Last Saturday, I went to sit by the Shenandoah river with my friend, that has that place as her favorite recreational visiting spot. We travel the ten miles out from the city toward Port Republic. We travel in separate cars, because of social distancing. The river is wide and slopes into a deeper center. There is a lovely green space, a bank, that is about five feet above that rolling river.
There I set up camp, with my blue yoga mats. It is early afternoon where I finish my lunch. I pull out my painting supplies and play with a picture I wanted to put some contrast into. My friend plays with her phone. She puts on her wide brimmed hat and leans back with her eyes closed.
We walk around the property together and chat. The sun is over the river and the wind dies down after an hour. The sky is blue and the Baltimore Orioles nest can be seen in the naked branches of the big sycamore tree above. The trunk of the tree is wide enough to block some breeze.
On the walk around we stopped to look at the trees we encountered and especially a cedar tree that would provide lovely shade in the summer. I saw a tiny beautiful claw of a marsupial reminding us of nature and its secret life by the river. A farmer is riding around on a large machine across in the fields on the other side. The Friesian black and white cattle are in the distance.
When I had reached my walking limit my friend went off walking for a second time around the property. She was carrying her field glasses. Last summer she saw the eagles nesting across the river. I heard a bird singing an unidentified song but did not see the bird.
When my friend left, I took the opportunity to get into the river. I left my towel near by and slid down the bank into a mixture of muck and sand on the bottom. I was up to my knees with grey clouds of silt climbing toward my knees. It was cold but not intolerable. I splashed that holy water all over and reached out toward the deeper spot and swam in a quick circle. My mouth shot opened wide with the shock and water flowed in and down my neck before I could close it again.
Getting back out of the river, driven back by the shock and cold, I searched for a footing, stuck my knee and other foot into the bank and pulled on some grass to raise myself out of the water. My knees and foot had other ideas and I slowly slid back down into a standing position in the water. The shock was wearing off, so I swam around again in the deeper water. I took the slide back as a sign that I was not finished with the beautiful river.
The next time, I picked a better, more slanting place and pulled up and away out of the water carrying a fine layer of muck on my right foot especially. I dried off a bit, and not being encumbered with much in the way of cold wet clingy clothes, I was back in my warm dry woolens in no time.
The feeling of reset, good feeling is profound after such a dip. I always obey the pull of the ground into the water. I sense its holiness, its gift to me and to the earth. What would we do without such a mother flowing through our Shenandoah Valley? I look forward to the day that honoring the River, for the divine Goddess she is, will be fashionable. All water is pure, we just have to stop abusing it with our waste products of all sorts.
The sun was fast approaching the opposite bank and was shining on to the rise above it across the river. We packed up, my friend to get special kitty litter that her cat liked and me to sit at the bottom of a wide trunked tree further up the bank. The golden sun was still above the horizon and as I sat my friend photographed me.
In the silence that followed I settled into my meditation. I was doing a breathing exercise to begin, in which I looked to the end of my nose. There I saw golden threads playing around my nose that were surely children of that setting sun.
As the sun quickly set the gold was gone and I prayed for the leaders of nations, especially our own, those who have no one to pray for them, the dead and dying from Covid 19, my relatives, and anyone else who came to mind. I also send out light, love and healing to all my readers. (And now ask that you do the same for me. It was help everything greatly.)
When I got home, I was reluctant to wash off my feet and kept my little white socks on all night to remind myself of who I am and where I had been that evening. Of course a little of the earth from the sacred Shenandoah River in my house will only make my house holy.
I dreamed of being chased around by a tall blond young man who is trying to get me to acknowledge that I have diamonds in my right hand. I am a little scared of taking this into account. May the diamonds of my dream become a real feeling in the palm of my hand and when I put it to a shoulder of a friend or client, may it bring in the light that is always available to us, should we only ask to be open to it.
“Drop down and let go” I keep chanting to myself, as I press on pressure points in the night freeing myself to be a better vessel for what is possible to be. Rotating myself, like an antenna until I am all the way around right, so that the light from above, from my Maker can glance off me like the sun glanced off my nose at the river. Love you all. Rose.