Last night, one of my elders took me on a nighttime adventure. In darkness we took an easy hike to a waterfall for some energy work. When there is very little light, moving water seems to absorb all it can get, glowing in an otherwise dark wood. I cannot “see” energy like my elder can. For her the wood was aglow. For me it remained dark, but I could “feel” the pulse and flow of energy, including the resident spirit who moseyed over to see what we were up to.
I live in a valley ringed by mountains. That has been my life since I was an adolescent, cradled by Appalachia, Mother Mountains standing sentinel on my horizon. Far from cities and suburbs, the night sky is alive. Perhaps not so much as in the wild grassy expanses of Montana, but far more vibrant and clear than amidst the hustle and bustle of Atlanta. I cannot live without trees and I cannot live without stars. We all have different things that speak to our soul and say “Home” to us. For me it is the dramatic luminescence of the night sky: the moon wreathed in clouds, the Pleiades, and most of all, the constellation Orion.
Since I was a child, I have always had the conviction that as long as I live where I can see Orion in the night sky I will be alright. In the clear, cold darkness of winter, the Hunter stands watch over me and tells me all will be well. It’s why I will never live anywhere the incessant lights of civilisation will block him. It is our pact to each other. As long as I can see him unhindered every winter, he will keep watch over me.
Last night the sky was luminescent with countless stars. It was a reminder of my relationship to the Universe. I am quite small, yet I know the stars. When I arrived home, in the dark cradle of my valley, there was Orion, tilted over the trees. I paused and regarded him. I like to think he paused and regarded me. Our pact stands.