East Aurora & Niagara Falls
After finally getting a full night’s sleep, I awoke in the most deliciously comfortable bed to a beautiful sunny day ~ my one free day during the tour! I took my time in getting up for the day, and eventually made my way downstairs to greet Barbara. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast together and shared stories from our lives ~ stories of adventure, stories of resilience, and stories of the beautiful spiritual journey that we both share in common. Sitting on the porch was a delight, just like it is at home, and I was so grateful for having this leisurely time to connect with my beautiful friend and sister. It’s only in the spacious times that we begin to open deeper and share the stories of our lives that help others to really appreciate all that we have become through the challenges and mysteries of this beautiful journey of life. Listening to these kinds of stories just fills me up! It was a wonderful way of starting the day.
After our conversation came to a close, we planned our day’s adventure: visiting Niagara Falls! Having never been in this area, I was excited to visit one of the most powerful waterfalls in North America, and to connect with the energy of the water. I was also excited to share the 13th Rite of the Munay-Ki with Barbara ~ The Rite of the Womb ~ and had proposed doing this at Niagara Falls. Being a lover of ceremony and ritual, I’d spend every day of my life honoring the sacred if possible ~ and most days I *do* spend at least a small amount of time in sacred honoring. The idea of sharing this powerful healing energy with my beloved sister in such a magnificent place stirred every part of me, and she loved the idea. It was less than an hour’s drive to Niagara Falls, and though it was busy with the tourism of late summer, we found a parking space only a few blocks from the park. Barbara led me to the path along the Niagara River, and we made our way in the baking delicious sun.
The Niagara River’s waters were the fiercest rapids I had ever seen, and the energy of the current was so strong even at 20 feet away that it was dizzying. The water was frenzied and wild, frothing and icy blue, and most certainly deliciously cold. As we approached the point in the path where the water plummeted over the edge, falling below in its magnificence, I entered into a deep connection with this place. This is a holy, sacred, amazing place, for sure ~ and I was moved to tears by the unbelievable power and force of the waters. It was challenging to enter into a deep space of prayer here, surrounded by tourists and the capitalist culture that surrounds all tourist destinations, but in my heart, I understood why this place has become such a powerful destination. Though it’s a bucket list place and many go to see it because it’s a world wonder, there is a deeper call that most don’t recognize or understand fully: the call to be in the presence of something so magnificent that we feel small, truly insignificant beside of something to powerful, ancient, enduring, and unbelievably beautiful. The truth is that we are surrounded by magnificence all the time, and we become numb to it, distracted by the happenings of daily living. Though our American culture would like us to believe that we are dominant over the natural world, that we are brilliant and powerful and in charge, being in the presence of such an incredible place in the natural world reminds us that we are merely one part of the interdependent web of life, and that we are fragile, vulnerable, and at the mercy of forces far greater than ourselves. Amazing!
In my heart, I was moved to tears in wondering how anyone could witness such an incredible place and choose anything but a deep commitment to the protection and care of the natural world. How we could continue to want to focus on the moneymaking aspects of something so beautiful, and neglect the deeply rooted problems our culture is facing in protecting the waters, the land, the air, the forests, and all the natural world. I may never fully understand the hungry ghost of greed that pulls the mind in the direction of wanting to possess, control, and profit from things at such immense expense. And with that in mind, I was grateful to cross the Niagara River bridge and walk toward Luna Island in order to share the Rite of the Womb with Barbara. She led the way, knowing the park well, and we found a small trail that led us to the river’s edge – it was just what we were looking for!!
After gathering a jar of water ~ the special request of my beloved Helene ~ I sang to the Niagara River and to the forest, calling the energies of the land to be with us for our ceremony. I set up a simple altar, and we honored the seven directions. As I shared this beautiful and powerful healing Rite with my friend, I felt the aliveness of everything all around, and was in utter awe at the magic of what was happening between us. What an honor to share this energy, destined to bring healing to the Divine Feminine in all its manifestations, in such a powerful and sacred place. Once our ceremony was complete, we made our way back into the thick of the flow of tourists, and back to the car.
What a day! I bow in humble gratitude to all the steps that have come before this time that have led me here. I offer my heart’s gratitude to my teachers and the wise ones who have guided my path along the way. Today is a day that will live in my heart always! Once I return home to the Mountain, Helene and I will have a healing and honoring ceremony around our Medicine Wheel to offer gratitude, prayers, and blessings to the Niagara River and Falls, praying that our world will awaken to the reality that the wise ones at Standing Rock have been making so heard in the past year: WATER IS LIFE.