Deep Water Passage

Last night, I finally allowed myself to finish reading Deep Water Passage: A Spiritual Journey at Mid-Life by Ann Linnea, where she documents her experience of being the first woman to kayak around Lake Superior over the course of 65 days. The journey was fraught with dangers, but the spiritual awakening she experienced changed the course and direction of her life.

Once again, there were passages I resonated with, and which were reminiscent of experiences I had in my life this past year, and in my visits to the river...

"When we can hold council with fellow creatures of all species, then we are beginning to understand the presence of sacred in our lives. But the most challenging creature to hold council with is our own kind...

When two creatures meet as naturally as lake lapping against shore, or river flowing into sea, there is a melding, a magic that transcends the everyday. I felt myself drawn forward into understanding Mystery and Higher Purpose. I felt myself anointed and belonging. I didn't know what was about to happen to me in the human community toward which I resolutely aimed, but now I knew I had a community that claimed me...

There was a great darkness I had to pass through upon my return from the lake. I had so totally left my life that I did not know how to find my way back in. Indeed, I was a misfit even at the most basic physical level. My sense of hearing had become so keen that we had to have the phone ringer set to mute for weeks. My sense of smell was so acute that I couldn't walk down the street without smelling neighbors' back-yard garbage cans. And I had virtually no ability to engage in small talk...[I was] unable to speak..."

I knew what she spoke of - every sentence heavy with meaning....

This morning, I did my meditations and chanted at the river for a long time...After "returning" I opened my eyes and I saw everything differently. I felt I was the river - I was the blade of grass blowing with grace in the gentle early morning breeze - I was every leaf and even the foam lapping against the rock I sat on. And I thought to myself - now I truly understand - not only this book, but what this year and all its experiences have really been about...

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