“Human presence is a creative and turbulent sacrament, a visible sign of invisible grace”. John O'Donohue

Monday, 1 July 2013

Journey to the Mountain

I wrote this tale after attending a series of workshops on the theme of  Inner and Outer Fire. This was a journey I took through movement and meditation.

I can see the mountain in the distance, its summit touching the clouds of the heavens and its feet touching the clay of the Earth. The path stretches out before me, and it seems such a long, long way.

But with the voice of the mountain calling me, I step forward and onto the path.
After walking, walking, walking, I reach the plain. It has been flooded and is thick with mud. My journey is slow and difficult. Each foot sinks down and takes an age to release it in order to make the next step.

“You must lie down!”

It is sister snake who has joined me on the plain.

“We snakes must learn to travel close to the Earth!” she hisses, “You must try it.

And so, with my soft belly on the Earth I begin to crawl but my arms and legs just sink into the mud and my journey seems even slower than before.

“We snakes must learn to relax and glide” says snake “just look at how easily I skim across the mud – follow me!”

And with Snake ahead of me, and my belly on the Earth, I relax and glide. With just the right amount of softness, and just the right amount of tension, my body moves effortlessly across the mud.

And I reach the forest. Dark and thick with the growth of mid summer. Smelling sweetly after the rain and echoing to the sounds of the many brother and sister creatures who live in its depths.

Thank you Sister Snake.

And off she glides.

Suddenly, I am joined by my Wolf Sisters, who circle me, sniffing and wagging their tales in joy and recognition. I am tired, and they allow me to snuggle into their soft fur as I sleep, gently licking my face and singing their quiet songs of the Wolf Spirit.

I am awakened by a Sister Wolf  “come on dear sister, it is time to go!”

I am not ready

“Oh but we wolves must learn to always be ready” she says “It is time to hunt!” she calls, already running off to catch up with the pack.
Wait! I can’t keep up!

“You must run faster!” cries Wolf “ We wolves must learn to keep up. We must know when it is time to hunt. When it is time to sleep. When it is time to play. And when it is time to sing our song to Sister Moon”

And so I run and run. I run through the trees. I run over the meadows bright with summer flowers. I run and run until I reach the valley, with the bright blue river running through it, and the bouldered slopes that lead to the mountain.

Thank you Sister Wolves.

And off they run.

It is rocky and steep and as I climb, the loose scree slips form underneath me.  I lose my footing and fall.

I land at the feet of Sister Deer

“We deer must learn to dance, so that we are light on our feet.” she says as she helps me to my feet.

And so I begin to dance, but keep missing my footing and slipping on the rocks and scree and landing further down than where I started!

“Up you get” says Sister Deer, gently “We deer must learn to always be looking where we are going for it is only then that we can see the landscape ahead – follow me!”

And so we dance our way up the mountain, keeping sight of the rocky path ahead of us, and the majestic mountain terrain around us, until we reach the high pass.

And she is gone!

Thank you Sister Deer!

The clouds are lowering around the mountain and before long I can no longer see the path. I turn around and around but I don’t know which way to go.

“Where are you going?”
It is Sister Hawk.

I am trying to reach the high mountain. I am following her call.

“We hawks must learn to trust our instinct” says Sister Hawk “You know the way.”

But I don’t!


“Who told you that?” she says “Of course you do. We Hawks must learn to trust our own wisdom”

And she swoops through the cloud and is gone.

I am alone on the path. I close my eyes and listen to the call of the mountain on whose slopes I stand, and I start to walk.

I remember the wisdom of my sisters

I must stay close to the Earth but I must stay relaxed enough to move freely.
I must keep moving, but I must also keep up!
I must dance and be light on my feet, but l must also remember to look where I am going!
I must trust my instinct and my own inner wisdom.

And so I glide and dance and keep moving up the mountain. Trusting my instinct to find the path through the clouds until I move up through the clouds and onto her summit.

The top of the Mountain at the top of the World.

And there I meet Sister Snake, Sister Wolves, Sister Deer and Sister Hawk. I am surprised to see them there.

“But we are always here” they say “ Just as the Mountain is always here, and just as you are always here”

But if I am always here, why did it take me so long to arrive?

“Because you were learning your Snake Wisdom” says Sister Snake.

“Because you were learning your Wolf Wisdom!” say Sister Wolves

“Because you were learning your Deer Wisdom!” says Sister Deer.

“Because you were learning your Hawk Wisdom” says Sister Hawk.

“Because you were returning home” says the Mountain. “And sometimes we can feel that home is so very far away. But really, it is just here. It is always here.”

“Welcome!”

Welcome Home.



Jude Murray June 2013