About

Reid Dickie, writer/shaman

Winnipeg, MB, Canada 

 

REID DICKIE

From a deep and varied background in media, art and nature mysticism, I write fiction and non-fiction about shamanism, history, heritage issues, travel, spirituality, music and aboriginal cultures.

  MY MISSION STATEMENT

As a professional writer, I shall honour the strategy that informs my client’s audience in a voice they trust and a style they understand.

As a personal writer, I shall honour the strategies defined by the resourcefulness of my mind, the waves of my heart and the wiles of my spirit.

           I seem to have tapped into the source of an endless stream of ideas that flow like quicksilver through my mind, some of them getting captured and sent far and asunder in my own words. As Terence McKenna said, “Imagination is where we are coming from and imagination is where we are going to.” I have honed my imagination to a fine nib that dips into the rainbow ink of many worlds, leaving behind a sometimes elegant, sometimes smeared trail of word crumbs. If they ever help anybody find their way home, my job is done.

          Not only am I lucky regarding my easy connection to the creative source, I am also lucky in love. Linda, my beautiful one, and I were together 33 years. They were blissful years filled with love, life and creative energy. On December 25, 2009, a rampaging cancer took Linda’s life. Her bravery in the face of death was inspiring then and still is today. I was incredibly fortunate to spend my life with Linda.

        Some of what I write on this blog is about Linda and our life together. Some of it is how I dealt with my grief over Linda’s death and how shamanism helped me with that process. It is also the story of old souls and new, and how they found me in my loneliest places and helped me home. I am grateful to all my allies, organic and inorganic, who have abetted my transformation. I recommend you check out my FAQ for a deeper understanding of my shamanic journey.

        This blog is my magazine to inform and infuriate, hopefully doing both often, and to share what’s going on in my mind and my spirit. Like me, it’s a diverse forum. As personal directives for 2011, both Chris and I have signs above our desks that say, FIND YOUR AUDIENCE. Thanks for being a part of mine and for reading Reid. Now here’s a dream I had…

Am I Dreaming?

Reid Dickie

            My first night home from the hospital five days after double bypass heart surgery yields this visionary dream. Virtually incapacitated by the surgery I am in no shape whatsoever to act out the physicality my dream portrays. Yet I seem to need this activity. I dream it vividly and remember an amazing amount of detail. Normally I remember extremely few dreams. I suspect this dream was a response to the horror my body had just endured – the opening of the chest, sawing bone, stopping the heart, breathing with artificial breath, reconstructing arteries with veins – a violence and violation done to my body while my mind was sleepy, uncomprehending. Even now when I read this, I feel refreshed somehow, quickened, challenged. I share this with you aware of how open and vulnerable it leaves my psyche. Let that sharing indicate the depth of my compassion for you.

            The morning air is fresh as I race up out of the underpass into the light. Overhead tower the steel and glass edifices of downtown. In the air is a swirling white mist, no it’s snow, no, it’s floating cotton. I don’t know what it is. The streets are utterly deserted. I am blissful in the new day. I enter several of the modern buildings, listen to the echoes of my songs in their cavernous halls, peel up long floor mats, and shape them into abstract designs. I slide down chrome banisters and race up marble stairs utterly alone.

The first person I encounter is a man working on an oddly rolling lawn. With a broom, he is sweeping the night blossoms off the green grass. There is a large pile of colourful blooms already. Around him race about a dozen tiny dogs, smaller than Teedy (our little cat). They are unusual colours for dogs: blues, greens, bright oranges and some have tiny people faces, others have cow faces. Some have long frizzy tails that flow out behind them like plumes. Others have slim tails curled into tight coils. The dogs are exotic, rare and expensive. They notice my arrival before the sweeper does and start making small weird noises at me, not barks but expensive dog sounds. I am able to shoo them away by shaking small floor mats at them that cause each dog to dissolve into a colourful pile of dust. When the sweeper sees me, he rushes toward the building and alerts a security guard to my presence. I amble away from the dogs and the sweeper.

The landscape is swooping and phony as I approach The Forks. The river flows past me fast and dark. I encounter a number of small silent children all dressed in white and aligned in precise rows. Each child holds a tiny flag. There are a number of people performing some kind of tai chi or yoga on living grass mats in a stony area. I watch them as I pass by. I encounter a tea market. Suddenly, as if in Istanbul, dozens of grisly old men with white beards and soft fabric hats are seated cross-legged at small tables on which are piled perfect conical mounds of teas of various colours and textures. There are rich exotic aromas wafting up from the teas. I am the only customer in the market. I ask for Puccoon tea. None of the tea vendors has Puccoon tea and they all dismiss my query with a hand motion, repeating “no no no no.”

Next to the tea market is a set of low bleachers. Two men are seated on the bleachers, one is autistic, the other his keeper. Suddenly the autistic man stands and shouts “T THREE”. All of the vendors turn toward the man whose keeper stands and, with a dampening downward motion of his hands, gestures to the old men. The keeper has very long flowing hair and I walk over to him and run my hand over his hair. It tingles in my hand and I say “thank you” to him before departing.

Hitler is walking along with a grumpy look on is face, kicking stones, wearing a bright pink Nazi uniform with the words DIN-DIN where his name would have been. He ignores me as I pass. When I look back he is pulling himself along the ground on his belly. There are other characters from history lurking about but they are more nameless impressions than flesh and blood beings.

I am running along the river, singing at the top of my lungs and I reach Osborne Street, which is lacking the bridge. So I leap across the Assiniboine and stroll toward the red brick building at Roslyn and Osborne. The building is dilapidated and seemingly empty. I climb up five flights of an outside fire escape and encounter several clowns. One is urinating into a corner so I do something I’ve always wanted to do – I pushed him forward into his own urine flow. The clown doesn’t react in any way. I look over the edge of the railing and see that there is a series of ledges that I begin to jump onto, each taking me closer to the deserted street below. This is an exhilarating ride to the street.

At River and Osborne there is a circle of tough-looking young homeless men playing a volleyball-like game in a circle. I decide to avoid them and proceed down Rosyln Road. As I get near the ruined Shoppers Drug Mart, I hear someone coming up behind me on a bicycle saying “Good morning fucker. You fucker. You should be afraid of me you fucker.”

There are two young men on the bike. The one at the front pedaling is the one cussing at me, trying to scare me. Behind him on the seat, the other man is wearing a pair of strange eyeglasses with thick white plastic frames and rectangular lenses. He is silent but watchful. I turn and begin walking toward the pair; the one is still attempting to frighten me. I start singing as I look him directly in the eye.

“Mama loves shortenin, shortenin, shortenin, Mama loves shortenin, shortenin bread.”

He becomes confused when he realizes I’m not afraid of him. They stop and try to turn on the bike but I manage to grab an old-fashioned zippered three-ring school binder that the silent one has been leaning against. I open the binder and tiny ornamental glass birds, slightly larger than thimbles, fly out and form a flock around us. They make small brittle glassy sounds. The man in the glasses says “My birds, my birds” as he excitedly grasps for them in the air. One by one the birds drop to the pavement, smashing into pieces. I walk away and look back to see the two men standing in the centre of a glistening circle of broken glass birds that refract the morning sun.

Later, as I am strolling through a busy flea market on Portage Avenue near Garry, I see this pair again, sitting disinterestedly behind two tables of junk. A pair of shelving units behind them holds an array of similar items. They don’t see me approach from behind so I push over the shelves on top of them and their tables, smashing and clattering flea market items fill the air. When they recognize me, they want to fight but I make both their noses and several fingers on each hand bloodlessly explode. My last view of them reveals them attempting to find their missing noses with their missing fingers. I fixed them up.

I am on my way home to the forest and must pass by many derelict buildings that once were a warehouse district. I encounter few people. I find a set of three dinner-plate sized caulkware wall plaques of blue elephant heads bound up with masking tape. I carry them for a while before disposing of them somehow. I am reaching the forest now and it is my neighbourhood with the elm trees all in lines but there are no houses or streets or sidewalks, only the giant canopy of ordered green trees. As I pass the trees my guardian spirit Webbed Flight steps out from behind each one, smoking a long pipe. He offers me the pipe saying “oiln, oiln, oiln” – his word for smoke.

I am home.

June 20, 2002

THE DAY BEFORE YESTERDAY

Reid Dickie

PAST LIVES? YOU BET!

RETURN WITH US NOW AND

 FOLLOW THE SPIRIT LINES THROUGH

 REID’S TEN MOST RECENT INCARNATIONS

             Between 1994 and 1998, I went on hundreds of shamanic journeys during which I met and engaged a pantheon of spirits. By using 50,000-year-old shamanic techniques involving meditation, intent, drumming-induced trance, power animals and spirit helpers I have discerned several of my recent incarnations. Largely due to Maug, an old tree spirit who turned up in one of my early journeys and still consistently helps me, I was supplied with varying degrees of detail ranging from scant to full-blown for each embodiment. Some dates are very specific, others less so. Working backward from the present: 

Reid Dickie, since 1949

Family spirits have been integral to my shamanic practice from the beginning. Grandmothers and fathers, aunts, cousins, Dad and beautiful Linda have aided and abetted me. My mother, whose death spurred my curiosity so intensely it eventually found shamanism, has been a major spirit helper from the beginning. With intent, I encountered her on several early journeys and she has helped me often since. This is a verbatim report from my journal entry about my shamanic journey on March 30, 1995:

“Eagle, silent after initial greeting, flew me to the Sky Realm (Upper World). I could sense my energy turning into pure light. This usually occurs as we approach the Sky Realm. My soul begins to shift from energy “ball” to simply light. I landed behind Mom who turned when I spoke her name. We hugged and sensed it was terrific to be together again. I asked about Dayna Lee and Mom reached down and picked up my infant sister. They are never very far from each other. She’s an amazingly cute baby, grinning happily all the time.

“I asked Mom what it was like to lose a baby child and she said both her and Dad were physically sick as a result. There was disbelief and so very much grief. She said she had felt grief when Dad was reported Missing-In-Action on D-Day but she somehow knew he would return. Losing Dayna Lee was more final yet Mom always felt she’d be reunited with her daughter.

“Then almost a year later we had you. I said I really appreciated the pain she went through to have me on that hot August morning, both of us red-faced as the sun. She said every moment of labour was a kind of ecstasy for her because she knew it would result in a wonderful object of love. Then she had me re-experience my own birth.

“It began with a thundering sound that I thought was a drum but in fact was my Mom’s and my hearts beating together within the confines of her body. I knew I had to leave her body and it seemed a familiar rather than terrifying experience. I felt the fluid drain away from around me and my head being squeezed as I passed through her loins. There was no feeling of being ejected or rejected by her but more of a slipperiness that we both shared. I wasn’t fearful but opened my mouth wide as if to gulp in air or something during my passage out of her.

“My tears flowed freely as I lay in trance experiencing this. I felt a sudden burst of pressure then I was in a cooler environment, shivering and crying. But it was more a combination of laughter and crying. That emotional mix was replaced by sheer laughter from us both, hers a new mother, mine as new baby. I felt the new air filling me up and wanted only to feel the warmth of her body, which came very quickly, feeling her arms holding me, seeing her red-moon face and feeling the love it beamed at me. At that moment, I recall the sensation of feeling ensouled, a fullness that somehow completed me making an end to this part of the journey and beginning a new one. I remember the fragile tenuous nature of soul at first but as the moments passed and Mom’s arms encircled me, the soul settled into my being. I was here to stay for a while.”

Pierre Rabine

Frenchman, born about 1924, who died during WWII at a young age, about 20. He was killed by what we call “friendly fire” at Dieppe.

Bess

Irish woman who lived to be in her 90s. I felt like an old old woman, wrinkled with white moustache and bright shiny eyes. She died in the early 1910s.

Huckola

German peasant farmer who lived for about 40 years in south east Germany and died of a disease that ravaged the area about 1820

Male Lion

On Serengeti Plain in Africa for about 40 years. I was surprised at inter-species travel.

 Syan

Male Pygmy lived in dense jungle to be very old – in his 80s. He made me sense smallness in the immensity of the jungle. I felt extremely content in this form.

Maug

“My first meeting with Maug was reported in my journey on July 31, 1995 on Lughnasadh Eve. I was sitting on the ground between two towering spruce trees, I encounter a grown black bear, not my usual power bear, which passes in front of me front left to right. In a moment, the bear changed form into a grey haired woman wearing a brown sack like dress and a brown shawl over her shoulders. As she approached me, she said her name was Maug and that I knew her by another name – Aspen Smoke. She said she was born in 1581. She is the person I was until 1633 when she was burned alive for being too successful a sorcerer.

“She sat down slightly to my right. She told me of her life. When she was 52 years old, she died after having spent her life alone in a hovel in a dense Austrian forest of oak, spruce and ash. She was a recluse by choice, rarely seeing people, preferring the company of trees tho in the forest she did have a small number of other women acquaintances who shared her need for solitude.

“Maug was orphaned by a disease that killed both her parents when she was about nine. Maug escaped the disease that killed her parents by “holding live coals in her hands” and carrying the scars for life. The large scars on her small palms and fingers shone bright as sun every time she washed her hands. When she clapped, sparks would arise like effervescent fireflies. The scars saved her life. They were in exchange for the plague. The trees told her what to do. With that, she placed her palms against my forehead and a powerful jolt of energy entered me. I fought not to fall back from the force.

“Thereafter she’d been raised and cared for by a wise woman named Hebra who lived in a hovel in the forest. Maug inherited the hovel when Hebra died ten years later. It was with Hebra’s guidance that Maug developed her rapport with trees.

“Maug went into great detail about how to understand the language of the trees and bushes” “Know that the wind is the bucket the voices of the trees echo in.” Often trees talk to each other but more often, they talk to whoever is about: birds, animals, people, rocks, clouds, etc. Trees will also give you a warning of approaching danger. “Be aware of that when you hike on your next trip,” she said very explicitly. When I asked her how I was to understand what the trees say, she said to remember the jolt from her hands. I’m not sure what that means but it was a memorable sensation from her scarred palms.

“Maug told me of the children and babies of other women in the forest that she had healed or guided toward safety when they died in infancy. She talked of her general distrust of people, showed me a large glistening pumpkin sitting next to us which connected me to the source of ecstasy when I touched it. She briefly and nonverbally recounted the burning, mentioned the funny name Webbed Flight has given me (Aspen Smoke) and said he was a respected teacher and I was lucky have him.

“I had asked for Maug’s wisdom and with a small laugh, she said my path was “brittle with love” and it leads me into the clouds and into the earth, darkness and light at once. But I was not to fear, just “look for the path of love in every step and it will rise up before you.”

“Then as suddenly as she arrived, she shifted back into bear form, saying we would meet again but not for sometime. Then she was gone. I sat alone when suddenly Bear was walking toward me. She paw-licked and embraced me saying she thought it was time for me to meet Maug tho it took some coaxing to get her to come to this meeting.

“My next encounter with Maug was six and a half months later on February 17, 1996. A very somber moment ensued. the branches of a blue spruce tree next to me began to rustle and shake. They seemed to give birth to the small greenish figure of an old woman who popped from the branches and landed grinning on the ground. It was Maug. She told me she’d lived in that tree for over 200 years, even in the seed for six years before it germinated.

“Since she was old, she said we should “lean” which we did against another near-by spruce, not hers. I asked about lives before her. She spoke of two incarnations but said she would tell me many more things in the future. I had a feeling not all of them I wanted to know. Maug said to go see your mother, which I did.

“On January 20, 1997, I met Maug in a deep evergreen forest. She materializes from the boughs of a big spruce in a rustling, chuckling sound, a green vapour that solidified into a small white-haired, far-eyed woman as gnarly as the oaks that share this forest. She spoke her quick dry speech, chastising me for whatnot. I like her better than ever.

“I ask if I can ask her some questions. She agrees and I ask, “What have I forgotten about you?” She tells me I know very little about her so she’ll start from the beginning.

“I see her being born on an area of flattened brown grass in a forest, her mother, a dark figure, crouches and liquid flows red from her body. She slides back and a baby appears on the grass followed by another larger red gush of fluid. As soon as the umbilical cord is cut, a whirlwind picks up the newborn and swirls her laughing into the air. She sails high up into the sky toward the warm sun. Giggling on the wings of the whirlwind, that baby flies down to be set ever gently on a lower bough of a large spruce tree. The whirlwind moves on and the dark figure takes the baby off the bough. The midwife assisting is Hebra who, upon seeing the wind lift the child away then set it down gently, knows the baby has special abilities. The child is raised in the forest until she is six when she first sees a horizon which makes her very frightened; so much so that she never wants to leaves the safety of the forest again.

“Hebra taught her the whole world is enchanted with spirits. Every bird, tree, plant, rock, river, cloud and animal has a spirit. She learns to recognize and communicate with these spirits. She learns about the uses of various plants through the spirits that live in them. She says what I have forgotten and all other moderns have forgotten too, is that everything is alive.

“As Maug is making this point, the drum calls me back. We will continue her life story later like on February 16, 1997 I met Maug who appeared in multiple forms from a towering forest of evergreens. I asked her power over infant mortality. She’d been a midwife and could, an hour or two after a birth once the soul was settled into the newborn, tell by placing one hand on the baby’s head the other on the baby’s tailbone, what sort of life the child would have. Positive and negative sensations were the most obvious with realms of subtlety added the longer she held the child. She stated she didn’t really have any power, just predicting abilities. When I mention Dayna Lee, Maug says it was just fate; she had nothing to do with it.

“She told me more of her rapport with trees. Living deep in an old forest, she felt secure amid the trees. They offered her protection and peace. Sometimes she would climb a tree near her house and spend the whole day 50 or 60 feet off the ground, communing with the tree. She had half a dozen such trees she climbed. She mentioned the communication with trees being called “tree prayer.” I thank her as the drum carries me back.”

Isha

Before Maug, our spirit abided with a black African man named Isha (eye-sha) who was a healer and hunter in a small settlement in “Swaziland”. He lived to be in his early 90s, had white hair all his life and rapport with amphibians.

African child

In the southern part of what is now Sahara Desert in 1391 a black baby boy was born. A few weeks later he was eaten by a cloud of carnivorous locusts that were plaguing Africa at that time. The baby had no name yet but was ensouled with our spirit. Then there is a substantial gap before the next embodiment.

Aspen Smoke

About 1200 ago, around 800 AD, (born or died?) a shaman who lived in eastern part of Manitoba spanning the Canadian Shield and the lowlands below. I carry his spirit name as given to me by Webbed Flight.

I post this today, February 12, 2011, marking my late parent’s 69th wedding anniversary. Those crazy kids eloped, got hitched, rode the train to Winnipeg and honeymooned in the Clarendon Hotel on Portage Avenue which today houses an exhibit about the Titanic.

With love, I honour their union for the wondrous opportunities it created in my life and without which this page would be blank.

 

A CUP OF COFFEE WITH THE FOLKS

Reid Dickie

“There is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” – Deepak Chopra

        I had a sister I never knew. Dayna Lee died a year before I was born. She was ten months old.

1965

            She had me on tenterhooks.

Every day, in the week preceding my sixteenth birthday, Mom mentioned the surprise gift she had for me. Day by day, I coerced tidbits of information from her about the mysterious gift.  Mom was way ahead of me, of course. Everything she told me was a red herring.

I came straight home after school on my birthday and found a note on the kitchen landing. “3:15 Darling, Gone to Phil’s for coffee. Love Mom.” I don’t ever remember coming home from school and not finding a note that said where she was if she wasn’t at home.

Phyllis was Mom’s school chum from down the street. Mom lived five miles from where she was born. Phil lived ten miles from her birthplace. They’d been little girls together. Now they were Moms having coffee together.

Frig snack in hand and TV on, I was prone on the couch when the familiar tinkle of the oriental chimes that, for thirty years, ‘rang’ every time anyone opened the door, announced Mom’s arrival.

She gave me a big hug after putting her shoes carefully on the landing and stepping into slippers.

“Phil wishes you happy 16th and a big kiss. Make it a wet one, she said, so…”

Mom lathered up her mouth with her tongue and planted a big wet one on my lips from Phil, and another from her. Laughing, she handed me a towel.

“So when do I get my surprise gift?” I could barely contain my curiosity. Mom’s tantalizing tidbits had worked their necessary magic.

“Just as soon as I get my soda.” She plopped ice cubes into a ceramic coffee mug and poured in fizzy 7-Up.

We went to the couch and she sat next to me. This was important! She wasn’t sitting in Her Chair. The cup of 7-Up sat on the coffee table beside the fruit basket with the beautiful butterfly spread-eagled under glass at the bottom.

“Well, Happy Birthday son.  Dad and I pillow-talked this over and we decided it would be a good idea for you to know this now.” A long pregnant pause.

“Wow! What can this be? I’m enthralled. Umm…”

“Don’t start guessing. Just listen. Back before you were born, Dad and I lived in the village of Margaret, south of Brandon. He was a grain buyer. It was just after the war and we had already started our family. Your sister Dayna Lee was born in September of 1947. She was a happy robust baby, always smiling and laughing, carefree. We were new parents, green and scared, though I did have a good idea of the process having been one of six daughters of a midwife. You know all of this so far, right?”

I nodded. I did know it all…so far.

“This, you don’t know. One bright early May morning in 1948, Dad and I were sitting on the stoop with Dayna Lee, enjoying the sun and the smell of the apple tree in bloom. A stranger came walking down the street toward our house. There weren’t more than 100 people living in Margaret at the time so we knew a stranger when we saw one.

“He was a friendly sort. Spoke right up and introduced himself as James Reid, a writer by trade he told us.”

Mom paused and looked deeply into my eyes. They had named me James Reid.

“He was older than us. I was 35, Dad 30 when Dayna was born. I’d say James Reid was in his early 50s. We invited him in for a cup of coffee. Much obliged, he joined us in our little kitchen. Bruce played with Dayna Lee; I made coffee, set out some cookies and we chatted.

“We talked about the weather and the crops. He asked Dad what occupied him in the little town. We asked about his career as a writer, what he wrote about, his travels. He had seen some very strange places, experienced some incredible things. I remember he said he was having some heart problems. It sounded serious but he didn’t go into detail.

“All the while he’s talking I’m thinking how familiar he looks. Where do I know this guy from? It became such an intense feeling that I couldn’t take my eyes off the man. Dad was bouncing giggly Dayna on his knee and, as James bent near to tickles her chin, it struck me. The stranger looked very much like Dad.”

“He was a long lost brother?” I exclaimed.

“No. Be quiet and listen. He even sounded a little like Dad. Anyway, at that moment, the telephone rang, it was Winnie Seeback, Dayna needed changing and was getting moody so James excused himself, thanked us for the coffee and left. No one else in Margaret saw him coming or going. He’d been in our house maybe 25 minutes.”

“Ss…who was he?” My curiosity was dancing from foot to foot.

“He was…” she paused, took a deep breath and said, “…you.” She watched closely for my reaction. Bewilderment described it accurately.

“He was me? What do you mean? I’m confused.”

“The resemblance was so great, son. It was you, visiting from the future, from after your Dad and I die. I saw Dad in your eyes and lips and on your brow and in the way you held your chin in your hands almost as if you didn’t know you were doing it. Dad shares the same mannerism with his own father.”

“What did I look like?” I asked.

“Like an older Dad, less hair, frailer. You were very handsome too, I might add. Your hair was cut very short, just like Dad’s during the war. Dad let his headful grow back after he was discharged, so you two were quite a contrast: Dad’s dark bushy hair and your sparse salt and pepper buzz cut, both overarching a similar face. You weren’t fat and you had a good tan. You wore blue jeans and a blue shirt.”

“Good one Mom! You got me good.” I was sure she was pulling my leg.

“Okay. Ask Dad when he gets home.” I recognized her earnest tone. She wasn’t kidding.

“So did Dad recognize me too?” I thought I had her.

“After you left I asked Dad if the stranger had seemed familiar to him. Dad thought for a moment and said he had a strong sense of having met him but couldn’t place where. I waited several days before I offered my theory to your father.”

“Oh oh. He just became ‘your father.’ He didn’t agree with your theory, right?”

“Eventually he did. As life’s circumstances began to play out for us, he came to realize what had happened. I was certain all along, a mother’s intuition.”

“What did I do while I was there? Did I ask you questions? Did I snoop through your drawers?”

She paused, pensive. “You watched, I guess you could say. You watched with a sly pleasure as Dad and Dayna played together. You enjoyed laughing with us in a certain way that only family can. You looked wistfully around the kitchen, studying everything that was on the counter as if you were trying to imprint every detail for later. You actually apologized for this at one point when you thought I’d caught you staring. You said it was part of the writer’s life to soak up detail but I knew something else was up.”

“If you’re so certain it was me, why did I visit you?”

“What are you saying, that you’ll never visit me after you leave?” She was being playful with me. “That I’ll never hear from you again? Not even a phone call?”

“Maybe a phone call,” I jibed.

“Okay. That would be nice. Why did you come to visit? You know I’ve often wondered about that, son. I never have come up with a satisfying answer. Maybe you wanted to meet your sister before it was too late. Maybe you were “shopping for parents.” I can’t be certain. Which is part of the reason I’m telling you today. Maybe you’ll figure this one out. If not now, then in about 35 years, when you are a writer. I’m so proud of my writer son.” She kissed me on top of my head. “Happy Birthday!”

She got up and left me on the couch alone, befuddled with my gift, my mystery.

2002

She was right.

Tonight in my trance as part of my shamanic practice, I journeyed for myself. I journeyed to sort out some problems that were plaguing me; health problems, mental problems, spiritual problems, all the realms represented. It was late in my journey, with my power animals and spirit helpers out in full force that I went to Margaret.

Webbed Flight, my central spirit ally, took me to the village, to the street, to the house, through the door, into the kitchen with the smell of the apple blossoms wafting in. He made me watch them first, their happy smiles and easy love evident.

“Why have you brought me here? Why are they in black and white?” I asked him.

“You know why. Watch. In a moment, you’ll visit them,” Webbed Flight said.

I watched and saw them tending a person I’d never know, a baby that would be dead before the winter, claimed suddenly, senselessly. Their happiness was so full of hope and expectation.

“You’ll visit now,” said Webbed Flight and I found myself walking down the street toward my parents. I was my current age, fifty-two.

I did visit, enjoying every precious minute, gazing into the faces of family that wouldn’t know me for over a year, if ever. I saw the rooms that I would inhabit for the first three years of my life. I was nourished once again by the imaginal world, the realm of the soul. I found, inside this place, the connection to the personal source and the universal source that I needed to relinquish the pain of my problems.

A healing happened there in that old kitchen with a new baby and strangers who were future family. On that day and in that way, a pang of the universe was relieved in a mysterious beautiful union, just as it always is.

Spring 2002

16 responses to “About

  1. Gerald Hurrell

    Hello Reid,
    Greetings & Good Tidings.
    We don’t know each other.
    I am Susan’s (& Jacthine’s) brother. Susan told me to check out your blog and I am so impressed.
    It must be so hard for you and yet I can see you are expending your energy in a good way, to ……(what’s the right word?)……….well, I guess I don’t know what the right word(s) is/are but I can see the good energy. I wish you well on your quest and look forward to your updates.
    Linda must be some gal (purposely not past tense) , and so honored. Linda’s & your story is truly inspiring. I would hope at least one person would think so much of me one day.
    Best wishes, happy trails. With respect, Gerald Hurrell.
    I don’t know if our beliefs collage or collide but, I offer / share with you one of my favs below.
    “Memory Candles”
    “As we light these four candles in honor of you, we light one for our GRIEF, one for our COURAGE, one for our MEMORIES and one for our LOVE.
    This candle represents our GRIEF. The pain of losing you is intense. It reminds us of the depth of our love for you.
    This candle represents our COURAGE – to confront our sorrow. To comfort each other, to change our lives.
    This light is in your MEMORY – the times we laughed, the times we cried, the times we were angry with each other, the silly things you did, the caring and joy you gave us.
    This light is for the light of LOVE.
    As we enter this holiday season, day by day we cherish the special place in our hearts that will always be reserved for you. We thank you for the gift your living brought to each of us.
    We love you. ”
    by Sherry Gibson, B.S., R.N. and Sandra Graves, Ph.D.

  2. I enjoy reading your thoughts and experiences about shamanism. Not sure who my spirits and animals are, but I do know I listen to the birds and call back to ravens, magpies, jays every chance I get :)

    Sincerely,
    Josephine Johnson

  3. Reid,
    It was my pleasure to have met you the other night, and discussing the political issues at hand. Very much enjoyed your insight. Looking forward to reading your blog. I’m touched by your and Linda’s story.

  4. I’m planning a solo motorcycle tour from Kingston ON to Vancouver BC this summer, across the northern US states and returning through the southern parts of our provinces. Most often on backroads searching out special places, badlands, grasslands, scenic vistas, twisties and mountain passes.
    I’ve stumbled upon your blog which will most certainly add places to my “must see” list and many extra kilometers. Thank you for your all your effort to share so much.

  5. Colette

    I am wondering how I arrived here. I searched for Deleau, the ancestral stopping point of a family branch. Then I read of the gift you gave yourself, amazing. Enjoy your journey.

  6. Karen Hanuschuk

    Just found your blog. I will be a regular reader. Thank-you, Reid.

  7. Susan Mitchell Church.

    While searching for info on my Great Grandfather, J.b.Mitchell, I found your site. Thanks for the great write up about him. Then, over on the side was your video tour of the Criddle/Vane House. My father was one of the ones instrument in helping save the home and site. I am currently reading For Elisa, by Oriole Vane Veldhuis. I have toured the old place in the early seventies but came into it from an old sand road to the east, as I knew the farmer in the area. At that time, nothing was protected and everything was in disrepair. I will now make sure I stop in, thanks to you, next summer as I travel from Calgary to the lake in MB.

    • Thanks for checking out my blog Susan. I know the sand road to Criddle/Vane you mentioned. Glad you found several items of interest. I spend a lot of time in SW Manitoba doing heritage exploration and such. Keep checking back for new stories on old places. Be happy, Reid

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