}.  And every day I would walk my dogs down the long, long road that both followed the mountain and the river until it ended at some private ranch and then I would turn right and walk the land until I got to the water.  I don’t even know the names of the plants that were growing there.  I didn’t matter.  We became old friends instantly.  And I didn’t even know that bears would come close to me as I was writing in my journal with my red painted toes dipped in the freezing rush of the waters, but they did, because on my walk back I would see there poop. And I didn’t even understand that the earth was literally downloading information into me, akashic words that would help me carry on my whole life. 

 

I am not sure how to explain it but I am going to try.  Do you know when you land somewhere and you literally shift into your next person, your next evolution? And it has nothing to do with internal processing, or thinking, or making, or writing, or self work? It has nothing to so with anything you can even consciously decide upon?

It has to do with the earth underneath your feet loving you so much and wanting you so badly, the earth underneath you holding and sharing so much power with you.  That there is such an insanely intense vibration, maybe even a vortex, that it alchemizes and literally changes the shape of your being? That perhaps the Earth herself drew you from wherever you were, with no reason at all that you could tell, and landed you right on that spot in that place in time without you making a conscious choice?  That’s how I ended up in Idaho.  And I will be forever changed and grateful, and from that moment on I walked the path of earth keeper, alchemist, oracle, river writer, in clear dialogue with dirt. 

 

Of course I went through many more evolutions and shifts, every day that I wake up alive I breathe into Change.   Every city I have wandered and every bite of food I have taken.  Every friend I have made and every lover that has touched my skin.  The music I have danced to.  The heart break I have felt.  The children that have chosen me.  All that has said no to me. All that I long for. The desires I have answered to.  Every last drop of everything has given me the leaps and bounds to grow. 

 

But is was only when I landed here, a senseless move almost 7 years ago, that a massive quake happened in the streets of my being, not unlike when I lived in Triumph, Idaho, but also totally different.  A sun worshiper landing in a place where a canopy of gray spreads thick for almost 8 months a year was utter nonesense.  I had never even visited this place before I landed for real.  As a matter of fact I looked on the map when my husband pointed to it and I laughed. I pointed to Northern California and said yes. But somehow the numbers lined up and the wheel of fate turned as it does and on a sunny October day 7 months pregnant, I moved to Bellingham, WA. 

 

I was completely sure it would be a quick move, I’d push out baby #3 and we’d continue on the nomadic life. Soon I’d be down south a bit, in the nice warm climate of California wine country or the rolling coastal hills of Mendicino County.  But here I was,  the place where the Cascades kiss the salt water.  Where the islands sprinkle along an active + fat fault line.  Where tall volcanic mountains watch over us, large and white, and wait.  Where salmon swim upstream to die in their birthplace and the sunshine has a price tag we can't afford.  Where orcas have said hello to me with a smile.  And where the flowers tell me their names. Where I learned to shoot with a bow and arrow, to see what I needed and grab it in one shot. The place where fire has entered inside me, literally, to keep me alive and lit.  And the shadow is so well known that I no longer fret her return. 

 

I fought here.  For a very long time I had my bags packed. I had the map out.  I had the plan written.  This was never where I suppose to be. 

But actually it is.  And I am here.  And this land, this wet, fertile, mossy, mostly cold, very green, insanely feminine {i refer to where I live as the vagina of mother earth} took me fully in.  She captured me, really, and won’t let me go.  For now, i am her’s and she is mine. Of course I have a gorgeous community of people here, the folklore of this place is rich, the farm to table food is a culinary delight, and the history of the 4th corner, it's original people and those who came after is facinating.  But really,  it’s been all about the land, this earth, this coastline, this bay, these mountains, those islands, that valley, the pulse that is under my feet. How she has swallowed me whole and has taught me things only she could know. 


I have been Earthed here.  And to me that matters even more than where I want to be, where I think I should be.  Because I am loved here.  Rooted.  And I would die fighting for the health of this land.  Would give over my life to preserve these waters. I would stand at the gates to protect this paradise.  Because she has changed me.  And I haven’t always been sure I liked me since living here; to have the veil always be so thin, to spend so much time alone in the dark, to have hunkered down in the deep dark forest living in a glorified tent.  But like it or not, I have become Me here.  And it has all been Her doing. There is a vortex, an expansive bass note of an experience working magic in this exact spot.  It’s almost un-writable.  It’s just something you have to feel. Truly, it’s something I think you can only feel. 

In honor of this land, this backyard that I have been graciously given to learn from as well as give back to, my dear friend Latisha and I are gathering on a tiny island a spit from our mainland, in the middle of the Salish Sea, on a secluded spot within the Puget Sound.  Here we will celebrate this earth with you, share what we love so much about it here, break local bread, make medicine straight from the roots, write our hearts out, stretch our bodies, receive from the fire, and give back into the water.  We will come together to love the earth, listen and learn the ways of living against the Salish Sea in the inimitable Pacific Northwest. Because it’s one of the only ways I can explain what living here in connection has done for me.  It’s a gathering of practice, of real life, of receiving and giving. It's a gathering of Thanks. Because saying thank you is the least I can do. 

 

For more info on our first celebration on Lummi Island, check out Earthed Gatherings.