Sign up to receive a FREE article
    "Tips on Dream Work"
      

    Psychotherapy

    Relationships * Mindfulness * Spiritual Counseling * Dream Work

The Sandstone Goddess

the sandstone goddess

a spiritual essay

d. royce fitts

(copyright 2013)

further, deeper into the prairie, through the dark canyons, and above them, hovering, watching, protecting these spaces…

 

a couple of decades have gone since i first saw that strange outcropping of hard, yet, delicate sand jutting toward the sky…a monolith, colored with a multitude of red, brown and tan hues typical of the shades of earth here…it would not be so odd, so intriguing, and different than the hundreds of other sculptures of sandstone dotting these high prairies, if it had the regular, normal vegetation growing around it, the many varieties of grasses that grow elsewhere, even just scores of feet away from it…little and big bluestem, brome, buffalo and other grasses having evolved over millions of years through wind, fires, blizzards, rain, drought, grazing…

but…nothing grows around it, this monolith…except, as i visited the last time, this late spring, little prairie flowers, spiderworts standing on the sandy naked earth, bold, daring with their tiny purple blossoms…and, tiny, too, a random sunflower…

as if this is holy, sacred ground…little, and only little, grows in the presence of this sandstone goddess…

maybe the power is so great that only the bravest, most durable can grow here or, maybe these are her chosen ones,

and are allowed to grow for joy…

or maybe it is the wind, the westward push of the wind toward the east, prevailing most everyday, except when the storm spirits call…then the north, or the east or the south winds push, too…bringing rain or snow, or fire or even more dryness to this space…

maybe it is the rise of the ridge directly to the west of this goddess, that, as the western prevailing wind blows, it rises fast to the ridge’s western slope, and then, dashed by the towering ponderosa pines on the top of the ridge, the wind is forced, deflected to blow hard down the eastern slope of the ridge toward the monolith…sweeping clean every-thing, every plant, every seed…stirring, purifying the holy dust…

and it swirls and swirls, around and around the monolith…honoring the sandstone goddess for the blessings of this space…

around the goddess, are rugged clumps of rock and sand, eroded to form an almost perfect circle, an earthen ring to protect this secret, holy place…and on the south, on a dune, stands an old proud pine, roots exposed, serving as sentry for this goddess, holding fast the earth beneath…

years ago, as is sometimes my practice now, i accept requests from spiritual seekers to join with them on hikes and walks on this lovely land…it is public land, not often explored by humans now, and on that day, two women asked to take this journey…it was early spring, cool and warm at once…melting snow still on the old cattle and deer trails…we walked and talked…these two, spiritual sisters, who knew each other as little girls long ago,

and over time both moved and lost touch with each other, until by strange accident, were visiting in the same town, in the same neighborhood and at the same time…when they discovered each other again, they laughed and cried, and became sworn sisters, sharing stories of times past and revealing secrets of pain and horror that neither had known of the other, when they were so young…

their sisterhood grew, and they supported each other as each struggled to heal from past and present wounds, as they explored their marriages and children, they marveled at how their lives were similar and different, after all these years…

so, that day of the walk, the monolith called, the sandstone goddess softly beckoned to come and hear their stories of love and loss, pain and joy…we sat on the chilly earth, bright sun shining, having a picnic of peanut butter and jam…they felt the presence, saw the monolith, respected this holy earth…understood, felt understood…

the sisters laughed often that day, taking in the healing of that place, sitting on the high ridge, gazing down the slope at the goddess who, ever so gently, grieved their wounds and showed them this place heals…

and time passes, a few years go by…a phone call late at night, hysterical weeping i hear…groans and the gnashing of teeth of the soul… “she’s dead!  she’s dead!  my sister is dead!”  what?  who?  no!  no!

what happened?  i cried…an accident, an accident!  the dread of realization…the awfulness of yes…

and months later, in the autumn, another call…desperate sounds…the living sister, crying, “i’m lost…can’t find my way…went to the monolith to plant prairie flowers for my sister’s memory, on the ridge, under the ponderosa pine…can’t find my way…”

oh, words of truth, of the soul, of the earth, of lostness…

i rush, run across the hills, across the dark prairie, only starlight now, seeking, calling, pleading… “where is this living sister who planted flowers for her soul’s mate?”  finally, in the far darkness, i see her moving, walking, a tiny silhouette on the vastness of the prairie, far across the fence a dim figure, weeping, in terror and pain…wandering, weaving, crying for her sister, crying for herself, crying for the sandstone goddess…

we stumble and meet, both confused and scared of her sacred calling…

through her grief we call her mate and, finally, she rests in the arms of her family, exhausted in this strange journey of sisterhood…

and now, every year, i walk to the monolith, most often alone…i always pray and remember, sometimes have a picnic, a communion of memory…the sandstone goddess always asks and grieves along with me…

for these sisters of soul, so far now from each other, and yet, so near…in the ages of sand and stone, monolith and wind, across the eons, the sandstone goddess stands, reminding of presence, deep friendship, love, loss, connections forever, beyond time and space…

…and wildflowers growing on the ridge…

Leave a Reply

Enter Answer *