The fog lingers in silent moss. A stillness between the storms and the rain.. Oh.. the RAIN! Born from this I am, moss and webbed feet. Born of this Pacific Northwest. Born of this landscape of volcano and vulnerability, of majestic peaks and ancient forests and mighty rivers. Firmly planted in mud, I can’t seem to leave. The tractor beam of Cascadia is in my blood… literally.

walville shadowsThe birds take their chance to sing as the sun peeks its stranger’s head into the wet forest canopy… alive in a glow of green from Douglas Fir and Cedar, the air fresh and wiped clean. A Sense of deep belonging grips me. As I choke back the tears, I breathe in the essence of this space and let the air fill my lungs… as if for the first time.

What is ‘Place”? Is it not the essence of Now? The moment where your feet stand planted on the Earth…the moment that has created and shaped Energy. I sit and watch the sun play and dance with the clouds blowing in from the west, completing cycles. In this now, I see snow capped giants who stand citadel on the crest of our vision. I hear the sound of the breeze as it ruffles the Cedars and Firs. I hear voices in that wind. A faint whisper from time long ago when the Medicine was the land. In this now. I feel the Essence of Place.

Gorge from sternwheeler dock

I am Watala/Cascade and I am the great great great grandson of Chief Tumulth. I am from the heart of a mountain range. I am stumbling around in an alien world. One made of disconnection and chaos. I was born into the 20th century to learn. To remember. To honor, and to rebuild. I am proud and I am lost. I yearn to know the Old Way but know nothing of its practice. It is a fragmented puzzle with many esoteric and profound teachings. The only teacher left is the land. The Spirit of place. The old teacher of my Grandfathers and Grandmothers. The only teacher left is also fading in the back wash of suburbia and apple pie. Columbus has rearranged our skies and I shape shift inside my pale skin. My blood quota memorized and cataloged on plastic. Sovereign in a lost battle- I am searching for my voice.

I breathe in the Spring and taste the memories of my ancestors DNA. A strand that spirals the ladders of time and, like the Raven, discover a new creation story.