I’ve started to dance at dawn again, not because of messages from the spirits, no gilded unicorns have visited me in my sleep. I’m doing it just because I’m a parent. Since daylight savings is over, dawn is within my weary grasp and the enchantment of real solitude pulls. I can be with the land and the stars as the sun creeps into the sky, the only interruption being our dog crashing into the woods in pursuit of feral cats and coyotes.
Strangely enough, the motivation of parenting feels especially auspicious, deeply grounded in NOW. I first began dancing at dawn four years ago as the result of some spiritual work I did at a workshop on Celtic shamanism. When I asked the first cauldron in my belly what it needed from me it said quite clearly “to rise at dawn and dance”. I felt sweetly invited by my own soul to engage the world in a new way.
I did so for a year and a day, and then for a little time more. The message came before we moved to the land and I continued to dance at dawn while we dragged junk off of it month after month. Rising at dawn in winter with a new little-one and a new home in need of much TLC was very challenging. I feel much much older now, these few seasons have seasoned me quite a bit.
I have the last lunar cycle to thank as well for this renewal, it was a time of wringing out distraught feelings from the far past, expunging guilt, uncovering more. Bright dreams contrasted old suffering, squeezing realizations into my waking mind. The invitation to say YES to something, anything, grew as the moon reached its fullness. The vernal equinox helped me turn the corner, finally understanding I needed to dance for the nourishment of my own spirit.
I’m reminded of one of the first journeys I did to the land, inspired by my morning practice shortly after we’d arrived here. A quote from my dance blog:
“I’ve been writing lately about the word habitat. As part of my process I journeyed on the word. Part of the answer I received was in the form of movement. The spirit of the land was gathering, gathering, gathering and then releasing. She repeated this endlessly over and over again. This morning I danced what I saw her do. It felt wonderful.”
I am in the dance of planting, nourishing, and harvesting every day, rising at dawn I’m able to practice the art of that. My life as a parent is filled with giving and receiving. The dance of the land was an expression of giving and receiving, a process that forms the basis for my ritual and dance, being a part of a family, and ultimately my own sense of inner peace.
Know that if you happen to wake at dawn on the west coast, or later in the east as you head out into your day, that I’m stealing away into the darkness to dance. As the epic shift of night and day filters through twisted oaks, I’m dowsing for a little peace and wisdom, using my body the way the spirit of this place showed me. Giving and receiving, saying Yes to my life. I hope you’re able to harvest some Yes’s during that time as well.