Mt. Shasta (northern California) is a power spot, a holy place, with great presence and energy. People have all kinds of “woo-woo” experiences there, and it’s true that one doesn’t know what will happen. It’s good to go without expectations and just stay open to the magic. I’ve been there before, the first time in 1970, long before it was “discovered,” and in June I started to feel a calling—a message to “come visit.” I listened, and am so glad I did. My husband and I had deep, meaningful encounters of various kinds. What I am led to primarily share here is flavor of the gifts that came from the natural world—from the energies of the living mountain and the myriad life forms it supports.
We were at Shasta while the Carr fire was raging in Redding, about 60 miles away (as of this posting, it’s still going on), and the usual clear vistas were obscured with smoke haze. A sad reminder of course about the difficulties of our out-of-balance earth (and that’s echoed by a horrendous red tide algae bloom on the opposite coast, by my Florida home by the Gulf of Mexico). I believe one of the reasons I wanted to share these poems and images today is to broadcast my love for Gaia and to insist on holding the earth in reverence and great love.
Quite a few poems came to me during my week on the mountain, and I offer a few here. All of it feels like an offering.
At Red Fir Flat While The Carr Fire Burns Below
Afternoon light hits the gold-green lichen on the tall firs,
then fades for a moment in the smoke haze.
Like the mists of Avalon, the haze envelops all. We grieve its source, but
in gratitude receive its caress.
Attention to the crunch underfoot, dried-out spiral twigs, wood rot, small stones.
Still, this holy space is about reaching up, the tree spires rising forever
to the passing cloud, the glacier snow, the beckoning peak.
There is a counterforce: the weighty, grounded boulders that have known falling, rolling over and over down the slope.
The energy fields meet.
The boulders, like the trees, are lichen-kissed and keepers of accumulated time.
Old spider webs, forming white cups, hold sun and particles of smoke.
In the air, fly drone and an insistent note repeated from an unseen bird.
The young fir branches undulate, slow bouncing with the breeze. They become the tall ones, seeking sun, calling prayer.
Ever-eternal moment, crystal echo, holding the holy.
above the meadow,
hundreds flying swiftly
and riding the waves
never stopping, just breathing air
breathing the water
breathing the swaying flowers,
being the symphony
weaving lines to
invisible worlds, magic places
rising from the ground
rising from the spring,
these our fairy gifters
blessing us with their wings
riding the currents,
never landing, just being there,
flying, harbingers of joy
telling us to love, telling us to revel
telling us to love
love those flowers, love that water,
love those trees, love those rocks
it’s all about love
all the fairy godmothers flew over the meadow
singing the song
echoing the water
The theme of blessing and sacredness is felt in many ways throughout Mt. Shasta. One magic place is the Peace Garden, where literally thousands of people have left prayer ties with blessings to be sent out to the world. Here,I gift you with a curtain of this prayer.
I could build a house of Shasta stones, which
having tumbled far and shattered,
hold the hologram.
Stones imprinted with the mountain
the volcanic cone
the rising peak
pushing out streams, leaving
trails of wildflowers
Stones imprinted with the tall reaching firs,
the crystalline snow,
the dragonflies patrolling over
rocks shaped to circles and cairns,
offerings of those hungry to be
These are tonal stones, remembering
remembering the prayer.
If I fit them together into a shelter,
I could stand up against the walls,
and know them in my bones.