Harvesting Story

celtic spirituality shamanism story

Harvesting stories seems to be the main job of human beings. I’m no different, eternally stitching moments together that I gather from my life. Like clover tops breaking off between my toes when I run barefoot, stories develop so quickly I scarcely notice they’re with me.
I don’t always pay attention to where I get my stories. I ignore my ancestors, the spirits, and the many voices of the natural world. Like opting for fast food as I zip down a highway, most stories I gather have little sense of the sacred.
The smell of coffee, a gesture from a friend, and snippets of a radio interview are quickly added to a blossoming narrative that builds day upon day – making up a middle aged lifetime. My story is a modern story.
Moon Over Mombasa     I’ve been noticing the buzzing sounds of my own stories since I started swimming in a pool last week. I’m working to build up enough strength to swim long distances in the Pacific Ocean again. I’m also preparing mentally – calm water calms my mind, allowing the chattering stories in me to float to the surface like autumn leaves.
We are the makers of story, and story is the maker of us. It may be that the only thing that makes me a person, and us a people, is story. Without story I have no name, no cultural identity. Without story I don’t know how to put gas in my car or solve a math problem. We are story.
I suspect stories are important, not because we are important but because story itself is important, especially sacred story. Sacred is just another way of saying “connecting all the dots.” When my evolving story resonates with the profound experience of being alive it is at its most inclusive. Then we are truly a part of the story the Earth is telling itself.
Swimming back and forth in a water filled box to the sound of my own mental yammering, its not hard to see how far I stray from sacred story, though its not so hard to find my way back. So long as I have feet and ears, I have a way to connect to sacred stories. When I dance I can harvest new stories directly from the deepest moment of being. I’m brought to a place within myself from which I can witness the bigger story unfolding all around me. Feet really know how to connect with the Earth, if we don’t get in their way.
Funny how swimming makes me think of dance and dance makes me think of swimming in the ocean again. When I dance I feel the rhythm of the ocean, flowing through its waters as I turn and bend. When I’m moving with the currents I can only dance, anything else would be disrespectful to something as mighty and elegant as the Ocean.
You might think that when I’m dancing or surrendering to the Oceans currents that all story has stopped. When I’m at peace in these places I feel that I’m actually fully embodying story. I’m more deeply a part of what I’m doing – the story that’s unraveling. There is no space between me and the wave.
I’m setting the intention for this coming new Pagan year (Samhain approaches!) to swim a little deeper and dig a little deeper with my feet to find the stories the Earth needs to be told. I hope what I’m able to share will inspire you to find the sacred in your every day life.
Blessings to you and yours!
Image: Moon Over Mombasa by Angelo Juan Ramos from Flickr, used under 
a Creative Commons license


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