I was just now on the bus to work and thought it would be an excellent time to do my morning devotional. My mentor suggested strongly that I attempt to work it in to my commute, as it’s largely time spent alone and I cannot do much else besides sit.
Well… I sat and did my breathing while listening to an mp3 of nature sounds. A forest stream, my favorite. I performed the Two Powers meditation and found my center… And then I went to my sacred space, my mental grove. I came from my childhood bed, turned left down the hall, stepped out onto the grass and followed the cliff down, West. I passed the skunk cabbage and the tractor path to the pond and found my way under the canopy of massive trees that covered the space near where the Kayaderosseras passed our home.
I sat, a distance from the creek, and watched.
Artio entered from the left side of my view, from the East. She walked with a Bear, her self as well. Bear was a deep red-brown as was Her long, wavy hair. She wore a loose white gown and walked barefoot through the creek.
She sat up on the crossing log and played her toes through the clear water. Bear, too, played. She rolled and splashed a moment, playing with the pebbles shimmering under the water.
Artio then turned to face me, smiling. She was radiant. Bear approached and all my focus was on her. I could feel pressure, like the air had all been compressed down on me. I had felt this before, when Bear came to me and mauled me, tore at me.
This time Bear did press down on me. Her massive head was all I could see. Teeth and claws and blood filled my vision but also an embrace, a mother’s lapping of the tongue. Playful and gentle shoving. The shoving intensified, pushing me in lazy arcs like a dog with a ball. Then it was toward Her. Best pushed and pushed til I sat at Her feet and She sat both before me and beside me.
Artio spoke, sitting on that log, looking down at us. Her voice was soft and motherly.
“You were seeking me.”
I thought of saying words but I didn’t… Or I couldn’t. I felt that sort of… Black miasma swirling around my mouth like chains of viscous wind.
“You are beautiful.”
“You are not strong…”
“…but you will be.”
And then I awoke, seated on the bus.
I am still reeling a bit from the experience but it certainly affirms some elements I’ve been aware of. My desire to be beside Her, to serve Her. My desire to grow. Her encouragement fills my heart so much. And Bear, so aggressive and so loving. Every encounter with Bear is terrifying or nurturing or both. I both cherish and fear every encounter.
This was the first time I can recall seeing Her so clearly, hearing her voice. Bear’s force has been stronger in the past but never before had I sat so close to Her shining radiance.
It was a hell of a day to start a Wednesday, I tell you that.