feet on damp earth, fire

Where did I go last night, in my sleep, that I woke up this morning to the sound of rain in the trees, with that thankful feeling of being under the open shelter and care of one of nature’s best abodes,  an overhanging rock.

Gently prodded awake, or lulled to dream, by the steady shamanic tip-tapping of the rain drops, I’m welcomed by the deep smell of wet forest. In the damp dryness of being sheltered under a rock that protects from the wet and cold with its own body, the clear drops it sweats off its sides are both evidence of its nurturing refuge, and of my intimate closeness to its element.

Dry, yet steeped in the dampness and rain of the cold earth that greets the soles of the feet, of the stone that perspires behind my back and in front of my face with its chilly sweat, the effort of protecting those underneath it.  I’d like to wipe its rough brow, with my hand, but the edges of the stone seem made for the sliding descent of one translucent shimmering pearl after another.

I welcome the dampness and wet that seeps into me, that keeps enough distance so as to not cover me with its tears, yet takes my hand, giving me to feel, accept, and understand its presence.

To this tip-tap of drops, I open my eyes, and the strength of the earth, the power of the rain and the dampness, the vast energy of the wet forest, all greet me in a whirl as I wake.

Oblivious to the futon and four walls surrounding me, I breathe in that mysterious smell, the damp breath of deep forest, as near me, in that most ancient ritual, wet wood is coaxed into fire.

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Exhilaration of the body accepting the cold and wet, and the joy of the first light of the fire, that most humble companion that accompanied everywhere, never refusing his light, even in the most difficult conditions.  Even when all was soaked, wood, clothes, and selves, fire never held back his spark, part of that special spark itself, between fire and fire-maker.

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Awakened by the energy of the forest and of nature itself, I wake up oblivious to the futon and walls – or rather, oblivious to the illusion of the barrier they seem to form.

Pulling back my futon, and standing up, the ceiling is higher than the stone I expect above my head, and no jolt of cold damp earth greets my bare feet on the tatami.

The energy of the forest and the rain, of the wet and damp, infinite in my mind, I walk through my small room that, even as the overhanging stone, is no barrier to the unboundable energy of nature.  A steady beat tapping on the wood of my table, shamanic hymns softly humming, from the small kitchen to my side joins in the hesitant voice of the kettle.  The flame under the kettle catches my eye, and I smile.

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