Reflections of the Spirit

December 14, 2004.

Rambling Reflections of the two Medicine Wheels / Sacred Hoops at Friendly Forest.

The sun was still  below the tops of the trees at 10:00 AM yesterday.  Our winter solstice is near and then we look for  the return of higher suns and the renewal of spring a few months later. 

I have been taking time daily to walk in the forest or to walk / pray the medicine wheel that I have trampled on the ice of the pond.  There is a difference in walking the two Sacred Hoops that I have here.  The one on the pond is all in the open and when you walk one part you are visually aware of the whole design and the other directions and the centre.  When I walk the one in the forest, because it is larger and totally in the trees, one only sees a short portion of a perimeter, or only a sight line down one of the directions to the top of a rise that limits the view again. 

Walking the paths in the forest requires a deeper faith and understanding that the part I am walking on is really part of a larger design, even if I do not see the whole design at any one time.  When I reach a cardinal point and pause to pray, because that is the only part of the Hoop that is present to me, I focus much better to just that point and the meditations that are appropriate to that point.  

I think there is a lesson for me  here.  I also think that is why I have chosen to use the winter ice to create the second, smaller version of the Hoop and to walk both of them. 

The one in the forest also requires a lot more effort to create and to walk.  When I walk the one in the forest I am surrounded by  thousands of my Standing People brothers and friends.   When I am on the ice they are there, but further away and I stand more isolated on the frozen water and snow that supports me and keeps me safe only  while it is winter.  Both kinds of prayer are important to me and both have much to teach me.  When I most seem isolated and restricted in my view (on the path in the forest), I am most visibly surrounded by supportive friends.  When I seem most alone and solitary(on the ice), I have the clearest view of the whole plan of Creator for me, and I always have in view the Sacred Tree at the centre of the Hoop that invites me to come in to the centre to pray and to receive  the words of my Creator.  Renewed by the contact with the centre of the Hoop, I am able to proceed outward again and walk the perimeter as Creator wishes for me during my time on this side.  

The seasonal nature of this dual experience also seems to have lessons for me.  Winter is the time for reflection and seeing the big picture, for renewal and returns to the centre of my being   and there to find my Creator and to talk about who I am and what I am trying to learn.  During the summer I am surrounded by the burgeoning beauty of the forest and the return of its seasonal inhabitants and each step along the path is a call to celebration and joy in the abundance of gift before me.  Also , during the summer, I have so many more guests coming to Friendly Forest who can share the pleasure  and silent teachings of this forest gift.  The forest has always taught me these things and shared its gifts with me.  As with the other gifts I have been given, they are given to me to be shared, and the forest trails are for the benefit of any who are ready to love and respect what they are.


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