Elk for Dessert

Elk for Dessert

I awoke feeling out-of-sorts, a little off. I had a nice yoga practice but that didn’t remedy the feeling. I worked a couple hours and then felt Nature calling. Strongly. The sort of call I dare not ignore the magnetic force pulling me.

Heavy clouds threatened rain, but radar showed a decent window of dry air so I loaded up the fly fishing gear and headed to one of my favorite creeks in the Smokies. It was another relatively warm day for late February and I expected mayflies and caddis to be hatching after a week of higher temperatures.

As is often the case, I ‘listen’ to a place on the creek that’s calling me: an idea pops into my mind, someone tells me where the hoards of fly fishers are and I avoid that area like the plague,  or I simply feel how my body gets excited when I think of different places. That’s what happened today.

A couple weeks ago, I discovered an area new to me. When I thought of that place today, my body felt like it lit up with electricity. A long hike? Okay. Let’s go!

During the nearly two miles to the entry point, I worked to keep my mind quiet. I simply asked to be shown what I needed to see and invited animals, ancestors, angels…all the fun friends…along for the hike. 

Evidently the trout felt the same electrical current that I did because they were on fire! Mayflies were hatching in the first large pool I visited and the splashes and leaps had me jumping as I sat eating a snack. I caught and released two rainbows there and then put away the rod and sat on the green, mossy bank and ate an orange. If I catch one or two fish in a pool, I move on so everyone can get back to doing what they do best—gorging on insects.

Every trout I caught today was fat and strong-looking. I think they must be chunky from a week of sucking in massive quantities of hatching insects. I felt honored to be in their presence and sent them all on their way with massive amounts of love and appreciation.

After nearly three hours, I noticed the sky was especially dark and rain was probably coming soon. I found an exit from the creek through the woods and connected with the trail in my downward hike out. It started raining, but only lightly like gentle kisses on my cheeks.

Follow the energy is a bit of guidance I keep receiving over the past couple of months. When I feel tired or ‘off’ I just follow the energy of my body and mind and notice what’s happening. On the way down the trail, I had over two miles to track the energy in my body. It had completely changed from when I started, when I questioned if I should even be doing anything. I felt amazing! Light, energized, clear. Just three hours earlier I thought I was possibly coming ‘down with something.’ Yeah…down is right. Too much computer. Too many spreadsheets. Too much in my head. All downers to my energy.

One of the things I’ve been exploring, with a mentor from the UK, is that powerful place where my skills, talents, and passion intersect with the needs of the world. I’m wanting to feel passion about the work I’m doing, feel I’m making a difference, connecting with what I love and sharing it in a way that is helpful to others. 

Today, as I was walking out, I heard: Follow the energy, how have you changed? When I listened again to my body and felt the huge shift within myself, I felt that part of the answer came clear. Be outside more. Interact with Nature more. This is where I feel completely whole, completely at one with myself and all life. Do this! 

That sounds great, right? The part I am missing is where me feeling this amazing, after 3 hours of Nature exposure, helps others. Maybe just shifting my energy, shifts the energy around me and thus helps others. Or maybe the Earth feels my love and that’s where my skills and talents touch the needs of the world. Maybe taking people outside and helping them deepen with Nature is the way forward. I honestly don’t know. But I do know that when I follow the energy, every time I take myself outside, into Nature, I am healed in ways I don’t fully understand.

Anything that helps me feel so in tune with myself and Nature, that helps me experience Oneness, and clears my mind and body so completely, is my way forward. I don’t have to know how all of that helps the world. For now, I’m just going to keep doing it. Keep hiking into creeks and rivers and dancing with trout and water and moss….and receiving the bounty of beauty that surrounds and infuses me. And saying thank you, thank you, thank you.

As I drove through the park in a post-wading blissful state, I stopped for an elk jam. I pulled over and from inside my car observed the herd. I heard myself say, This is like dessert after a perfect meal. Elk for dessert. 

I was fully fed and nurtured as I hiked and waded over five miles. I feel alive, hours later, as I sit watching the mountains and feeling gratitude for such powerful Medicine.

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