“Dreaming the river alive.
Heart finds home, sleeping with stars.
Sun swaps moon for day.”
-Tom Shaefer (participant)
From the 26th of June to the 3rd of July, 2018, we journeyed through the breathtaking landscapes of the Ariége, situated in the French Pyrenees. For one week we walked, using the powerful medium of writing for nourishment and reflection along the way. To begin, we gathered together in a beautiful mountain home, coming from all different parts of Europe. We packed all we needed for the journey in our rucksacks and then walked away from the doorstep, toward the mountains, higher and higher and eventually to snow ladened peaks.
We opened up immense questions about love, courage, listening, speaking truth, being seen, carrying our past and the places where we can find support while in service. We explored these topics, and many more, on our own while walking, and together through conversation and writing.
A huge amount of gratitude goes out to the participants of this journey and their willingness to be open in such an intimate space. Thank you all.
Below are a two pieces that emerged from a collective writing exercise.
The Givers and Receivers
“May I have the courage today to step out of my own world and to help others to climb the mountain we are facing.
In relation I want to stand.
With you, Human.
With you, Bird.
With you, Wind and Rocky Mountain.
And giving my love, trust, fear and hope,
To spread out the seeds to grow new life and take care of it,
Encouraging you to do the same.
To step into the cycle of give and receive, see and be seen, love and be loved.
Encouraging you to glide like an eagle, to stand tall and knowing like a mountain, to reflect all light, like the moon.
This is our time.
We – the givers and receivers – the ebb and flow of life itself.
Eternity is melted into each and every breath and step.
Breath and step.
Breath and step.
I say YES to this life.
With grace I walk, even though I don’t know where the path leads me.
I walk in trust.
I lean onto something bigger, higher, that is a part of me.”
Life Giving Grief
“May I have the courage today to be the mole of grief in my belly, crawling up my throat, out of my mouth and into the light.
May I build a mole heap like an alter for my grief and have it warmed in the sun until it melts, slowly, into the icy stream, flowing down the mountain – giving life.
And feeling weight has lifted, I dance inside my morning,
A dawn to awaken in me, all that can flow from me.
The healing water whispers, the rocks patient and the birds soaring high, bowing to the courage of my soul.
May nature welcome us and protect us.
May it shake our bones and bring fire to our hearts.
It will make you feel strong to follow your dreams and stand in your center, without compromise.”