supplied by the Ojai Foundation
Sometimes ancestral wisdom drops in through a gentle conversation on a mountaintop. This weekend I went to the Ojai Foundation in Ojai California for Council II training. Twenty-seven people gathered to tell stories from the heart, in a circle, holding a talking piece. At the end of my stay a friend and I walked up a hill to a spot called the Power Point. The power point is a place that the Chumash tribe held sacred and is said to be a vortex of sorts, a strong point of energy. When I walked up to the spot I felt no surge of power no electrical currents. I just saw a bare spot of grass. I imagined the Chumash journeying to this spot. I questioned what they would do once they arrived. Did they dance, or sit? Did they speak or were they silent? Did they form a circle? Still I didn’t feel all that different. My friend and I walked a few feet to the seat made of stone, which overlooks the Ojai Valley. We shared the seat as we talked about the weekend and our families, watching over the vivid green land. We laughed generating intermittent ”oohs” and “ahs” while she told me the story of her allergy ridden cat that, after many endeavors to heal him, now needs a clear cone over his head to keep himself from scratching it. We sympathized for the poor creature’s condition but couldn’t help giggling over the image of him licking the inside of his plastic cone in an attempt to clean his fur. I suggested she try giving the cat olive leaf extract because it is anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial; it rids the body of the bad elements while keeping the good ones intact. She was familiar with it and said she would try mixing it in with his wet food.
The valley cradled us in its quiet strength. The high clouds sheltered us from the sun and made the deep greens and bright yellow leaves on the walnut trees appear even more lush and dramatic; as we sat and looked and talked the impressions of the weekend made their way into my cellular memory colliding and comingling with my own experience. The stories of the circle settled into my body taking root like the many trees in the valley. Away from the yurt and the bodies which held intelligent faces, shining cheeks, and golden memories, the gratitude became clear. The gratitude became a feeling as deep and as beautiful as that wide eyed valley, pouring over me like a warm bucket of water at the end of the day.