On Navajo Land, we were greeted by Chief Alex Turtle and other Questers. We set up our main camp with stove, water, tent and sleeping pads, soon to be distant luxuries. At midday, I set off onto the land where generations of tribal members have made their quests. It was 90 degrees.
As in many things understood from native perspective, the symbolism of life is woven into everything. A hummingbird, creature of joy and strength, kept buzzing my lodge. I took that as a good sign.
Quest Days 1-4
I sat for four days, struggling with monkey mind and heat exhaustion. As a writer I missed my pen and paper, knowing that to track everything as it unfolded would require tuning into symbolic sight. Yet each day offered memorable moments of grace.
I spent a lot of my time praying for others to find ease in their lives, asking for blessings for friends and family. Beyond that my thoughts went wild.
Each day brought new forms of mental and physical challenge. The sun blazed on, and on, and on. We don't realize how long a day is when we are running around with appointments every hour, or stuck in traffic. In the desert time was huge!
I kept looking hard for the beauty. My mind began to slow down. I discovered my life was in everything. That hummingbird became my friend, showing up each day, we talked. The sun showed me its rhythms; the stars their symphony, blinking, shooting and dancing across the sky. The wind rocked me like a baby. The earth sounds kept me present. The wind was my water. I kept my prayer to honor life alive drinking in deep steady breaths. I learned to listen, to see, to sense and to feel in a whole new way. A monsoon rain storm brought me sweet relief, a huge arching rainbow delivered grace.
Quest Day 4 ~ Return To Camp
The coming "home" was profoundly humbling. I was speechless, and stumbling, but the gratitude and humility in that moment will never leave me.
So many threads of experience to process now and and I look forward to moving through some of the sacred threads that will begin to unravel and weave into a new life. The inattention and lack of awareness I carried is gone, and I am left with profound appreciation for my life. But ultimately for the lives of all things, all people. I have truly understood what it means to "walk in beauty."
Blessings to you all,