The golden rays of the new morning sun peek around the mountaintops casting a ghostly glow through the thick lake fog. Within minutes the misty sunbeams lengthen across the lake changing the nightly black dress of the surrounding mighty pines into their daytime green. As if signaled by the impending sunrise, the loon who has been fishing quietly next to my canoe extends his neck and sends his eerie call out into the solitude. Shivers run down my spine and my heart aches with a deep soul connection with this beautiful being. My eyes follow his call, reverberating over the lake, sliding up the mountains, circling around and echoing back down. As if heralded by the call, the sun ascends the mountain summit and makes his grand entrance into the day. The brilliance of his power blinds my eyes and I reluctantly turn away. As I do, a soaring silhouette catches my eye through the dissipating golden wisps of fog.
A moment later, our new arrival identifies herself as a loon with her mystical call. Still close to my canoe her mate answers and she splashes down next to us. As the ripples of the spring-fed lake calm, she rises up and appears to be dancing as she fluffs and dries her wings. The two talk back and forth in a laughing chattering dialect, and I am thrilled to bear witness to their interplay. Settling in, the fishing partners go about their work searching the crystal waters for their shiny breakfasts. The morning grows deeper into day and the breeze that whispers through the pines kicks up a gentle ripple on the clear waters. Soaring high above the mountaintop the hawk cries, drawing my attention upward to watch her embrace the new day. A low grunting sound moves up the river behind me toward the lake. The source soon reveals itself as a great blue heron soars in, extends its landing gear, and comes to rest on the beaver lodge. The beaver, gathering leafy twigs nearby doesn't seem to mind the visitor and continues to go about his work.
An incredible supernatural energy moves in my body as I sit in divine connection with these spirited beings and this pristine wilderness. In awe, my body and soul fill with reverent wonder. I feel whole, peaceful, healthy and vital, here in the quiet solitude of the wilderness where the song of the universe sings deep in my soul. Surrounded by this incredible life force, my heart fills with gratitude and I thank the Spirits and the creator for blessing me with this opportunity. By allowing myself to sit quietly and "just be" I have given myself a gift of healing beyond measure. From a distance, the changing drumbeat signaling my callback sounds, and I return back into my body, in my healing room at my home. I am reluctant to leave this awesome place of power, but I am thankful to have learned methods that allow me to visit as I often as I want. Upon returning from my journey, I take a few minutes to journal, feel my body, and integrate my experience. Powerful universal energy and a deep sense of well-being flow through me.
For many summers now I have been going to this lake in northern Canada to find healing in the solitude and Spirit of the wilderness, and I have been blessed with many experiences like this journey. When I am there, I am free and wild like the wilderness that surrounds me. Universal and Spiritual energies flow through me, healing my body and soul from the ravages of the everyday stressful world. If I could live in this place, I would be a direct recipient of this healing energy all the time. However, like most everyone, I am not able to live in a place of solitude that feeds my soul such as this. I live in a world of busy-ness, tension, high stress, and super-human responsibilities, where the daily barrage wears us down resulting in fatigue, depression, physical pain, and illness. If we are unable, or don't know how to replenish our energy, feed our soul and repair the affects of stress, eventually our immune system overloads, becomes unable to fight off foreign invaders like allergens, bacteria and viruses, and creates one of the many mysterious syndromes that elude medical cure.
I learned this the hard way, by experience. In a desperate search for healing during my ten-year struggle with chronic fatigue immune deficiency syndrome, fibromyalgia and environmental illness, I discovered that journeying connects me to the healing power of Helping Spirits and inner solitude that I can access in my everyday world. When I am unable to physically visit the solitude and Spirit of wilderness that keeps me nourished, energized, and healthy, my soul travels there via shamanic journeying and fills with the same powerful energy. By maintaining this regular spiritual practice of drifting away to the sound of the drumbeat for just 15 minutes each day my life has blossomed, my soul is fulfilled, my energy vibrant, my emotions calm, my thoughts clear, and my body healthy.
If you are looking to find the calm and peace of Spirit and solitude in your life, or are looking for healing, perhaps journeying to a healing place such as this would be equally helpful for you.
Colleen Deatsman is the author of Seeing in the Dark: Claim Your Own Shamanic Power Now and in the Coming Age (Red Wheel Weiser 2009), Energy for Life: Connect with the Source (Llewellyn 2006) and Inner Power: Six Techniques for Increased Energy and Self-Healing (Llewellyn 2005), is a Masters Degreed Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Social Worker, Shamanic Practitioner, Reiki Master, Certified Hypnotherapist, and Certified Alternative Healing Consultant at Circle of Life Counseling and Healing Services in Mason, Michigan. colleendeatsman.com