Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ricing Moon and the Healing Circle

Alex and I spent the whole day today canoeing and gathering wild rice from the lake. I've been ricing for about two weeks now, and it looks like today was probably the last day. The stalks are browning, and the rice falls light. The wind was coming in heavily from the north, blowing white caps on the water that chopped at the canoe. We used all our strength to paddle against it, and once we got to the shore, the wind lay low, blocked by a stand of trees. I looked around and noticed the color of the trees. Yellows and browns spotted the coast, and a few specks of red maple leaves showed their fall colors. I felt chilled. I wished I had brought an extra sweater. Fall is here already! It's beautiful...

Photos from last weeks wild rice harvest:

The long Wisconsin winter

Fall gives a reminder of the incoming white season. The snow will start falling in October, and continue until April. Sometimes it snows in May or June. In the middle of winter, the temperature will drop down to -20 at night. I’m afraid of feeling cold. I want to make peace with the cold, but I’m not sure how.
Maybe this winter will be an experiment, to see how well I can acclimate to change and discomfort.

winter camp at Teaching Drum. photo credit:

The moon lit the way to my bed tonight. When I started my walk, I noticed that the light was shining on the woods much more brightly than the night before. I looked up to see that the moon was waxing, and a few stars took shape within my eyesight. I had stumbled through the darkness the past few nights before.

Each night, I slowly make my way on a path compressed down by many people. I feel the ground under my feet, and try to recall the direction and amount of steps to my bed. The subtle shadows of the trees against the night sky guide my way, too. About halfway to my destination, a tree leans against another, and when I am almost there, a precarious branch sticks straight up out of the ground. I’ve tripped over it, in the dark, many times. Every night since I’ve been here, the same animal sings next to same tree. I think it is a toad or a frog. The name doesn’t matter. I’d like to see it during the daytime, but I only hear it in the evening when I make this walk.

I feel comforted and calm within the quiet subtleties of the woods. If I am feeling anxious, I'll take a walk or run in the woods, and then return to the circle with a clearer head.

After the walks, my mind doesn’t spin off into fearful thoughts. I'm not worried about the future, or questioning my self worth. I am worthy just because I am alive, and I am working on accepting that change is a part of being alive.

I've been listening to the song "Far, Far," by Yael Naim a lot these days. It feels appropriate for how I've been feeling lately.

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