Eyes wide open at 4:45 a.m. and a gnarly-nervous tension through my flesh...body’s accompaniment to winter’s heart of darkness.
It is the work of the season to enter winter’s ebony cocoon. Soul work requires the jettison of form (i.e. roles) in order to give permission to the new and unknown. Sleep deep. Suckle the dream. Create a space for the unknown to drop in and germinate. There’s nothing new in this metaphor except for the urgent necessity for women to: DO. IT. A potent energy swirls out there, whether you point to our place on the cusp of the Mayan calendar 2012 or the Dali Lama's recent comment: "The world will be saved by western woman." Whether it's the alarming scene of an ice berg calving or the acidification of our seas.
This severance from home and husband is born of a series of events with the wild over the past few years that culminated in an unprecedented encounter with four cougars while on a hike in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. A mother and three yearling cubs were napping on a sunny south-facing slope on a still-snowy mountainside in early April. I caught them unawares when I came around the ridge above them about 30 feet. Teak the Lab saw them first; the hair on her neck stood straight up. Mother puma halted me with her stare as the cubs took flight one at a time, jumping a stream and disappearing up a steep cliff side. Two minutes of fear, exhilaration and awe. Her brood safely gone, she turned, stepped onto a log that crossed that stream and turned back to me with the fiercest, most stunning snarl and show of canines. What would have once passed as a warning I later realized was a training session. As if to say, "Watch me, this is how it's done." As if to remind me that the entire gamut of skills will be needed in the work ahead.
Winter alone...a necessity born at the confluence of four pumas and a soul with work to do. Thoreau only got half of the equation when he said, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” In women is the preservation of the wild.