I am often attracted to following dry beds. It is often a good place to hunt for stones and most times they lead to interesting places. Following them in the right direction carries the promise of finding water and is also a reminder of the returning rains which will fill the beds again.
As I travel this path today, looking for stones to use in my jewelry and other creative endeavors, it occurs to me that I am walking among some of the most ancient of beings. Water is, of course, primordial, but it is forming and transforming on a constant basis and in perpetual motion. You can never stand in the same river twice, right? But neither can you stand in the same lake. The water evaporates and is replaced by rains and runoff.
But rock. That's another story. It too, of course, is ever changing but it is for the most part imperceptible not just to the eye but to a lifetime, a span of lifetimes. Birthed from the molten liquids of the earth, it hardened over millions of years. As the earth's crust moved, shifted, collided forming mountains and valleys. Over millions of years, water and wind have been the ever present busy bodies working to break it back down. If rock stopped forming, eventually it would all end up back in the ocean. Once again a planet of water.
These layers took several millions of years to form. And several million more to end up as the rubble in the bottom of this river bed.
If I came back here in 5, 20, 100 years, the changes would be practically indiscernible to me.
The mountains have a spirit as all things do. They have seen almost everything in the history of the planet. They are a spirit of calm and patience. A reminder that this too shall pass. And they will will be here long after it has.
As I look up I see two caves and wonder if I stayed here long enough, who would emerge? Brother coyote? Sister fox? How do we know who is brother or sister? Sometimes I hear the moon, sun or sky being referred to as mother or father interchangeably. After sitting with it for awhile this is what I was told.
What you experience during the first half of the day is Mother Spirit because the dawn gives birth to the sun and a new day. Everything during the second half is Father Spirit for he plants the seed for the promise of a new day. The day is not necessarily split into two equal halves at a precise time. This change between the two is fluid and more of a feeling than a hard rule.
If you see something during an unusual time of day such as a nocturnal owl during the morning that is its shadow self. The mountains are the ancient ancestors while the plants and animals are more recent ancestors. The aunties and uncles.
Earth, wind, fire and water are the spirits of change, potentiality, what may be. They each change and are changed by one another.
I returned to camp and read some more of Ritual by Some. So I will leave you with some quotes from his grandfather I found interesting and hope you do too.
"Because they do not yet have ears that hear, nor eyes that see what cannot be seen and cannot be heard."
"Do not let the desires of physical satisfaction temper your warriorship. Remember, our ancestors are spirits. They feed their mind, and that is why they can do things beyond our comprehension."
"The body is but a garment we give far too much attention to. Leave your body alone and it will align itself to the needs of the spirit that you are."