Driving through the redwoods of California I feel vibrant and wild. I take in the beauty of the trees’ majesty and the mist of the Mendocino fog. As I get closer to the ocean, the sound of running creeks pacifies the emotional twists of curvy roads. I connect with the ancient spirit of the forest and the presence of Native Americans that envelopes us, our ancestors and keepers of the land. At sweat lodges, I’ve prayed for the times to come, the sacredness of the now reaching out to our innate state of wilderness, where we are all one in the family of things. A poem by Mary Olivier comes to mind and I imagine myself caressing the soft animal of my body loving what it loves: a wild embrace with life. I take my place in the wild woman sisterhood as the daughter of the moon who belongs to no one but my own pure heart.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
“Wild Geese,” Mary Olivier