Posted by: whiteagle | January 15, 2016

Path of Beauty

A Story about what The Path of Beauty means to me

by Whiteagle.

This section is about  hiking, the symbolic meanings found while hiking, and the lessons learned as they apply to living The Symbolic Life. This page, however,  is from my life on Sauvie Island, an “Island in the Middle” between the conjunction of the Willamette and Columbia rivers bordering Oregon and Washington State, a few miles north of  the city of Portland.  Its neither wilderness nor city, but somewhere in between.

To begin, let me describe Sauvie Island a bit more:  We have a lot of private land here, interspersed with some public land, a lot of beach, woods, a couple of small lakes and rivers all in an area of about fifteen miles long and about a half- mile wide. We also have a beautiful wildlife reserve, which is a combination of both.  There is an abundance of eagle, heron, duck, wild geese, deer, coyote and beaver on the island. I saw at least one elk couple too.

Gaia really speaks to you here.  She is also known as The River’s Daughter by the Salmon people known as the Chinook.

Today’s meditation was inspired by heron and hawk who seemed to have literally come from the Columbia River to the east.  One day I took a path that leads to a hidden lake surrounded by brambles and swamp land.  Following a deer trail pointed out to me by a small child the other day meant, first of all, as many children do, one ignores  the No Trespassing signs, do some deep-ducking under fences, hunting for a safe place to walk among the brambles.  No problem for deer and elk, but definately a challenge for human and dog on a leash…….(All of which symbolizes  in a nutshell, my particular Path of Beauty–wild and innocent as a child, yet on a leash to keep the adult in me from over-stepping his “boundaries”……)

This path usually begins with a unique challenge: Ignoring the social norms, looking for the hidden ways to reach one’s destination, and so on.  Then, on the other hand, perhaps The Destination is less important than The Walk itself…..  which was the case here.  I came real-fast to the swampy areas leading to one of the small lakes I mentioned earlier with Little Bear straining hard on the leash.  Deer had just passed that way and his sense of smell was keen.  A stag was hiding in the bushes.  You could hear its uneasiness.

Now,  Deer symbolically represents the heart, the grace, and the love of The Creator  for his creation and how that deer survival also means hiding when necessary.  When Hawk signaled that we were afoot, there was a major scramble.  Deer entered the thick brambles, heron and duck scattered. With all the excitement, Little Bear strained even harder.  I almost lost my footing several times., but I continued on.  (I’m a stubborn old coot!)  Consider  for a moment the symbolism of courage while on the “path less-traveled” of which we’re speaking.

We then followed its trail to the edge of an impassable river run-off bank and I was reminded of my chapter, “Island in the Middle” and the phrase “Keep the River on your right, (coined from Tobias’ novel of the same name) where one shares the journey of a New York city-bred artist giving up his comfy life and heading for the Amazon . He experiences a great deal of challenges indeed.  Mine weren’t so dificult as his, but following a deer’s path among the brambles and the wet, swampy ground was a challenge for me.

We continued and now hawk came back to his tree and calm reigned in the woods once again.  The path grew easier too.  I soon came to a floating bridge that crossed the swamp and then the path led to a meadow where the walking was easy.   I could look up at the trees and the sky instead of at each footstep along the way.  This too represents the need to re-asses one’s position on The Path of Beauty by looking up at “Spirit” instead of at oneself, and one’s footings or surroundings all the time.

I remembered the early morning’s listening to the radio (which I promised I would not do until after my meditation), and was reminded how fragile our society, with all its fears of war and chaos is indeed , so far removed from the possible peaceful, everyday existence of the animals and birds among us. They just keep on a truckin’ as usual, in spite of the fact that the human highway (which, in short, only temporarily fences them in) imposed upon them where they lived. They  really do, just go on as usual.  That’s how we (warriors on The Path of Beauty) should continue our lives!

As I continued walking through the meadow the path changed again and headed for the brambles, yet a neatly trampled path was etched out following close to the riverbank , providing me with  many beautiful views of the river that only the deer and elk  might experience.  (In real-life only a skilled hunter or fisherman might have taken that path…but remember I’m in a no-man’s/no trespass’ country, so its still pretty uncommon for humans to walk this way.)  That too is symbolic.

The other and the most important thing to consider (for me this morning) is about the difference  of a handicapped hiker with tender skin walking among the brambles, compared to the graceful deer whose hide is tough enough to handle them from time immemorial. A few  stickery vines  overhead doesn’t bother them.  It did me!

I am reminded once again that, even though I have found a hidden path of great beauty I still went out unprepared.  The next time I will need to take a clippers with me to make the path I choose to walk acceptable for me to be able to walk it again with ease.  Should I do this?…Hmn….  Should we change things on our path (of life) just to fit our own needs  or desires …..I wonder…..  I simply could have  worn some gloves, a thicker outercoat, and walked slower, ie,  have a  tougher “skin” so to speak and simply brush my “obstacles” aside.  Aho!

Upon returning home, I was asked to meditate from, Dane Rudhyar’s Cycle of Transformation.  Read phase 58, Thoth (my spirit guide) said.  I did so. In short, I came to phase 58: “A woman, past her “change of life”, experiences a new “love”.  I knew he was telling me one must always be open to new “re-beginnings”.

Each day is a new re-beginning.  Not only will I start out my next morning hike with the idea that being prepared also means  wearing different gear, and taking the time to “gear-up” a little bit better, in order to maintain that youthful view that “Anything could happen, so what?  Why worry?“.  We can always learn, no matter how old we are,  no matter how “experienced” we’ve become.    It also means “being receptive”.  The woman (in oneself) in spite of her age always has the possibility of a new love—that “Love for Life” can also be romantic, exciting, and full of adventure if one remains “open”! (Mind-male ALLOWING Heart-female TO TAKE THE LEAD……)

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