Time with God/dess
Last night I returned from a solo camping excursion in Sequoia National Forest and National Park. My brief commune with Nature was the revitalizing tonic that I needed. Life as a Positive Energy Woman can become chaotic and overwhelming (if we allow it). With so many good intentions, so many items on the To Do list, so little time, I didn’t realize how badly I needed space to recharge until I became lethargic, unmotivated to tend to anything on The List, and tearful from overwhelm while discussing a future business plan with an understanding friend. As someone who advocates alone time and spiritual journeys, I decided to follow my own advice and take time from my ego-driven life of “must dos” and commune with my soul and greater spirit. Craving peace and quiet, trees, birds, and streams, and set out to answer my soul’s calling.
Sequoia National Forest is an easy four-hour drive from L.A. through California’s agriculture country to the mountains where the magnificent Sequoia trees grow. I’d never been to that part of the state, having always made Joshua Tree my spiritual retreat. But I was feeling the need for an adventure, and exploring unfamiliar wilderness would be medicine for my body and soul.
Wild nature is the vehicle through which I most easily connect with God/dess – and with myself. To me, earthly nature is the veil between civilization and the heavenly sublime, and it is there that I dwell in timelessness and wholeness, there where I truly feel myself as a divine being, with no separation between me and the divine. Through this authentic ‘cosmic connection,’ I feel the Oneness with God/dess and all that is. I prescribe Earth’s wonder and beauty for mental and spiritual clarity, for it allows us to receive epiphanies, ideas and guidance, and/or allows what is within us to emerge.
I had no real idea where I was going or what to expect on my journey. My tent and simple camping gear were in the car and I was ready to go. A friend warned me of the black bear activity. They’re known to tear into cars for the food inside. But I wasn’t phased. Dealing with bears seemed a no-brainer compared to my ‘normal’ daily life in the city. I set off on Sunday morning, and with only a tattered California road map (no GPS in this car), and headed north. Two hours out of Los Angeles on Highway 99 at Bakersfield, I took Highway 65 and followed the road signs toward the National Forest. The peaceful, neat agricultural landscape calmed me as I headed toward the mountains in the distance, certain that my ’94 Honda Civic would conquer the intimidating ascent without issues, in spite of her 245,000-mile history. With the help of a bulletin board at an unattended National Forest Service office, I found a route to a campground in the mountains. As I wound my way up the hill, I drank in the beauty, thankful for the privilege of being a witness of such terrestrial treasure. The 22-mile, narrow, winding road with no guardrails didn’t distract me from the awe of the vistas before me. The Honda purred powerfully up the hill. (I knew she would!)
I was guided to a National Forest campground under Sequoia and other fir trees, and made temporary home at a site where a stream babbled close-by. Normally I don’t indulge myself if reading and hiking marathons, but I did here. Mediating, basking in the sun, early bed-time and sleeping in were also part of my indulgence. I couldn’t really think, as my brain was whirring from over-stimulation. I just wanted to forget it all for a while. And while journaling is of great importance to me on a spiritual journey (I believe that journaling is nearly as good as professional therapy), I couldn’t bring myself to contemplating on paper on the first day and a half of this trip. I was experiencing major decompression, and writing seemed obligatory and my soul wasn’t interested. So I gave myself a break, a treat for me!
After my first night under the trees, I felt considerably better physically and my eye sight seemed sharper, my fog lifted. Was it the fresh air? Time in nature? Time away from stress? Not thinking?
The next day I set out to for one of national treasures, the Sequoia National Park, where I stayed for nearly two days. Once again, Earth dazzled me with her awesome splendor. Fragrant forests, majestic mountains, soothing streams and abundant animals caused me to return to my most primal state, as a small inhabitant of this web of cosmic beauty, a part of earth’s nature, along with the ants, birds and lizards. I sat by a stream and witnessed two hornets mating. I watched the sun sink over the hilly ridge and stars slowly twinkle into a full milky-way display. I watched a bear trundle through my campsite. (My food was safe, as it was stowed in the metal bear-proof chest provided by the National Park Service.) I hiked up Moro Rock, a granite monolith that is accessible to the top by steps carved out of the rock, and observed a panoramic view of mountains and valleys many miles away.
At my campsite my mind opened and I journaled and wrote and explored my mind and expressed it. I wrote for hours, digging in deep, getting to the heart of the matter, sorting things out. As I penned thoughts about my current life-style, past life-styles and my dreams of what I truly want, it became very clear. I need a life that is free of cacophony, and filled with natural beauty and space to breathe fresh air and think and write. I became reacquainted with the things that are most important to me. My life began to make sense, and I began to create a roadmap on how to create the next phase of my life.
I left the Park late yesterday, and as I cruised through the land of almond trees and strawberry fields back toward L.A., I felt amazing peace. It took three days to get to the heart of my soul and remember my place in life. I’m reminded of the importance of taking your soul into consideration in all you do, and not forget, ignore or diminish its importance, because if you do, you’ll be reminded to take notice with physical exhaustion, dis-ease and overwhelm. You’re an energetic being, and if you find yourself in need of recharging, my prescription for you is to find a local meadow, or take a trip to an unknown wilderness, to commune with nature and recharge. Becoming a part of the veil, even for a brief period of time, will remind you of who you really are and will amp you up for life.