Day 11: Divination in the Woods
My day started emotionally hungover from what remained not fully processed from yesterday’s fear. I decided some physical activity would help those heavy remnants move and restore me back to a space of clarity.
My dog Aahana had other ideas. Upon seeing me get dressed up to go shovel some snow and ice from our driveway, she followed me around excitedly - let’s take a walk in the woods! Hard to argue with that choice.
Upon entering the woods behind our house, I said a prayer of gratitude to the spirits of the land and asked for their help shedding the gunk I was carrying so I could return home in a different, lighter energy. I wanted to be reminded of that universal truth of interconnection, as when feeling shitty, it is so easy to dissolve into that sense of separation and isolation.
Walking down the path, I noticed some old wire fencing linking two posts that ran perpendicular to the trail off on either side of the trail. The first thought that arose: “Only man creates boundaries. He alone sows division from the rest of nature, and himself.”
That reminder alone allowed a layer of ego foolishness to peel back and dissolve. But the woods weren't done with their teachings yet.
A strong wind came through. Without the tempering action of the summer leaves, the winter air moved through with force. I imagined seeing that air current from above. It doesn’t hit just one tree, or even have a clearly-defined edge. It moves across the entire landscape, and affects tree, rock, animal, and human all the same.
A little further down the trail, we came across a trail of urine among a set of rabbit tracks. Another reminder of the simple things that bind us all - taking in, letting go.
The fourth message of this divination came near our turn-around point of the half mile-long trail. I heard the sound of creaking wood. My radar went up as I looked for a large animal that could potentially pose a threat to myself or Aahana. Aahana was unfazed, which was a good sign this was not a noise that signaled danger. Once I finally echolocated the source, it was a 100-foot tall tree that was swaying gently in the breeze.
The tree had long-ago split about a foot off the ground and grown as two trunks heading upwards. The two trunks never again touched, but paralleled each other on their journey to the heavens. The lesson was strikingly clear - whatever sense of separation that may appear, these two seemingly distinct trunks shared a base. They were one, even though they were also two.
I exited the woods feeling reassured and reminded that whatever human bullshit my ego was holding onto was purely a man-made illusion. We are all affected by forces far greater than each of us, we all experience the same intake and outflow processes, and the idea of separation is true only from a limited perspective. Back up, see the whole picture, and you’ll see we are all connected.
Grateful, I thanked the spirits of the woods for their teachings. They were clearly satisfied with that exchange between us, as this smiling rock assured me.