I recently spent five days in the wild on the Pacific Coast of British Columbia in Canada. Twenty-four hours were spent fasting alone on a small patch of remote ragged beach boundaried by the sea to the north and dense forest to the south.
I was curious about my personal wilderness - my unexplored territory - and what I might find there. Completely unplugged and basically off the grid, I got to dance solo with possibility and imagination.
The results? Reconnection. A greater sense of courage and purpose. Insights about the nature of fear.
The tide is always coming in and going out
It does not sleep
It is always fully awake
Alive to itself,
The sea creatures,
Its own salty unpredictability
And the moon.
The sea does not apologize
Fulfilling its destiny
Breaking across the shore
One small wave at a time.
The stone does not ponder the meaning of its stone-ness
Does not question which side to show,
Which best foot to put forward
Does not break its stony silence to explain.
This tree does not prefer one leaf over another,
turning over new ones to make up for its shady past
It makes shade, or not -
Depending on the sun.
These empty shells do not cry out against emptiness
Afraid to scatter the beach, one like another
They do not clamour to be fulfilled
Or claim to be unique among shells, denying
their crusty exteriors and longing for vulnerability.
The gulls have taken everything from them, as gulls do
And they lay open
Barnacled together in jagged intimacy, certain of their sandy future
filled each night by the sea.
Ducks slip into the night dark sea making splashes that bounce bear-sized echoes
across the bay
Honk their loud intent, bigger than their britches
Leaving feathered night terrors in their inky wake.
In the holy darkness, we are not asked to quest
Simply to listen.
What we hear is our own slow heartbeat
Answering the tide.
- Vicki 2014
What comes to you in the still dark centre that is you? What is your inner voice whispering?