A Trip to Lake Superior, May 2nd, 2015
For many weeks I had been feeling the pull to Lake Superior, and I knew I had to go to check out the campground we would be using for our May 15-17 star gazing group. A friend was going to go with me, but he had to cancel at the last minute due to family stuff. It was then that I realized that this is a journey I needed to make by myself.
I got in my car in my driveway, and immediately noticed that my odometer said 109,999 on it. I knew I was in for a turning point.
As soon as I got into Duluth, my first sight of the Lake, I heard Snatam Kaur singing the chant, Om namo guru dev namo, which is a chant I love from kundalini yoga. It means, “I bow before my highest consciousness.” Chanting it gets you in touch with your truest self, your highest self. It was perfect, as that is what Lake Superior does for me. It brings me HOME to myself.
I love the drive to the south shore of the Lake, through hilly northern Wisconsin. The hills create such beautiful vistas. I arrived in Herbster WI and had lunch at the Pine Cone Café. It is one of those little hometown restaurants with friendly people and good food. After lunch, I drove the one block to my destination, the campground in Herbster WI. There were no campers there and the campsites were not yet set up for the summer. No picnic tables up, and the RV sites held no RV’s. And there were no signs stating when it would officially be ready for the camping season, so I will need to put in a call.
It was a beautiful day, a slight breeze, temps in the 60’s by the lake. I stepped on the beach sand and immediately saw a heart shaped rock—Lake Superior always offers me hearts, as it holds my heart. In my next step, I again saw another heart shaped rock. Two hearts, the Lake’s heart and mine together! I am always so amazed by the love the lake shows to me.
I spent more time walking the beach, finding agates and other interesting stones and some driftwood for rattle handles. I just felt the healing waters of the lake in my heart and I felt so clear, so alive, so full. I haven’t felt that way all winter. It was so incredibly energizing to my soul. At one point I went to take some pictures of the seagulls and knowing that my phone said the battery was at 85%, I held my camera up to take the pic and heard a crack in the air and my battery was dead. Some kind of energy struck.
I left Herbster and was on my way to my favorite sacred beach, Quarry Point, that has held my heart since my son died. On the way, I looked up into the sky and saw angel wings in the cloud formations. I stopped my car and took a picture. As I was driving, I suddenly noticed that I was REALLY happy. I put one of Patchouli’s CD’s on and started singing along with it. Their music is always so uplifting.
I arrived at Quarry beach and was the only person there. I saw the many changes that winter had brought to the shoreline. Each year it is a new experience to discover how the ice impacted the shoreline—it was ever changing.
I noticed there was a small fire ring on the beach and in the center of the fire ring was a stone and people had apparently been burning some things on this stone. I thought it would be the perfect place to burn some sage and lavender and make an offering of thanks to the Lake for all the many years of healing. I walked back to my car, got my drum and sage etc. and also jars to bring home the healing waters from the Lake for ceremony.
As I was getting the water, I saw a woman and her dog arrive on the beach. She stayed at a distance at first, and then ventured closer. I smiled and greeted her and told her what a beautiful place it was to bring her dog. She told me that the dog, a brown mid-size poodle, was 13 years old and that she had just recently received her. The dog had been in a bad home and she wanted to bring the dog to the lake to see if she liked it or not. She then walked on a ways down the beach.
I resumed my task of placing the sage on the stone along with some lavender and cedar. She approached me again and asked me if I was doing some sort of a ritual. I told her that I was making an offering to the Lake for its healing. I told her I did this every year to give thanks for all the healing I have received from the lake since my son’s death. I told her I never would have made it through it if it hadn’t been for the Lake. And then I started crying. And then she started crying. And she said she was so sorry and she gave me this big long deep hug, twice! We just held each other and cried. After the second hug I asked her her name. She looked me directly in the eyes and said, “I am MARY—an. “ It was so powerful how she said it as she emphasized the Mary part and I hardly heard the last part while she held her gaze. I think her name is Marian, but it was the Mary part that held the power. And I told her my name and then we cried some more and another big hug and I thanked her for being with me. She then left with her dog.
I was still crying when I picked up my drum and started drumming my thanks to the Lake . I just thought about the angel wings, and Marian and what a gift I had been given. All I could think of was this woman’s name, and how the Mother is always with me, and here was Marian, the shepherdess (with her wooly dog!) and Maid Marian of legends is associated with May Day but is also connected to the Virgin Mary. What a gift from the Mother!!
I drummed for less than 5 minutes and then I heard them. A swarm of ATV’s pulling into the beach parking lot. There were a lot of them. I tried to ignore the sound, but I could not ignore the people. A pack of around 15 men appeared , loud, aggressive, foul, and some walked right between me and the fire ring and the lake, so not aware of what was happening here. Some did walk behind me, a bit more respectfully. They were dressed all in camouflage and their talk was macho talk. One man stayed behind me. In the middle of this I am drumming and crying, crying for the gift of such a beautiful moment with the Mother, crying for the loss of my son, but also crying for the loss of the sacredness of the moment. I literally felt assaulted.
The man who had stayed behind me, came up to me and said, I just want you to know that you are safe. These are good men. We just get together once a year and we get a little rowdy. But you’re safe. Don’t feel that you have to leave. We won’t be here a long time. I thanked him (more protection), but I also knew the sacredness of the moment was gone. I put out the fire, picked up my things and left.
What was so apparent to me from this whole encounter was that the woman immediately knew I was involved in a ritual that was sacred. The Divine Feminine is in tune with the earth and what is happening around her. All the men could see was the physical and the need to be macho because a woman was present. Even the “protector” addressed the physical in telling me I was safe, but had no awareness of the ritual sacredness of the moment. I have no idea what he thought I was crying about or if he even noticed. Or if he thought I was crying because I was afraid of all those men. I do appreciate his gesture of protection.