Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sacred Circles and Scaredy Cats




I'm in Hiawassee, GA right now doing a show for Zaxby's. This is a gig with a lot of down time between performances and rehearsals, so I've done my best to use my free time to work on my novel and develop my 2010 marketing plan for 7 Course. But I also decided I was too close to the Enota Campground to pass up the chance to go back and visit.

You remember Enota, don'cha? It's the setting for that snake bite incident that I won't seem to shut up about.

First of all, before you classify me as either brave or stupid, consider me neither, as any snake with a lick of sense has gone about the business of hibernating by now, so I wasn't walking into any sort of reptilian ambush. Far from it, the site was peaceful, quiet, and in the full, glorious throes of Autumn.

I took a few pictures with my cell phone - the frame of the sweat lodge, the rocks where I was laid down while waiting for a ride to the hospital, and so on. Then, I put my phone away. I meditated, prayed a prayer of gratitude, and took in the beauty of it all, the sense that, for me and me only, something transformational DID happen here. It's not something that mattered to many other folks, but for me, it was a spiritual bookmark, a moment when I realized how blessed I am, and how quickly our lives can change.

I came back here physically today. I hope to return here spiritually often, to remind myself of how blessed I am, and how important it is to reflect and act upon the lessons I learned this summer.

Before I left the site, I decided to take off my left shoe and sock, and stand barefoot in the very spot that the snake bit me. While I'd love to say it was my inner-Hemingway coming out, a 'feel the fear and do it anyway' bravado that brought some sort of emotional closure, it wasn't. It was just a way of reminding myself that I could stand - open and vulnerable - in a place that once brought me great fear and harm, and feel as safe and trusting as I could ever hope to.

That's our day to day lives - the fear of losing someone, the tenuous nature of our economy, the uncertainty of the choices we've made. Yet, we're required to stand tall on the very ground that seems to present so many perils and simply trust. Ruthless trust, be it in God, your loved ones, or your own capabilities to persevere in a world that seems to be rife with unseen briers and snakes.

There's a sign on the bridge that leads from the main campground across a flowing creek to the sweat lodge at Enota. It reads, "Please Enter the Sacred Circle with Reverence". I think the trick is not so much entering holy ground with reverence. We can all do that. The challenge is seeing that holy ground beneath us in our daily lives, and sustaining reverence each moment.

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