The Spirit of the Land



I have been very ill for a week with a raging fever, blinding headaches so severe that for days on end I kept my face to the wall and the covers over my head to keep out the light, and yet even then no peace or possibility for uninterrupted sleep.


This illness is intimately related to my body’s profound intolerance to sudden inexplicable NOISE. Hyper alert and rigid, poised for the next slam of door or cupboard, loud beeps at midnight, high pitched squeaks, unexplained clumsy thuds, ramming wood into a fire that is not lit until I am ready for bed at night, (and is therefore a totally useless form of heat in a freezing house) my body has been living on scream, and uninterrupted sleep has evaded me for two months.


In heart pounding agony I begged for compromise. I yelled. Wept, sometimes uncontrollably. Towards the end, sleep deprivation created such a frightening internal state that I thought I was losing my mind.


Initially I was convinced I could survive living with this insanity, but I was wrong. I suffer from both PTSD and a Generalized Anxiety Disorder both of which create an internal chaos when triggered by sudden inexplicable shattering sounds that are impossible to describe unless one suffers from these disorders.


This state of affairs first stole my energy and then swallowed my joy. I have become one of the walking dead.


When this final physical flu “event” struck after weeks of daily headaches, heart pounding, dizziness, weakness, cascading weight loss, stumbling, falling, (just a few symptoms of sleep deprivation) a deep black despair penetrated every bone, sinew, muscle, paralyzing me. At that point my body made her final decision. “Get out, she screeched like a banshee – get out!”


And mercifully, through an act of uncommon Grace, I will be getting out.


Yesterday, after receiving news that my departure will occur soon, my body allowed herself to experience a depth of exhaustion she has been carrying for two months without being able to feel it. My poor body relaxed into this hard narrow bed that makes my spine ache – a military man’s bed. My eyes became heavy as I lay there (armed with protective professional ear protectors that I wear as long as I can stand them) and I felt myself drifting away as if on a great sea.


Blessed sleep…


Even the hideous clamor that shattered this moment of repose couldn’t kill the dream…


I am with a generous and kind Being (without form and yet is also somehow there in some tangible way that I can see), who is singing the most beautiful poem to me as he is preparing some kind of Feast…I am following his words because I want desperately to remember the poem. It is cold and we are outdoors but I am warm and we are on the land that I love so much, land that borders a sea green red-willowed river.


A sudden hideous BLAST awakens us, destroying the memory of most of the beautiful poem and song, but even as my two little dogs and I jump out of our skins involuntarily (now a daily/sometimes hourly norm), I am left with these final words from the poem:


“For I am the Spirit of this Land, and you shall dine with me.”


I kept repeating the words over and over in my head believing “Him” even as the rest of the day deteriorated into the usual chaos. Even today I feel as if I was touched by the Spirit of Place in a way that is beyond my comprehension.



Working notes:


I have always been a dreamer. Precognition, telepathy and the like are simple realities in my life as is the “knowing” that comes from understanding that this kind of dream speaks “truth” with a capital “T”. That I was given a gift by the Spirit of this Land is a given. To be touched by the force of Nature is to be gifted by a kind of Unconditional Love that “passes understanding.”


What is particularly interesting to me as a feminist (eco – feminist) is that this Being is a male aspect of Nature. I am usually visited by the Feminine face of Nature in one of her myriad manifestations. In fact, with the exceptions of certain male deer, and most recently a beloved male bear I have never had a dream like this one.


I am struck by this apparent anomaly. I think the most important lesson for me in this dream is to keep my heart open to Nature as a whole, S/HE who embraces both genders equally. It is my earnest prayer that I will be able to retain this opened mind. I am particularly grateful to one man who brought it to my attention that too often I lean towards the feminine and “forget” that men and women are truly equal in either human or divine guise.


Thank you Dave.


A second lesson is self – evident: Body, Soul and Spirit are One. To wound one is to wound them all. Perhaps, forever.


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