Heat. . .

“Take this waltz, take this waltz
It’s yours now; it’s all that there is…”

-Leonard Cohen

The weather is brutal in the arbor this year; a hundred and two and high humidity.  The Dance Chief tells us that heat brings Ancient wisdom.   My breath blows gently through the whistle.  Gentleness is the lesson this time – the gentleness of Mother Bear cradling me like a cub; bearing her breast and nursing me for the journey.

A torrent of disconnected thoughts rushes through my head.  I open up to it; let it flow through the whistle.  It mingles with the breath of God, and suddenly, there is silence.  In that soft, whispery space, a solitary voice is heard.  “God doesn’t live to create,” it says, “God creates to live.  And you are simply an instrument of that.  Everything you create gives life to God.”

The Elders gather now at the edge of the circle; Grandmothers and Grandfathers who’ve crossed with noble faces and humble hearts into the upper world.  They stand in a circle of shadows behind each of us, chanting, clapping, spurring us on in our work.  A pair of slender hands brushes sage smoke on the path before me; behind me, another does the same.  I walk in beauty, to and from the center, where Great Spirit pours his healing light into the tree and out through all of us simply that the people might live.

And I am lifted.

As ego crumbles, and the cries of the people gather in intensity, my eyes are wet with gratitude.  I am carried from the tree to the edge of the arbor and back, a leaf in Grandfather’s breath.  It is a steady flow of energy, rippling through me and out across creation, exhaling with each new birth, inhaling whenever another crosses over.

My own breathing labors now.  In the unwavering sunlight I crawl to the center, spit on my hand and touch the tree one final time.  A song rises through dry lips.  I am of Spirit.  It is so…

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