I'm fighting, still. At least that's something. Struggling for a hand-hold on this sheer rock wall, hoping to keep from plummeting to my death on the stones fathoms below. I rest for a few days, unable, unmotivated to do much let alone get dressed and eat and get out of the house. But then I have a rare spurt of energy and I manage to take a few more heavy-footed steps. But when I rest, I dream. When I walk, I dream. I reach for something that I know I must grasp otherwise all will be lost. I fear being consumed completely, I fear reaching the point of no return, I fear the end of existence looming its great dark self before me at last. 

I'm coming to the realization that for my survival, I need to step fully into putting myself and my needs first. For my Self, for my family, for my relationship. For my health, for my sanity, for my dreams. It isn't selfishness at this point, though that thought-demon rears its head often. It is now about straight up survival. Being able to function day to day... I'm realizing that if things keep on how they're keeping on, I'm just going to keep falling, falling down deeper into a place I'm not sure I can recover from-- mentally, physically, spiritually. A place that I've flirted with dangerously close time and again this last year and a half... I'm realizing that I can't keep waiting around, can't keep being complacent, can't keep giving in. That I need to stand up for what I need-- as a person, as a mother, as a lover. I know what I need to heal, I know what I need to get better, to find myself again. I know what I need to be a better mother and partner. High mountains, clear air, clean water, whole food, nature connection, community, a HOME... No excuses anymore. No silence anymore. No more waiting for things to just get better on their own. Because they won't. They're just going to stay the same or get worse, unless something changes drastically and soon. I know that, have known that, but have continued to shrug it away, hide it from myself, try to ignore it with the hopes that things will change-- soon, soon they say! But never... 

It's the time of year that shifts the seasons once more, the energy portal that called in my long-awaited daughter two years past now, outside by the creek into my waiting hands in our lavvu. I feel so far away from that place now, and no closer to where I wanted to be by now. The leaves are changing on the trees, the last summer thunderstorms are shaking the house as I sit in the dark contemplating my existence, my next move, this new path... 

Because a fork in the road has appeared once more. Now I must choose. I must clear away that which holds me down, holds me back, that which no longer serves me. I must step into my power, take control and responsibility for my life, my well-being. I must decide if I am to continue down the well-worn path, the path paved and rainbow-stained with motor oil, the path of crippling debt and modern western lifestyle and debilitating depression... Or, take the leaf-strewn path through the trees, laden with animal tracks, birds calling out as I pass. The path back to the forest, to the wilds of the earth and my inner soul. The path to health and recovery, happiness and fulfillment. The plants my healers, the forest my temple, the earth my sustainer, the peoples down that path my village found at last. 

Because I have a dream. A dream of riding horses through mountain glens. A dream of setting crab pots and catching the salmon of my youth and setting the fillets out to dry. A dream of showing my children how to scrape stretched hides with seashells and stones. A dream of my village trekking into the mountains and setting up camp, those staying behind with the children foraging and tending fire while the others go out to hunt elk, the successful hunters sharing their bounty with all present. A dream of nourishing mamas and papas with food and medicines from the land, and bearing witness as they bring their children into the world surrounded by nature. A dream of our bodies healthy and full of vigor and vitality, our teeth and bones strong and our eyes bright and our hair long. A dream of dancing 'round the fire to the beat of drums and the etheric singing of my siren sisters guiding us late into the night. 

And I know that dream can be a reality. I have witnessed the coming together of stranger-womxn, baring our flesh and our wounds to each other, holding each other and laughing and singing and crying together. I've seen elders teach youngers, and even younger ones take the littlest ones to play while their mothers rest, held in the weightlessness of cold, deep waters. I've seen anger rise as knowledge is shared and they wonder at why they weren't taught before, why everyone isn't taught, how the world would be if they were. I've had a dozen wombyn's voices raised in song slip into my dreams, and haunt me as I walk in waking ones. I've given deep release and grieved so hard and so freely I released traumas so deep I didn't know they were still held in the tension of my body-- shaking and wailing and being carried on waves of others' grieving like a throng of wombyn in labor, our rushes painful and yet ecstatic, ebbing and flowing, our bellies heaving and our voices guttural and our hips swaying and our thighs shaking as we birthed new parts of ourselves into being... Then being so completely exhausted and light and yet also still carrying a heaviness of even more needing to be released, and the bewilderment that there could be anything left after such surrender. I have seen the formation of Village, have witnessed the healing that can be found there. Have seen the wounded ones with sadness in their eyes, reflecting my own, as they realize it had to come to an end and we had to return to our worlds, our realities-- our hearts breaking knowing that we had found and gotten a taste of something so vital, that we now know we need to not only survive, but truly thrive... 

The trees have spoken to me, the birds have sang to me, the wind through the leaves has whispered to me, the waters have shown me. Now. The time is now, to make a Choice, to step onto the new path through the Wildwood, to take my family with me and find our Village, our place in the world, to heal, then serve-- leading others down the Path. 

To learn more about Elen of the Ways Wild Woman Wilderness Mystery School, go here.

Photo from the 2017 MoonMountainGathering in Northern California.

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