Watching shiny ribbons of blackstrap molasses fold into one another in a silver measuring cup. The kids rolling out dough, shaping their ginger kin. A week of late nights baking, knitting scarves, wrapping, rushing to and from, and voila: Christmas Eve, signaling an end to last minute everything.
I’m seeing the sky again—a good sign—easy to go for weeks without looking up. There’s a section of our country road I watch for now, just after a steep set of S turns sloping down. As you ascend the next curve, the oak trees on either side of the road lean towards one another, leaving a gap of sky in the shape of an hourglass. It is nearly five, and darkening rapidly: the hour of leaping deer. The pavement wet, wisps of mist hovering just above three rows of nested hills, the farthest tree-line a dusky blue, so familiar it warms.
Easy also, between hand-me-down Safari brochures (Africa! India! Egypt!), books on spiritual pilgrimage, and e-mail advertisements for prophecy retreats, to feel anywhere but here is better. If I just had the right guide, the right ticket, I could travel to the right place, imbibe the right information, and grow, bigtime. In The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit, Shirley MacLaine writes about why the physical landscape (the 500 mile famed trek along the Santiago de Compostela Camino in Spain) so dramatically affects walkers and propels them into grappling with unresolved life issues (here via the character of St. John of the Cross) :
“the ley lines [along the walk] were directly aligned with the constellations of stars, which would help resolve conflicts if properly understood…The dreams and visions of people walking the trail created footmarks of past truth, which created reminiscences, which were part of the human subconscious lurking within each of us as foreshadowings. (p. 85).” Further… “people always return to old haunts because they intuit that the karma there needs to be resolved.”
For a former spiritual “quester” (dream group, channeling group, reiki trade, chronic swapper with fellow book divas of destiny such as Kieran, Childs, Duane), motherhood grounds me squarely on this acre, or this 30 mile radius of S curves. I’m thinking you could “walk the Camino” in dream. Wondering if your astral self would soak in that kind of info-energy (to borrow a term from Gary E. Schwartz, author of The Afterlife Experiments). Or, is the physical body a better conduit, and it’ll (the trip to Spain) just have to wait until the kids are in college? Maybe you’re better off just sleeping when you sleep, since the daytrip with the kids burns so many brain calories, and you need the “down-charge” of dreamless rest.
Or could that lovely hourglass gap between the trees be its own portal? I’m just asking. But now that I’ve asked, I’ve probably set in motion a pilgrimage of dreams. Let them be be hearty, but sweet.
Photo: taken by Sarah Doherty, Castro Theater close-up, San Francisco