Carrie and Donald have loved and hosted Morning Star many times and this time last year, Morning Star had been staying with Carrie for a couple of months. We had lots of gatherings, made drums and flute bags together and ate many meals. It was at our Healing Retreat last year that Vince Chafin gifted Morning Star's Eagle flute to her and she treasured it and played quite well..... I'll never forget how we traveled to New York City with our drums to drum in Central Park! We had a Rockin' great time met some awesome people and got thrown out of the park! It was great. I think it was 12 of us who walked around and found a great restaurant for dinner and all enjoyed one another....... my word I will miss our Morning Star.......
It is pertinent to note here that those of us who did not participate in this drum making workshop were out learning how to extract energy from nature, hold and manipulate it, then give it to someone else. Terry who was one of the ladies holding Morning Star until the paramedics arrived said later, that this practice that Ginger calls Hands on Healing in Nature made a huge difference in her being able to stay focused and in every moment while there in the rain and the mud. We felt and saw the storm approaching and quickly returned to camp to help batten down the hatches. You never know with storms here, they could look really bad and just blow over or they could look not so bad and get bad quickly. This one apparently had straight line winds of 75 miles per hour. There was large hail hitting us and then there was the complete white out. We could only see white and I don't recall hearing anything.
I found Morning Star's shoes just where she left them, by the white deer heading toward her Medicine Wheel.
In this photo to the left the camper you see at the back of the photo belongs to Chuck a friend of Morning Star. He loaned it to her to keep her stuff in while camping out at our Retreats. This is where many of her things are currently being stored. Obviously there are things all over the world that belong to our Morning Star which is why I keep calling her that "our" Morning Star, because it is like she belonged to all of us....
Right away we knew we needed to contact Morning Star's family because the reports from Ginger and Karen were that we are not family and they would only give us limited information. It was important that her family get in touch with the hospital. We had no idea how we were going to reach her family in Australia. We all began to search our memories for names and thought of Facebook! I posted a message on Morning Stars page, then thought to look through her friends to find her family and about an hour or so later Jeff, Jody's (Morning Star's sister) husband called with Robyn (Mom) on the phone. We called our people at the hospital and they were praying with the hospital chaplain. At the moment we called with Mom on the phone, the Chaplain had just asked for a sign if God was with our Morning Star, that is when the phone rang saying Mom was with us. We only know that Robyn was able to talk with someone on the phone from the hospital. For us it was another opportunity to wait.
What we knew was that Morning Star's body was still breathing, a CAT scan had been done and she had been rushed into emergency surgery where we learned later she stopped breathing. The Dr. said the cause of her death was traumatic brain injury. He asked what hit her, Karen and Ginger told him of the tree and he said it is likely she didn't even feel it. Which we also thought, since her arms were still at her side when she lay on the ground. She never regained consciousness. I believe she left with the white lite.
Some of us gathered together lots of wet pillows and blankets and took them to Char's house to dry them. We uprighted and dumped the water out of our tents, made some food and had a drum circle with our friend Jan Jeffries who Morning Star would have loved. (Probably did love if they know each other, I'm not sure!) She played the jumbay (sorry I don't know how to spell it!) I just know MS loved to play it. We rocked the forest and I know Morning Star loved it. The sky was clear and tons of stars out. I didn't even put my rain fly back on my tent. The moon was very full and very bright. When I awoke in the morning it all seemed surreal. Hard to believe if what I thought happened actually happened.
On Friday AM the park sent out a representative to see if anyone needed to talk to a counselor and they began to cut up the trees that had fallen. They had concern about other trees in the area and asked us to move to a location about 10 miles away. We invited them into the camp and showed them Morning Star's medicine wheel that had been cared for by Carrie, Adrienne and Pam who also love Morning Star. They brought baby's breath and beautiful purple heather and bundled together oak leaves to adorn the circle with. They found this heart in a split log!
There are two halves of this heart, I will find them and show you them later.
Just yesterday morning (the 24th) Morning Star, for the first time put these wings on her 'rattle' snake.
These were some of the other things still in the Medicine Wheel.
One important thing to note about our Healing Retreat in the Pines is that we eat really well! This is Donald preparing to rotisserie cook a turkey on the cooking fire!
Below is the "kitchen fire" Stainless Steel and Cast Iron are the names of the game in this kitchen. And it's always a "green" Retreat in that we bring yard sale glass dishes to eat on and everyone washes their own at our dish washing station.
When the park rangers came to inspect the trees for our safety after the storm the only problem in our camp was this tree here where our fire was. It had a twisted branch at the top. Apparently that is what happened in this type of storm.. They likened it to if you were trying to break off a green branch and it doesn't break clean, it kind of hangs on by bits. Apparently that is dangerous. So they asked us to move our cooking fire and to rope off that area so no one was under it. So we did and we were gratefully able to stay there in our site for the rest of the Retreat. That tree now is one of the casualties I talked about earlier in blogspot 1 or 2.
Friday for us was kind of a re-grouping day. Jan gathered folks together for a percussion workshop which played in the background of our partners shiatsu. It was all good as we cared for one another. Miriam and David came for our Friday night campfire entertainment. They played their guitars and sang their hearts out until the wee hours of the morning causing us all to sing along and laugh and have lots of fun. We Needed That!
Horses began to come on Friday! It sure changes things when the horses come! This is my pony Shawnee. She came to provide equine Assistance for us at the Healing Retreat. Debra ( who made the drum) is my co-facilitator and Licensed Professional Counselor, and I asked for volunteers to participate and Maja and her son Bodi put their hands up and shared with us all a lovely demonstration of how to have your child be interested in "how" Mom was able to invite the horses to be with her using her heart connection. It was beautiful. Ten people volunteered to participate in a session called a journey through this day and the grief we all felt. This was one of the most profound sessions I have ever had the honor to facilitate. Everyone in the session weathered the storm together and it was a powerful experience staying together and sharing things like this session to help us all to move forward in our process. Thank you all from my heart to yours........
The next thing I did was to participate in a creative writing session with Pam Laurenzi. This is the second year we have had Pam with us and I knew from last year that she has lovely ways of unlocking the mind and creative juices and allowing things to flow! As we listened in the background to Ron's Didgeridoo workshop, The following is a story or poem that came through me. And if it's ever happened to you, being a vessel, you will know how this came.
Once Upon a Time in a land far far away
lived a faerie full of fun full of ease glee and play.
A forest and trees birds and bees playing and growing and learning to and fro.
Dogs and didges and sticks and twigs growing and blowing calling and falling.
WooHoo WooHoo out from the night is an owl of the light.
Crying and calling trying and falling
a baby is she watching it all, learning by moon light or no light at all.
Once in a while by the dawns early light
comes a whispering turtle to the young owls delight.
It knows so much; down there on the ground, crawling and creeping around and around.
It seems to be eating all of the time this new little turtle this new friend of mine.
when all of the sudden and out of the blue in comes the tide and swept away you.
I miss you my friend as others do too. My heart feels like crying as my eyes can do.
Where have you gone so far from our view; it feels like your here and I hear you too.
Your signs all around us your possessions are too
Your memory surrounds us and your teachings gave clue.
The stars and the moon , the sun and the sky, the elk and the horse they stand up on high.
When you brought them to us a drum was then made.
Their heartbeat was next then you , our dear fairy laid down to rest.
In the rain and the wind your oak brother did fall your light it struck out surrounding us all,
The goose bumps I feel and the tears that fall,
Remind me each day of the folly of all
the toil and the worry the fear and the fall are only a path to enlighten us all.
My heart it does sing with a Morning Star song
the kind you would like us to all sing along.
With no rhyme or reason you came and you left.
You now dance with stars, grass trees and the rest.
May Peace be with you all tonight, I'll write about our Sound Circle and Life Celebration tomorrow.