Discoveries in the Fog
I am up with the sun and ready to explore this place of wonder. The Olympic Peninsula feels like a gateway to Mother Earth herself and I am happy to simply “be” here. Be as in human being; to set aside all of the distractions and worries in life and be in the moment.
A thick fog moves mysteriously toward shore, like a shimmering curtain it shrouds the large expanse of water called the Straights of Juan De Fuca in mystery, sparking the imagination. For a few moments before the fog completely envelopes me, I catch a hint of orange and a clear sky above. The damp sea air is fresh and cool on my skin. It tastes of salt and creates tiny droplets of dew that glitter in my hair. As if not to disturb the quiet peace of the early morning, the water laps gently over the slippery weed-covered rocks along the shore. Their dark masses, smoothed by countless eons of the sea’s motion, glisten in defiance of the fog.
Among the rocks the head of a Great Blue Heron appears, a fish’s tail flapping from its pointy beak. He seems to be smiling over his breakfast. A long S-curve of a neck, attached to an unseen body hidden behind a rock, it stretches and in a single gulp he swallows the fish. Slowly he moves out from behind the rocks revealing a gawky appearance of tall spindly legs supporting a large body with folded wings. His clumsy appearance belies his graceful and sure-footed movement as he searches among the tidal pools for his next course. I watch him for quite some time as he hunts until with a “grawk” from his raspy throat and flap of his great wings, he is off into the fog his long legs trailing behind.
I stroll along the coarse sand watching the rocks and spy two crows silhouetted against the fog. Their rough voices reach me as they seem to be debating what to do next. One appears to be more in disarray than the other and is much more vocal. As if he’s done with his story he leaps into the air and he too disappears into the fog.
The abundance of life around me is breathtaking. The heavy fog forces me to look closer at my more immediate world. Little rivulets in the sand snake their way to the sea forming tiny canyons while a hermit-crab leaves a trail as it goes about its business.
We have a tendency to refer to moments like this as other-worldly, as if in a waking dream. The truth is that in moments such as this we are experiencing the reality of Mother Earth. We have opened ourselves to the energies and spirits of the earth that are very much alive and just as much a part of her as you or I. These are sacred places often known to the indigenous peoples of the area, whether it be a headland sacred to the Makah or a holy well as the Holy well at Gartan Ráth Cnó, in Ireland.
The culture of today, in much of the world, has forgotten how to intuitively feel the sacredness of these places. We have become so accustomed to living and working in man-made environments, cut off from the sights, sounds, feel and taste of the Earth that we now see artificial environments as our reality. It is this confined and non-natural lifestyle that is actually the other-worldly experience. We scream down the highways in our shiny little cans oblivious to the incredible world around us, focused only on the traffic and the next car to pass. Once home we shut the door and immerse ourselves in the made-up lives of others on the flat screen and then go to bed with the thought “There has to be more.” Most of us have been living in this manner all our lives, never having known the marvel of the true world. Not pausing to listen to the sound of the trees in the wind, breathing deeply of clean air, and sinking our toes into the warmth of freshly tilled soil, we have missed the wonder of it all. Whether we choose to acknowledge and to live like it not, we are an integral part of creating this glorious life and shaping the world around us.
As I walk along the rocky shoreline, I know that I am not truly alone. I open my heart and mind to the energies of the world around me and feel the sacredness of the place. The vibrancy of the Earth spirit who dwells here welcomes me in a warm embrace. Its love and energy flows through and warms me as the fog begins to lift and the sun smiles from above. This isn’t other-worldly or like a dream. This is the world of Divine and our truth of being. It is in places such as this that we may find the way home to our true nature and expand our awareness beyond the mere physical aspects of life.
Around the globe it may seem as though we have destroyed these beautiful beings of the Earth, by burying them in concrete and steel, but they are not gone. They are merely sleeping, awaiting the time to awaken and heal the Earth. It is my belief that Man will come to understand his higher self, shed the other-worldly dream he has created, and once again live in balance with the world around him. When this happens the Earth spirits will awaken and once more guide us to the Divine through their beauty and loving kindness.
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William C. Judge 2019
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