Theodore and I went into the woods with Magik the Corgi. It was during the holidays when there was a down pore of rain for many days. The trails where we usually walk were thick with moisture, the sponge like moss absorbing and holding the dampness.
We headed down one well walked trail, but Magik had something else in mind. He led us across a stream, down a deer trail, next to a hidden brook. He scooted around and behind the hill, in his way circumventing the usual path.
With so much rain, there was an abundance of mushrooms, and Theodore had his camera ready to capture the moment.
It was much darker and moister back here than the usual trails. The moss covered some of the oak trees from head to foot, making the holes in the trees, mystical portals to Other worlds, visible.
Theodore focused on getting close-ups, seeing a world vibrant with Nature Spirits.
Magik’s nose sniffed out the trail that lead us to bones woven around branches. I wondered how long they had been there. They felt old.
I pressed forward, Magik staying with me, Theodore lingering behind, looking through different lenses to see the richness, and mystery of this place.
Magik and I stopped to look at a grove tree, one that was a single tree once and probably very large, an ancient tree, now hollow in its center yet branching out with children and grandchildren around it.
I wondered how far the trail would go before it got too thick, and entangled with poison oak for us to explore any further.
Ahead we saw it, this majestic old Oak covered with moss. I sat at the bottom and began to Sound Heal. Magik was out of sorts that day. Maybe it was all the busy-ness of the holidays, but he was eating every single bay nut he could sniff out in a frenetic sort of way. He finally settled at the bottom of the tree and surrendered to the earth as I sounded for him, sweeping hand movements gently caressing his soul.
It wasn’t until we got home and looked at the photos that I saw the creature sitting near the top of the oak, like a Guardian of the Oak or the woods, hunched over, four legs and wings. It is easy to let my imagination soar with images of moss, leaves, mushrooms and trees.
Magik gifted me that day by receiving a Sound Healing session in the woods. For the adventurer of the heart, I offer Sound Healing Hikes, individual Sound Healing Sessions in the woods. Magik is not the only client who enjoys them. Although I have to say he gives me a pretty good testimonial with his joyous, spirited smile.
Interested in a unique experience, a Sound Healing Hike, a Sound Healing Session in the woods? Email me for costs and details: Soundhealher@comcast.net.
Posted in healing, hiking, imagination, inspiration, nature, photography, sound, sound healing, spirituallity, Trees | Tagged adventure, bones, close ups, corgi, guardian of the woods, healing, hidden brook, hidden trail, hikes, moss, mushrooms, nature, nature spirits, oak, outdoors, poison oak, portals, sound healing, sound healing hikes, trails, woods | 4 Comments »
Our Christmas had been wet, moist, full of waterfalls and mushrooms. New Years Day was a “change of scenery”. Theodore and I went to Point Reyes. When we leave Marin and head for Point Reyes with the winding roads, rolling green hills, sitting stones, and munching cows everything slows down, nature imbues my thoughts and feelings with sweet ease.
We strolled around town for a bit and then headed to what seems to be a wildlife or bird sanctuary. Theodore and I have spent the holidays taking photos and sound healing in the woods. New Years Day was a change. It was full of warmth, the countryside, barns, the Bay and families picnicking together and laughing.
The path was wet and muddy but not for the heron whose solitary stance had an air of majesty. The ducks waded in the pond as unaware of a cat spying on them from the bushes as we were.
We didn’t notice the cat until we zoomed in on the blurry photo later. Watching the heron, for a moment time stood still, then with a quick inhale of breath wings spread out and the majestic bird took flight.
From a distance, geese honked, and flew over head in formation, one lagged behind.
The barn was empty, its white washed walls a stark contrast from the blue sky, waving green grass, and sunlight peek through branches and kissing water.
White heron, white barn stood out as touchstones in a vast landscape of rolling hills and people like us who came to commune with nature. Here it was easy to feel a sense of belonging with nature and each other. A deep sense of peace filled me.
One family stood out in particular. Two boys, a baby and a couple were sharing a picnic, then walked, while mom took photos. What a beautiful way to share New Years Day together. The boys walked near us toting a heavy, picnic basket and complaining that their parents were taking too long. I smiled remembering such days with our daughter.
When we passed the couple, the husband commented on how one of the hills was like a hill in Australia. He called it the Point Reyes version of that hill.
We thought that’s actually what it was called. The wife laughed and said, no, her sweet and creative husband just made it up. We laughed too. That’s probably how some hills get their names. All the laughter attracted the boys and from there on they seemed to enjoy their walk more. Again, I took a moment to appreciate the beauty of family and nature together.
I started the morning feeling peace and gratitude and ended the day feeling peace and gratitude, perhaps for different reasons, but nature is always at the heart of it all. Happy New Years.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged bird sanctuary, change of scenery, nature, new years day, outdoors, white heron | 4 Comments »
Magik the corgi and I started our adventure the other day going down a popular trail. We bumped into a woman and her skinny, long-legged dog who only will eat when walking on the trail. She was telling me about an old couple she bumped into down another trail and how they were bickering over their new dog. The dog was too big and too much for them to handle so the woman spoke up and suggested they take the dog back to the Humane Society.
I was amazed that she had such courage to speak up on the dog’s behalf — that she had voice. She doubted herself. I said, “You spoke up for the dog — that matters.” Then she looked back and said, “Where’s your dog?” Of course Magik was nowhere to be seen. “Oh he’s probably munching down a bunch of bay nuts.” Sure enough my predictable corgi was munching away. I come into the woods to exercise, he comes out for the smorgasbord. Smile.
So I back tracked, headed back from where we came until I saw the bridge where this woman had bumped into the old man and old woman. Ok, so I figured they were long since gone and the path was clear. Magik and I crossed one bridge, headed towards another when we saw them. Well actually at first, I heard them. The old woman was singing. What a delight that was. Her hair was white and seemed to glow, her face too seemed white with glowing light and she held a big purple-blue purse on her shoulder. Her husband tried to reign in Tessa, but was slipping and tripping. Tessa was dubbed a black lab, but she was much bigger than any black lab I have ever met. She defiantly had control of the situation, as she tugged at the leash the old man slipped and slid down a declining path. He almost fell, got so mad he hit the dog. Stunned, I watched as they walked by.
I thought about the woman earlier on the trail, and how she had voice, and I really desired to do the same thing. I couldn’t just do nothing. So I headed back from where we came and sure enough down the main trail was the old couple with their new dog. I approached them just as he was getting frustrated with the dog again. They told me how they just got her at the Humane Society the day before, and she wasn’t trained yet. I spoke up and suggested that maybe she was too much for them and that maybe they should return her and get a smaller dog. He protested and said, “Oh no. I love her.” So I suggested that they go to the Humane Society that day and ask for help, that way the dog would receive support and so would they.
I’m not sure if they ever did. I hope for Tessa’s sake as well as their own that they did get help. When I walked away from them I stood a little taller and moved more confidently. I had voice around an issue that mattered to me.
I wonder if we are sometimes afraid to get involved in the world around us because we are afraid of what might happen, but if we do get more involved, I wonder what positive impact we could have and what wonderful changes in our world we might see?
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged animals, nature, old couple, old man and old woman | 2 Comments »
©2012 Vlatka Herzberg
Sienna ran through the forest, deeper and deeper still, sprinting like a deer on the run. She felt the dampness of the mist cloak her, hiding her from the world she left behind. She bent over to catch her breath and noticed a gate, rusted, old, hanging onto its last hinge. Sienna shoved it and it creaked with complaints of being still for far too long. She tiptoed into this hallowed place, aware that she was not alone. Eyes were everywhere watching her. She was afraid to move in case she stepped on someone. “Who goes there?” Amidst the ferns and roots, Sienna saw a large face, moss-covered nose, fern hair, dark slit for one eye, an old tree trunk for the other, roots reaching out stretching, digging deep into earth, searching for light. “It’s I, Sienna.” she muttered. She closed her eyes part way so that she could see through the haze of lashes, soft vision, and then she saw him, or at least she thought it was a him. She caught her breath and hesitated. He smiled. “Fear not child of the forest. You are welcome here.”
Sienna looked around and saw more faces looking at her. “I have wandered into the woods many times, and have never found this place or seen you.” He Who Watches Without Being Seen laughed. “We are seen when we choose.” ”Why today?” Sienna asked. “Why not?” he smiled. “Have you seen the wind dance and the trees laugh?” he asked. “Only in this sanctuary, not in my world. People have forgotten how to dance with the wind and laugh with the trees.” ”Will you?” “Of course.” she said and instantly the wind twirled around her, taking her by the hand. They danced with a fervor, spinning wildly out of control, until Sienna fell to the ground laughing, and the trees laughed with her too.
He Who Watches rumbled with laughter. “What’s so funny?” asked Stone Face. Sienna stopped laughing and looked into Dry Creek. Shrouded by leaves, was a face, oh so smooth, delicate lines for eyes and nose, and a just so mouth, as though someone had brushed it on. “Life.” said Sienna. “Sometimes life is funny.” Stone Face blinked, blank. “Well I don’t think it’s funny. So many humans walk this way and all they see is hard rocks, wet water and lots of green. Seldom do they stop and see what isn’t seen.” “I’m doing it.” smiled Sienna. “Humph.” grumbled the stone. “I know that the stones talk, the wind sings and that when I walk through the forest I am seen.” said Sienna. “What does one person matter?” grumbled Stone Face. “I am not only one. There are many.” “Where?” asked Stone Face. “Here and there, and everywhere and that matters. Sienna smiled. “Humph.” A twig snapped. Stone Face froze.
Leaves rustled, a deer approached. Sienna turned and gazed deep into the deer’s eyes. The deer blinked and shape shifted into a tall woman with a gentle, deer like face, with large, black doe eyes, and soft, long deer like ears. She swept across the creek and gently laid her hand on Sienna’s shoulder. “You have heard our call, and have come.” “Of course.” said Sienna. “Shall we?” asked Deer Woman. “There is a whole Other World waiting to explore.” Sienna followed. Deer Woman guided her towards a hollow tree trunk, and began to step into it. “Wait.” said Sienna. Deer Woman looked deep into Sienna. Her eyes moistened with tenderness. “See with more than your eyes.” she suggested. Sienna took a deep breath and let go of things needing to be the way she thought they ought to be, and then she really could see. “It’s a portal.” she exclaimed. Deer Woman nodded, extended her hand. Sienna took it gratefully. Together they stepped out of one world and into another.
Posted in deer, fantasy, fiction, forest story, imagination, inspiration, nature, photography, story, storytelling, Trees, writing | Tagged beauty, child of the forest, dance with the wind, deer, Deer Woman, earth, ferns and roots, forest, hallowed place, hollow tree trunk, laugh with the trees, laughed, leaves, mist, nature, old tree trunk, one person matter, one world, Other World, outdoors, portal, rocks, roots, sanctuary, soft vision, stone, stones talk, walk, water, wind, wind sings, woods | 2 Comments »
Yosemite, ©2010 Theodore Herzberg
Recently, Magik and I went to visit our favorite Madrone Tree. It’s near the umbrella like Oak that creates a canopy of shade. Behind it, and down the hill slightly from the Umbrella Oak is the Madrone. It’s young and vibrant, and every-time I nestle down into its roots and lean against it, the leaves dance and welcome me.
Under the dappled light of Madrone leaves I sang, feeling the light and warmth, the laughter and the joy of just being out here, and reveling in the smell of pungent earth. I sang until my heart was full and Magik started to growl, my faithful guard corgi. I turned to see who was there. It was a deer, listening to my song.
Deer often come to hear me sing, other animals too. I wonder if more of us sang in the woods, if it would draw more enchanting animal encounters.
Yesterday, Magik and I went to visit my husband Theodore at his job site. He is a general contractor and the house he is building overlooks a golf course. Throughout the building process there has been a deer family that sleeps in the yard. Yesterday was the first time I saw them, a mamma and her two babies, nestled in the foundation of where there one day will be a pool.
The mother deer cleaned the older baby, the older baby licked her back, mamma and babe nuzzled, while the young one spotted me. I started to sing softly. The baby deer walked a little closer, her black eyes focused intensely on my face. I continued to sing, soft and sweet, baby deer and I held eyes for a very long time — an enchanting moment, a touch, the song luring the baby deer closer and closer.
I must have lifted my voice a little louder, and the wind carried it down to the golf course, because from way down below I heard, “Hey lady, stop singing.” And then the sound of a golf ball being hit. Mental note, will have to keep the “deer songs” in the woods and not near golf courses.
I stopped singing, turned to walk away, but turned and looked back. The baby deer turned and looked back too. Our eyes held for a moment. A connection was made. As we each walked in our separate directions I wondered how our lives might be different because of our touch.
Posted in animals, deer, healing, hiking, imagination, inspiration, Madrone, nature, photography, sound, sound healing, spirituallity, storytelling, Trees, writing | Tagged baby deer, deer, deer song, deer songs, earth, enchanting animal encounters, golf course, joy, madrone, madrone tree, nature, oak, outdoors, singing, woods | 2 Comments »
On a mound I stand
Spreading branches far and wide
Sap trickles down my bark,
Mixes with earth –
Sap drenched roots
Dig deep down into Coyote Den
Where Silent voices
Until Night’s embrace
My husband Theodore and I went to Folsom Lake Willow Creek Recreation Area yesterday. We were stunned by the tall pine trees and extra huge pine cones. The pine cones had sap on them that neither of us have seen before.
It made us consider making an essential oil out of it. The color of the sap is golden amber beautiful. The pine cones evoked images of dragon claws. They curled and pointed just like claws.
The first tall pine we encountered was on top of a large mound. Imbedded in the roots was a coyote den. I wondered how they could sleep with hushed voices of humans and the pecking of acorn woodpeckers above their home.
Brilliant blue sky, lake sparkling with so much light you could almost hear it singing, children laughing, we walked over water sculpted stones to admire mushroom like plants with feathery roots and tiny purple flowers that sprayed out like fans.
Theodore and I sat on a bench and listened to the sky, the woodpeckers, the pine, the lake, our hands softly touched, we smiled. A breeze whistled through the pine needles and for a moment, it felt as though the pine trees sighed. Perhaps they too felt a sense of well-being.
Posted in creativity, healing, hiking, imagination, inspiration, nature, photography, Pine trees, poetry, spirituallity, storytelling, Trees, writing | Tagged acorn woodpeckers, blue sky lake, coyote, coyote den, earth, nature, pine trees, tall pine trees, willow creek recreation area | 2 Comments »
Photograph © 2012 Vlatka Herzberg
Magik and I went for a walk in the woods yesterday. When he starts to run around the house in circles I know it’s time for a long hike. So I chose a longer path that would work us both out. Part way through he was lagging behind and I wondered where all the energy went, but I think he just wanted to sniff and sniff some more. Eventually we made it to the top of the hill and I stopped to soak in the light, the warmth, the breeze and sing to the trees.
Photograph © 2012 Vlatka Herzberg
Magik of course waited patiently. When I was done, we continued our walk, easier now because it leveled off, so again I gave more attention to the details of my surroundings. To my delight we found branches and feathers. Hands full of twig, feather and stone, hair mussed up by the wind I encountered an athlete and his golden retriever. Judging by his response to me, I must have appeared as some sort of wild woods woman. Magik and I scooted out-of-the-way, and runner and dog sprinted by. Shortly after, I found a spot where Magik and I could rest, thinking that the runner was probably a good ways away, and I could sing to my heart’s delight.
Photograph © 2012 Vlatka Herzberg
I put my crystals on the ground, rose quartz, and serephanite with its beautiful earth green color, and started to sing. Some days I come into the forest with issues in mind that I want to resolve or send healing to, sometimes they are personal issues, or concerns about loved ones, and sometimes they are global issues. This day I just wanted to be with nature. I am learning that in intimate relationships sometimes we “do” things together, and sometimes we just “be” together.
Photograph © 2012 Vlatka Herzberg
Yesterday, my being together took the expression of song and dance. I sat but my arms moved like they were dancing. As soon as I started to sing the wind bellowed. It almost knocked me over. I sang and danced my arms into the wind and it sang and danced right back. I was in full force singing and moving to the music of the forest when Magik started to growl, the faithful guard Corgi that he is. Wow. There was the runner, and his golden retriever. I stopped singing and said, “Oh, I was just singing.” He responded with, “I thought the trees were singing. Your voice carried all the way to the other side of the hill. I was running and I heard this singing, and it sounded like the trees were singing. Then I realized it was a woman’s voice.”
Photograph © 2012 Vlatka Herzberg
As he continued his run, I sat quiet, contemplating the experience, amazed that the trees and the wind had carried my voice, and that it sounded as though the forest was singing. I was quiet for a while just listening to the forest’s song, and then joined in, the two of us singing and dancing together again.
Photograph © 2012 Vlatka Herzberg
Shortly after this adventure I felt as though our outing was complete. Magik and I headed back down the trail. All the while it felt as though the trees were still singing. I don’t recall ever being so aware of the Forest’s voice. What a life changing experience! I am grateful.
Posted in animals, creativity, healing, hiking, imagination, inspiration, nature, photography, sound, sound healing, spirituallity, storytelling, writing | Tagged branches, breeze, contemplating, corgi, crystals, dance, feathers, Forest's voice, global issues, golden retriever, hill, intimate relationships, personal issues, relationship with nature, rose quartz, serephanite, singing trees, song, song and dance, stone, story, top of the hill, trail, walk, walk in the woods, wild woods woman, wind, wood | 2 Comments »