The River Beneath

dance story

I broke through to a new place of healing yesterday. After spending an hour getting the frozen muscles surrounding my spine to loosen up, my healer discovered a river beneath the tension. It was cool and dark – it carried me away.
I flew home with my wife and son a few days ago, having attending a beautiful wedding on the East Coast. Each drive to celebrate the sacred union or visit family and friends was filled with farm houses from the 1800’s, fields cleared by hand and horse, and of course endless, exquisite groves of trees. We caught the last days of Autumn sunshine before winter began to consume the tree’s gift of notoriously enchanting leaves.
After living in an evergreen forest, landing here at this time of year was an invitation to see trees with new eyes. There are many differences – the space between them, clean straight lines – and of course the yellow, umber, orange and red palate. I was most fascinated by the way trees dance there. Leaves tumbled in jubilant choruses of revelers – first ballerinas, then Russian folk dancers, next shy Geisha’s, finally touching down as restless giggling children. Our twisted oaks at home bend their arms slowly, rarely giving up a single precious leaf.
Season in the Stream     Without forests we would not have the streams and rivers we do. It takes the leaves of trees to catch rain, letting it descend slowly to the forest floor in thumb pad pools that build into trickling fingers. Those fingers, sheltered by a canopy, become hands, arms and finally the bodies of great rivers that nourish the land. Without water there could be no life, certainly no healing.
I had a resistance to going on this trip, afraid it would hurt my back – setting healing back weeks. My son had his own bruises to protect. The memory of me bloodied, strapped to a body board and shipped off in an ambulance stuck with him hard. Its been tough for him to leave my side even for a moment. His attendance at the wedding was required. I should have stayed and rested as my healer recommended, but I decided I wanted to be a Dad instead.
There was a price to pay. The many hours of travel and new places drain a little one in ways grown ups don’t always understand. Cramped seats, new beds, and of course the needs of a traveling little one, bunched and twisted my muscles like fighting arthritic eels. It was well worth the price for both of us though.
He built his own connections with his kin. A ride on a lawn mower with the groom, being lofted high by joyful uncles, seeing his Mom laughing with her childhood friends, dancing with cousins, catching blown kisses from beloved aunts, and of course sharing laughter with his Nona. Each memory is a drop collected by his leaves, gathered in his canopy, new waterways are born. Streams and rivers are built by forests, families by journeys of the heart.
The river I felt on the table yesterday was different from the healing pools I’d experienced before. After an hour of circling me, making adjustments everywhere, my healer put both hands mid back, the place where whiplash lodges, and cradled me. It only took a small release to drop into the waters depths, like reaching through crackling thin ice into a winter stream. I spread out – not feeling any limits to the new space. New possibilities for healing were born there.
Truth be told I’m always reluctant to leave our home for even short journeys. It has a tendency to make me blind to the treasures found in far flung places. Perhaps its because of the part of me that doesn’t really trust the Liquid Me yet. I just don’t believe there’s water to be found out there. When the drops have fallen on me in the past ,my fear has cast them to the wind instead of letting grace take them where it might.
Turns out children are natural born trees, they receive the water given them with wonderment. I’m living with a great teacher. I think he and the journey we took with his Mother helped me find that new source of water. I know it will carry me farther than I can see even now.
May your holidays be filled with the blessed waters of health, the spirit of the forest, and the love of family – whatever it may look like for you.

Image: Season In The Stream by Golley Gforce from Flickr, used under 
a Creative Commons license

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