She had amazed both my friends with her insights, claimed to be an intuitive and had identified the “power animals” that guided my friends on their journey.
And so I found myself making an appointment secretly; because I knew my wife would put up resistance to my going.
And finally the day arrived and I took a bit of time off from work so that I could keep my appointment. This was of course divulged to no one at work or at home. At the time it seemed even “out there” for me and so I knew my circle of acquaintances or family would definitely not understand. And my work associates would simply think that I had slipped a cog.
I arrived on time and sat waiting and was questioning myself as to what I was really doing there and before I could fabricate a plausible excuse and walk away she came in from the back of her shop and introduced herself.
We went into a tiny room and started talking. She told me a little about herself and confirmed she was an intuitive and I found my skepticism pushing against my rationale for being here and I kept eyeing the door wondering how long I should politely stay before a I declared (falsely) that I had an emergency that I needed to go to.
She told me that she lived in area called “Eagle Hill” on a farm with her horses and I told her that I had lived there not so very long ago. It was an apt name for the spot because I saw bald eagles on their travels pass by the countryside out there regularly. And I revealed a story to her that I had never told another.
A very powerful lighting storm had come across the river valley – from the mountains to the west – and hung over top the property which I had been living on at that time. My soul and heart were in a fragile state that night because the woman I had been living with walked away from me and into another’s arms without so much as a touch of compassion. And so my pain was achingly raw the night the storm rolled in. The storm was so intense that the air was charged by the lightning as it continuously lit up the night sky. And it was a storm that didn’t move on – it was hung in the air over the property I lived on and the air was full of electrical energy.
Rather than stay inside or drive away it came to my head to dance and challenge the night. Tearing my shirt off and taking a walking stick I went out to my yard and started to move and challenged the anger of the storm with my own anger. I felt tribal and my dance seemed from another time. I did not know what moved my feet more than my own pain but I shook my arms and staff to the sky while lightning struck all around me.
I stayed outside for nearly an hour I suppose with my cathartic dancing before I felt released from the pain and I went back into the small trailer that I lived in and sat down to contemplate what I had been doing. On the wall was a picture of an old Indian shaman that had never carried much meaning to me but as I sat there that night while the electrical energy from the storm continued to charge the air I felt a soul communication going on that was beyond words but which I knew needed to be heeded.
The woman from the healing shop listened to my story to this point and told me that she too had met an old native spirit out in the area called Eagle Hill and we both agreed that it was a very high “energy” locale.
I told her how I had moved away from this spot and found myself with-in a year living on the Queen Charlotte Islands on the west coast of Canada. This spot too is a very ancient and very spiritual place. It is a place of great nature and again eagles where all around me.
I had a friend that was from Haida Gwaii and his ancestors had been there for thousands of years. We used to catch salmon and would go to the beach at his father’s house and feed the eagles with the fish remains. We would place them on the ground and sit back a couple of meters and watch the eagles come into feed. They had no fear of man and took the offerings that we placed there for them. Great black bears wandered among the town and forests at will. Deer populated the area, fish were plentiful, eagles and ravens filled the sky and nature was in all her glory.
I told her it was a magical place for me where I saw killer whales (orca) dance in the ocean and great grey whales feed on the shoreline only meters away from the restaurant we ate at. It was the place where I came to what I felt had been my most spiritual epiphany to that point in my life.
I had a second friend there from my home province and he was the one that had invited me to come and stay for a while to help me get myself right. He had a steel tug boat and we were beachcombers salvaging huge ancient logs from the shore line. The best time to get into the shore line was when the tides were at their highest point. And the tides were at their highest points when the moon was fullest.
My job was to take the rope we used to pull the logs into the water and wrap it around the log. My friend would then open the throttle up on the tug boat and try to jerk the logs into the water. Sometimes with a smaller log we could get it in on the first pull. With the very largest logs it sometimes took a month and a half to get it into the water with many attempts and waiting for the good tides.
One day rather than taking the skiff out and bouncing off the rocks while I waited for the tug rope to float into me I decided I would simply wade out into the ocean and wait. And so I walked out into the water until the waves were lapping just under my nose and waited for the rope. And in the Queen Charlottes on a full tide the water can rise over 8 meters in 6 hours and drop 8 meters back down in the next six hours. The ocean runs like a river on those days. And as I stood up to my chin in the water and felt the current washing against me I realized that I was feeling the energy of the world and the ocean waters sloshed over and around my submersed body.
I looked up into the sky and saw a full moon hanging there in the middle of the day and realized that the tides were full because of the pull of the moon and so it was that energy too that was part of my experience that day. And I looked further into the sky and realized that the moon was in its full cycle and what I was feeling standing there was actually the universal energy – or at least a result of it.
And just as high tides were best for beachcombing they were the best times for animals to feed. And there are those who believe that the full moon is the best time to plant and the best time to fish and the best time to harvest. And if we allow ourselves to be in touch with nature we all (man, plant and animal species) are joined together through the universal energy. And it came to me while the oceans lapped across my face that there is a singular energy that sustains the movement of the moon and stars and the simple souls on our planet earth. We are truly all one and dependent together.
And so my healer listened to my rather long winded tale and began her work. And she told me that she felt my power animal was the Orca –regarded by the Haida as the most powerful animal in the ocean. After she revealed this to me I told her of the dreams I had been having which often involved me being back on the Queen Charlottes and interacting or searching for orca or killer whales. I told her at times my dreams had ended as I came face to face with one of the great souls of the ocean and the orca would grow in size until all I saw was their great eye looking into mine. I had dreams of the eagles and the bears but the most intense and regular were of the great orca.
During the course of our conversation I had discussed my wife and my son as well with her. She wondered what my wife had thought about my coming to see her and I told her that she did not know I was there that day because she would not understand. She also asked me of my five year old son whom because of complications during his birth I had been the first in his family to hold him in my arms. His mother had undergone anaesthesia and the nurses offered him to me as they brought him out of the emergency room. I held him in my arms and made a sacred vow to him which still is part of our lives over 12 years later but that is a story for another day.
My healer was telling me about the great love my son had for me. She said it was hard to understand it was so intense; but described it was a like a sunflower loves the sun with its entire being. I felt that was a very nice image and thanked her but felt perhaps that is how all children feel towards their parents. She said no this was especially strong but my ego tried to tell me she was just being kind.
And so our session ended. I had much to think about and my mind was reflecting on the shared bond I had with this woman as we both had lived in the same area and encountered (or at least believed we did) a similar ancient spirit. And I was thinking lots about what it meant that she had seen the Orca as my power animal and whether I would ever tell anyone what she had said.
I arrived at my house and my son was waiting there at the top of the steps as he always did when I came home after work. He told me he had a present for me. He went and came back with an old wall calendar that I had given to him, which we used for business and was about 60cm by 1 meter – a very large area for a young boy to draw on. And he offered me the calendar and turned it over as he gave it to me and on it was a singular huge yellow flower that took up the whole page and he told me “It’s a sunflower Dad”.
And the hairs stood up on the back of my neck and do so all these years later as I write this. My son and I had NEVER discussed sunflowers, he did not discuss such things with his mother and yet here he was giving me a present that synchronized exactly with the description the healer had given me less than an hour ago.
I believe then and I believe now it was the hand of spirit affirming itself to me through all the stories and journeys I have described here in this retelling. And I know now what the words mean in the great book from the Christian persuasion – “and a child shall lead them”. My son affirmed for me my simple faith that day and it is unshakeable. We are one, we are infinite and we are love.