© 2007 By Farrell Winter
A spiritual journey is not linear, like a physical journey. Spiritual journeys start (and end) anywhere, and physical laws do not apply.
This particular spiritual journey began at the top of a mountain composed of black and white slabs of rock piled up like steps. I stood up and looked around to get my bearings, then climbed down the mountain on all fours. To my right was a steep cliff. I went to my left, toward the forest. I was just about to enter it when I stopped. I felt something. A herd of animals, larger than deer, was running toward me. I started to run back to the cliff when the Earth spoke to me. °No. Don’t go back. Keep going this way,° She said. The feeling became more intense as I continued walking toward it. Then the herd was right there, but I couldn’t see it. They were spirit animals. They ran right by me, and I continued on my way.
Inside the forest, all the leaves on the bushes and trees were a deep bright green, glowing and vibrating. I felt their vibrations go into me as the land began to rise. I was out of the forest and at the foot of another stepping-stone mountain, this one reddish-copper instead of black-and-white. I climbed to the top and saw a huge oval-shaped lake. The water called to me, and I walked down to the bank.
I heard women singing, three or four of them. It sounded as if they were all around me. I turned to the rock wall I’d just climbed down and saw four young women in white robes. They were singing to me, a song of my gratitude and integrity and purity of intention. As a reward, went their lyrics, I would be allowed to swim in the lake. Suddenly I was under water, and it wasn’t at all as I would have imagined. Rather it was as if the cells of my body had become water droplets. I was the lake. The fish that I saw swimming in front of my eyes, I could feel swimming in my body. And such a silent cacophony of communication: between the fish and other sea animals, between the free-floating plants and microscopic entities in the water, between the water’s motion and its temperature….
I climbed out of the water and noticed the air had gotten warmer. Something beckoned me to enter a narrow horizontal opening in the bank. I climbed in and was inside the mountain. I walked thru the solid rock and exited on the other side. There I saw a meadow, composed not of flowers but of the same copper-colored rock I had just left. Instead of being flat, the meadow was peppered with rocks molded in the shape of ocean waves. I walked across this meadow to the cañon wall ahead, being careful not to step on the rocky waves lest I break them. There was a path through the cañon wall. I took it and found myself in a desert, the air much warmer now. Across the desert, I felt an invitation like a finger of cool liquid calling to me, rending the hot, thick air. Like a lover’s touch in the middle of the night, it was tender and reassuring.
I floated through the desert on the stream of cool liquid air and again heard women singing. It was still hot, though the sun had begun to go down. Ahead of me was a circle of people in white robes, chanting and drumming. They were standing, and the tall drums came up to their waists. I felt as if they were holy people, and I didn’t want to disturb their ceremony. One of the women saw me and stopped drumming, while the others continued. She smiled and walked toward me. “Oh, there you are,” she said.
“We’ve been waiting for you.”
“You have? For me?”
At this the others stopped drumming and joined her. “Welcome back,” they half-chanted.
“Oh no. I'm not good enough to be one of you. I'm not strong enough.”
An old man stepped forward. He was tall and thin, clean-shaven and completely bald. A half-smile on his face, he spun his drum like a top and began laughing maniacally. He played the drum furiously while it rotated. “Oh yes you are,” he cackled, and played the sound of the drum into my body.
I began whirling like the drum. For a while, I became the drum. The woman who originally greeted me said, “Now you’re ready. Welcome back.”
“Welcome back,” the others again repeated.
I hesitated, then expressed my gratitude at the honor of being able to join them. The woman said, “Welcome back, Master.”
The world stopped turning for an instant. “Master? I'm not, I'm not a master.”
She looked directly into my eyes. The smile never left her face. She had such a commanding presence I felt as though I ought to kneel and bow my head. Her manner was extremely intense, and at the same time it was…enveloping. Reassuring. She held my gaze, and the smile in her eyes made me smile. “Welcome back,” she said slowly and deliberately, “Mother.”