Standing in front of our tenth anniversary fire, I remember a chapter of our story. A young boy, seven years old is searching a stream bed for talking stones, fossils. He meets an old Apache who teaches him an ancient way, a simple way that the young boy makes his own. Or has he? He founds a school and teaches this simplicity, but at the same time he longs for the wild places, and to leave his vision behind. He has become a contradiction.
Of course this young boy is Tom Brown Jr., founder of the Tracker School, and this same boy 50 plus years later tricks me into teaching the first healing 1 class. I have written this part of the story before, so I won’t dwell here except to say that I had and still have just as much reluctance as my mentor/teacher/friend did many years ago. How does one step onto this path and walk with this lineage? For myself, I do so reluctantly, humbly, and with as much compassion as I can find.
As I look into the same fire, I am talking to an incredible group of people, the teachers and staff of wildernessFusion, who have gathered for our tenth anniversary. We are about to walk across the coals of the fire we are watching and feeding. But this is nothing new. We walk together tonight as we have been journeying all the years that have led to this moment. Unlike Tom, who walked his journey mostly alone, I have chosen to walk this path with an inspiring group of people who each hold their place at wildernessFusion.
We walk these coals so you have the possibility to walk your journey, a journey into your own healing. Do you have the same reluctance as Tom, myself, and the teachers of wildernessFusion? I am guessing you do. My advise: if you feel called, if you feel drawn, it's time to walk! We can all talk ourselves out of walking our vision. There is never enough time, enough money, and the circumstances are never right. But for those who walk this path reluctant or not, when we are called we walk.
This walk together is not always easy. We get burnt, just as I did this evening walking across the hottest coals I have ever walked. We all got burnt, and not one of these teachers complained about it. We possess the knowledge that we all have been burnt, and we all share this walk together.
This is not only wildernessFusion’s tenth anniversary, it is the third time we have completed the cycle of teaching the NIASZIIHhealing class healing 7. This may not seem significant to some. However, from my perspective this is the real mark of our accomplishment. It is revealed every time a student begins a journey from healing 1 to healing 7 with all this path and landscape demand. Only those who have walked it can understand what an accomplishment it is to be at the culmination of the journey. At this juncture, one finds an imaginary place of something called the tenth power. Then you reach an important crossroad where you witness what you have just accomplished. Perhaps you also stand in this lineage with the question, “Will I continue to walk?” Will you retrace your steps and hide in some forgotten past? Or will you set down the footsteps for those who wish to come after you?
I am proud to walk with all of you, teachers, staff, students and future students of wildernessFusion. Perhaps our collective foot falls will lead to a gentler walk upon this earth for all of us. Until then from myself, Pat and all the teachers of wildernessFusion, we walk upon hot coals so that your journey can perhaps be a little gentler. We look forward to the decades ahead.