Shhhhhhh…don’t tell heaven it’s not heaven. Let this be our special secret for I am absolutely certain I’ve found the real heaven right here on earth. You see, I’ve seen stars glistening over the rippled waters as many shades of blue play and fade into green and earthen brown on rocky shores. I’ve met the Spirit of the turtle that guards the dipping pond where I have submerged to reemerge again and again. I’ve felt the shelter of the deep blue dome of sky with its airy clouds as the Spirit of the wind whispered a slight chill of the change to come. No, this is not the land of milk and honey. It is a land as lush and pristine as it is untamed and raw. I’ve learned to walk with sure footing and clear eyes through this heaven’s gate for its landing is, at once, soft and thorny.
The Soul of this place thrives on its own terms – wild and free. It awakens within me some deep slumber scabbed over by multi-tasking, over scheduling and the bombardment of a world in escalating chaos. In just a few days, I am remined of how few clothes I need, how a most sacred object is my hair tie and how a blessing to the fish to thank it for its life is the true nourishment.
Within this heaven’s gate, I am stripped down, made simple and, on a bed of pine straw, sacrificed to the Spirit of the wild. And just as the wood gives its life to the fire so do I releasing into the scent of smoke all I carry not essential to the beauty and goodness of life.
Yes, don’t tell heaven it’s not heaven. But, tell all who may hear that heaven is near, alive and beckoning, all around us. Leave the familiar sidewalks. Escape the known way. Follow the silent call of the trail, once defined by footprints, now hiding beneath wispy ferns, dried limbs, soft mosses, dugout pits, wayward grasses, deserted stumps and delicate wild flowers.
Follow. It will take you deep into places unknown where heaven’s gate will open wide to welcome you…hone you…and, just perhaps, at long last, birth you…
wild and free.
Pictures below: The first, the road to the site off the main dirt road. The second, the path in at the end of the road. Third, the lake side of the site. Fourth, the pond side and, lastly, the turtle who oversees its depths. Enjoy!