Notes of a Shaman: Singing the River
It was a cloudy summer day and I decided to go down to the river. I approached a large boulder that was reaching into the river.
The forest was dark as the clouds and trees formed mystical shadows all around. It appeared much later than it was. It almost felt like a storm forming. I asked for permission to take a seat on it and started connecting with it.
I could feel the playful stream as I reached out to greet it. I asked it if it would share it’s song with me and within a few seconds I began picking up a soft rhythm. I repeated it back.
Then, it turned into a melody that kept repeating so I echoed back each time until I felt a rush come through my ears and my body. The song of the river started singing through me and I began losing myself.
A strong wind began shaking the trees all around me as if calling everyone to their places. The song became more complex as it picked up multiple harmonic layers that formed a story that continued singing me.
At times it was telling a story of joyful gatherings, celebrations of divine belonging. The wind shook the trees in staccato rattling. I could hear a base drum and what seemed to be an orchestra of different instruments.
The sun parted the clouds and trees and beamed a spotlight on cue, forming a perfect circle around me as it touched the rock.
It all was coming to an intense and obvious crescendo as the story told sorrowful tales of the ancient ones and the trees soothed the trees into a lullaby caressing the soul with sweet tenderness.
The crescendo fell like a feather taking it’s time reaching the earth as the spotlight softly faded into a radiant mist scattering through the forest.
I could feel forest spirits, trees, ancestors and others I couldn’t name, gathering as if the river song had beckoned or summoned them. All the musicians were suspended in a magical pause…
Out of my unfocused periphery I saw something peak boldly around another boulder to look at me. It felt like a large cat or person. It’s presence was fierce and almost intimidating. “Hello, who are you?” popped into my mind. I searched for an answer.
The searching brought me out of the altered place between worlds and back into my body. I looked in the direction of the watcher fully expecting to see a live puma as that is what I knew it was in an instant.
When I looked, all I saw was tree. It was spirit puma but I could also feel the spirit of the tree looking back at me. I also felt a group of ancestors gathered around watching.
The music had stopped. I sat on the boulder, my body vibrating intensely. We were all looking around at each other expectantly for what seemed like a long moment in time.
There was a ringing in the air like we’d all just experienced the best live show ever! There were knowing nods and grins exchanged.
Peace permeated as we sat in communion.
After a few minutes, my ordinary thoughts started drifting back in and I became shy. I meekly thanked the river and all the gathered ones. I gave a bow of honoring them and let them know I would be going inside now. Then, I said something to the affect of, “lets do this again sometime- Munay!”