The Hero’s Journey – Part I

Waiting for Mom

[Seamus Narrates]

“As soon as we return from one journey and enter a new phase of our lives, we are immediately propelled into a new sort of journey, the pattern is not linear or circular, but spiral.”  Carol S. Pearson

Mom returned from her trip to Spain. The day she arrived we’d had five straight days of torrential rain. Water threatened to wash away the pond’s dam; and an old woman lay dying in the Stone House. Mom had been gone ten days, but to me it felt like forever.

Maya adapted right away. Not me though. I waited on the porch with Tessa. If mom was coming home I would see her first. My heart would beat in anticipation and I would run to greet her with kisses. Such is my expression of love.

There are two kinds of doggies. Maya adapts quickly to survive, while I wait and pine for what has been lost. There is only one true love for me, while Maya has learned the lesson of impermanence and Tessa, well she’s a cat; a bowl of food, a place in the sun, good hunting grounds and she’s happy. I think people are like that too.There are those who move with the flow of life’s changes and those who fight to hold on even if it kills them to do so.

All life is impermanent and subject to change. You would think I would have learned this by now. How is it for you?

Anyway, mom arrived home after living in the mountains of Asturias and yet was able to plunge her sun soaked body into the chill of the Atlantic ocean. Surrounded by high mountains and deep valleys she would sit and stare in awe at the majesty that is this Earth.

Mom said that the Divine Feminine was there, visible in each rock and tree. The mystery of Her voice is carried in the wind spiraling round hillocks and manifesting in the one flower clasped in the hand of Our Lady of Covadonga, the rose in full bloom.

This is what mom heard tangled in the explosion of night stars, in deep sleep dreaming of the emergence of mountains rising from the depths of a fathomless ocean.

Sunset on Pico Mountains

She wrote it on a piece of paper leaving it out on the bed stand to remind her that though she may envision a path to guide her journey there is no accounting for the shift of fate moving a life towards its destiny. The hero’s journey is a complex route cutting through, over and around great obstacles meant to challenge the growth of a soul. Mom was in Spain to witness the emergence of a friends new journey, knowing she would return home to witness the final moments of a life well lived.

Having found this simple, magical time, away from technology, mom moved through each day unaware of the hours passing until the sun dropped below the mountains and her belly growled in anticipation of the late evenings meal. She had returned to living within the cycles of nature.

She observed the rural farmers laboring to prepare the environment that produces the food to feed their families and community. They were strong and robust, fed by the mountain air and the limestone fields their cattle grazed upon.

Cow in pasture

In tune with the rhythms of Nature the body grows strong and the mind clear. A life path with “heart” and one that flows in time with the music emanating from the pulse of the surrounding mountains. In cities the ritual of nature becomes distorted and out of tune with the environment; or rather the city’s rhythm is its own creation made by souls removed from the symphony of celestial song.

For me, a humble Shih Tzu, this journey that is my life, has been about trust. I knew mom would return because the power of love cannot separate souls linked in friendship. True friendship is a mandala, played out within la drama de la vida. Every hero will find those along the path who will walk beside them before moving off in their own direction. This is life. This is death. This is the magical journey we must make together and alone.

Mystery of mountains

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