March 2, 2015
Karen Joy Fletcher
My practice is Enchantment. When I enter into a state of enchantment, I enter “Narnia”, I enter a magical world, the Faerie world, or as JR Tolkien aptly named it, I enter into Middle Earth.
As a child, I loved to play outside. I have a twin sister and we grew up in the countryside of Massachusetts with 3 acres of woods, fields, and swamps all around us. This was our magical fairyland, our daily entrance into Middle Earth. From our warm home, once we put on our coats and hopped outside, the crisp breath opened our lungs and breathed magic into our young, bright blue eyes. So many terrains to play in and create in! Sometimes we were foxes, digging tunnels in the snow under a row of fir trees, moving to and fro in our dens and venturing for food and adventure into the vast snowy plains outside. Other times when the snow was frozen hard on top, we turned into fairies, so light we could prance and dance along the surface of the snow. Other times we were explorers, swinging in the vines of the swamp, singing songs as we meandered and discovered the delights of autumn reds, oranges and bright yellow leaves, the spongy glee and scent of moist, vibrant moss, the occasional treasured sighting and awe of a pink lady slipper flower poking up, solitary yet surrounded in the forest’s quiet stillness and beauty. The games were infinite, our joy contagious and our rosy cheeks smiled as we danced in our explorations of Middle Earth, and then returning back ….to our earthly human life as we ran or sauntered or skipped home for dinner.
These times were training grounds, preparations for remembrance and guidance for my journeys back again and again to Middle Earth. For me, Middle Earth is the magic and enchantment of Nature. Anyone can enter into Middle Earth – there are infinite portals. The one requirement is to be, become enchanted.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, the portals to enchantment/Middle Earth are so rich. To the North we have majestic snowcapped Baker Mountain, to the East, Cascadia and all her glorious peaks, to the south we have powerful Rainier Mountain and to the West lay the Lands of OM (Olympic Mountains). These are vast Wild Lands where Master OG (Old Growth) radiates, silent yet pulsing a vibration, a song that, if open and if listening with your Heart, you will hear and will be lured into Her world.
My practice is Enchantment. I live in the city, yet gaze upon and FEEL our mountain glory daily. When in the city, I seek out our abundant parks and tall cedars, maples, Douglas firs and nuzzle my nose within their mossy coats, practice my Qigong under their fractal magic, wrap my ropes around their trunks and dance, and wrap them around strong branches and hang, spin, and dangle – free and upside down — another portal, a new perspective, an opening in my spine and a smile, grin on my face.
Making regular pilgrimages to our Wilderness is essential for a powerful journey to Middle Earth, to trance and commune with the enchanted Beings of the Mountains and lose myself in rapture, joy and true Love. This is my current practice of weaving the figure 8 path, to and fro the Wilderness and back into the city. The path is a pilgrimage and as I travel, I pause…. make side trips to rivers, forests, magical portals along the way to share my greetings, love and ask for the blessings, teachings, play of the Forest. This past weekend I returned Hohme to the Land of OM. On my journey, I stopped through Crescent Lake and footed a pathway into greet and pay my respects to Master OG and oh, what immense magic and glory awaited me!
As John Muir says, “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” And, “Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” This is the immensity of power, potential, rapture to be experienced when walking through the living portals of our Friendly Giants, our Trees. I walk, entering deeper into the mossy, green world and the Trees reveal themselves… a living, pulsing Beingness…I sense their Presence, their silent dance and flow, swaying in the mountain winds. My delight builds like a growing, rising flame within. My mantra to the Forest, sprinkled with laughter is “You are so amazing!!!! You are sooo Beautiful!!!!” Tears of Love flow from my eyes and add to the moisture on my cheeks and lips from the mossy kisses bestowed amongst the trees and the tender moist strokes shared with the waving shiny ferns. I know I have entered the Kingdom, the Queendom of Middle Earth, the world of Wonder.
Mick reminded me early on in our friendship to venture out from the sitty (the city walls where people sit too much) and into the Wild, and to go often. There’s a spell in the city, and entering into a Forest wilderness is our true way Home. And going Home leads us to the practice of Nome. The stepping into enchantment is the pathway into the land of the “no me” – I forget myself in my rapture and joy and delight of the forest, at one with the beauty…seeking and receiving so much Beauty. My eyes open ever more and shine ever brighter drinking in Nature’s radiance and Qi, and in return giving Love Love Love, Joy and appreciation. This is part of the “show me” of Nome training, the pathway of “no me” to show me to “Know Me”. As I immerse myself fully and am open to our forests teachings to show me, I re-emerge from Middle Earth knowing ME and drinking our glorious Song of Life.
~ Karen Fletcher