Last week I took a road-trip to Goldendale, Wa. I purposely took roads I had not taken before as I love the excitement of exploring 'what is around the next bend'?
My reason for going to Goldendale was to visit White Eagle Memorial Preserve, a natural burial ground set on many acres northeast of Goldendale. naturalburialground.org/
This journey, started innocently enough, turned into what felt like a shamanic journey. First, the journey was preceded by a dream in which I buried a mask of my face in a dirt hole. In the dream I sobbed and sobbed as I looked down at the representation of 'me' in the brown, rich dirt.
I woke up feeling raw.
Next, as I headed East on a less-used highway, I saw a deer and two fawns cross the road. I slowed as they all got across and yet, when I looked in my rearview mirror, I saw the little one jumping frantically at the side of the road and as a huge semi-truck hurled down the road, it ran under the truck.
Right now, as I write this, my heart drops. I can feel the shock in my system of seeing that happen. The truck went on. I pulled over and saw, in the road, not one little fawn but two.
I cannot tell you, even now, how heartbreaking and shocking this was. And worse, I could see one little leg moving and cars coming down, barely missing them.
I turned, drove back and went to the fawn who was still alive. I could NOT tolerate anyone running over this little one. I picked it up and it was frantically trying to get away with one good leg, and carried it to the edge. Then I went back and picked up the fawn who was dead and carried it into the grass, next to the live little one. As I sat there I placed them close, trying not to do any more damage to the little one still alive.
I was in the middle of no-where wondering what to do? How far was the next town? Was there a vet? Would it be more humane to sit with the little one until it died? I was crying so hard, snot running down my face, wiping my tears and snot on my shirt.
I cannot tell you how long I sat there. Time was folding. When I could not feel the heartbeat of the live one I once again gently picked them up and placed them further into the grass, next to a tree, placing them close to each other and visioning their little souls going to the light.
I went back to my car and sobbed. My poor little Mallow, my steady companion, sat gently by me.
Finally I drove on...only to find about five minutes away, another little one in the road. And the car that hit it was sitting on the side but no one was moving it off the road. Again I stopped...I felt I had NO OTHER CHOICE and, walking past the car with blackened windows, I went to the fawn and gently moved it to the grass. As I walked past the car once again I felt some remorse for the driver who was too....??? to get out and give that little one the courtesy of resting off the road.
Wow. I felt wiped out. I thought about going home...but this journey was about death - my death. And getting clear about what I want when I die. That is why I was going to White Eagle.
I drove on, stopping on a side road and literally taking off my clothes and leaving them in a heap. They had blood and urine and dirt and sweat and tears. I could not wear them. Clean clothes.
I got safely to my motel, feel asleep, texted some friends and waited until the next morning to journey to White Eagle.
When I got there I must still have looked a little 'shocky' as the young man who met me asked if I needed anything before we set out on the land. Very sweet. I told him my story of the fawns.
As we walked the portion of White Eagle set aside for natural burials I began to relax. Smell the air and trees. Bark on the trees. A beautiful 'meadow' protected and preserved. Places, mounds of earth where bodies had been buried. An open hole - in the dirt - where a person will be tenderly placed when the time comes.
I did not expect to see an actual site open in the dirt, and yet I think now it was very healing for me. Imagining, at some level, my face, my body in the dirt. Perhaps wrapped in a natural material shroud...but me. In the dirt. As I write this I feel sad, I feel afraid...I feel! All of it. Life.
So I am going to work with White Eagle to have a place to lie when I die. Meanwhile, I have decided to do a workshop I have talked about doing for more than three years: Consciously Living ~ Consciously Dying. See this page www.zoewaggoner.com/conscious-living-conscious-dying.html for more information.
Or call me at 360-432-1236. I would love to hear your thoughts. Fears. What is on your heart.