I just received Reiki from a new friend, here at Maple Bay. Her house facing the water and the mountains, on the opposite side to Salt Spring Island. Her garden is beaming with herbs; yarrow tea was served at the beginning of our meeting to open up our spirits to the healing.
Her treatment room made me feel I was inside a tepees although it was just a regular beautiful loft with a massage table facing the bay. What made me feel the connection with indigenous culture was the memorabilia. As my eyes perused her treatment room I noticed beautiful cards with native themes stuck on the furniture, paintings of Indian chiefs, different sizes of feathers and stones, sage and cedar on abalone shells were burned to purify the area and ourselves with small feather fans. There was also a long braid of sweet grass which made a whispering sound as she spread its smoke on my body laying down. A full size preserved eagle hanging from the ceiling overlooked me from the right side while the scull of a buffalo looked at me right from the center of the room as I laid on the massage table.
Diane, a french Canadian from Montreal, sang indigenous songs and gave me a very special healing. The right shoulder injury that I have been carrying with me since my travels in Bolivia, Peru and South America last year, may be connected with the lack of balance with my male/female energy and the Emperor and High Priestess cards I took from her Herbal Tarot deck of cards corroborated this assertion.
There was no explanation for the recent inflammation I just got from a spider bite on my hairline during my last hike with Peter. But although the venom was potent and the results of it on my face were scary to look at, this is a fleeting injury and I am almost healed.
At the beginning of our meeting Diane said something about a Hopi elder's teachings that “we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water.” This resonated with me and I asked her permission to borrow a copy of the whole text. With her permission granted, here it is for those who want to hear:
A Hopi Elder Speaks
“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered... Where are you living?What are you doing? What are your relationships? Are you in right relation? Where is your water? Know your garden. It is time to speak your Truth. Create your community. Be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for the leader.”
Then he clasped his hands together, smiled and said,
“This could be a good time! There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold on to the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes, open, and our heads above the water. And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.
At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.
Least of all, ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration. We are the ones we've been waiting for.”
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
|Salt Spring Island|
Salt Spring Island is one of the largest of hundreds of islands in the Salish Sea, a mostly inland region of sea that extends from the northern part of Vancouver Island, all the way south to Seattle and Tacoma in Washington State. The Salish Sea is named in recognition of its Coast Salish First Nations who have lived in this region for centuries.
The island is home to just over 10,000 people, it is connected by three mountains and over 70 square miles. Although Gabriola, Mayne, Galiano, Pender, Saturna and Salt Spring Islands are clearly not located in a gulf, that is what Captain Vancouver called it when he claimed the area to the British Crown over 200 years ago, and the name stuck.
Salt Spring is a buzzing place, with more artists per capita than anywhere else in Canada and perhaps the world. Artists show their work in their private studios, often also their homes, tucked down country roads or perched on ocean view buffs. On Saturdays, as many as 150 vendors sell a smorgasbord of products, from hand-painted silk scarves and wooden bowls to specialty breads, all of it created on the island.
Some hold that Salt Spring lies along powerful lea lines, creating a healing energy that permeates the island. So it is of no surprise to me that it attracts so many artists and a wealth of healing arts practitioners. This was my second visit to the island. The first time we drove around, finding Ayurveda Spas, bakeries and restaurants tucked away on the hills and waterfront. The island has spawned quite a market for it's products, Salt Spring Soap and Salt Spring Island Coffee are popular “made in BC” brands that are well known in Vancouver and on Vancouver Island.
|Visions - Cowichan Arts Trail|
The Cowichan Arts Trail this year was a fun way to meet a large variety of local artists and see the beautiful homes and studios where the art is on display. The trail is spread out over a 50-mile radius, from Saltair in the north to Mill Bay in the south end of the Cowichan Valley. Chemainus, Crofton, Maple Bay, Duncan, Cowichan Bay and Cobble Hill are also on the Cowichan Art Trail route. Peter and I went to our friend Barbara Sobon's opening in Duncan on Friday and then headed to Bev Thompson's party in Maple Bay. On Sunday, I went to a few more shows with my friend Jeannie in Cowichan Bay, and ended on the beach at Cherry Point.
There was a broad range of artistic expression this year, including printmaking (Bev), installation (Barbara), watercolors, paintings, photography, ceramic, jewelery, masks, drums, and lamp making. The home/studios nestled in the bucolic landscape of the valley were also art pieces. Most of the house/studios were remodeled and landscaped by the artists themselves. The area surrounding the art, with a flower vase, a cozy table to sit in the open air, a plate of fruit or jar of refreshment, looked like art works.