To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: Healing Needed
I seem to be – I am – in the middle of a Breast Cancer scare and would love to have your energies to help me deal with it. I guess I also need a healing – maybe at the next Ecstatic Dance….
Subject: Re: Healing Needed
From: Ursula/Bear Woman
Subject: Re: Healing Needed
Feel my arms around you.
WTF???? OK, guess we need to get into gear: Next week at Ecstatic Dance feels like a great place to start….
Molly sat in a haze with the extreme heat of a sweat lodge rising about her. Perspiration trickled down between her breasts and her thighs. If she thought about it too much, she could feel panicky glimmers building, each feeding on the other. “Would it get too hot? Would she pass out? Was she in some kind of danger? There had been publicity recently of people dying in these things…..”
She told herself to breathe quietly and ground. She could get out if she needed to, though it would mean crawling unglamorously over several people and might result in a little sprained dignity. It was prideful to want to stay in with the “best” of them. “But there you have it,” she thought, “ I really don’t want to be the first to leave.”
There were eight other people in the lodge with her, shadowy shapes in the steam rising from the beach rocks that had just been replenished. Most were part of her “tribe” (including Arlo Rosen, for instance, who she had known since before he was born) but a few were strangers – friends of friends who had set up the lodge. It wasn’t a formal lodge following one of the Native American traditions, but there had been some sincere ceremony at the beginning and no doubt would be at the end. Owen had called it a “hippy lodge” when he invited her to come with him the ten miles up River to the settlement of growers and craftspeople that straddled the county line.
“Relax,” she told herself again firmly. “Think of all the toxins and ancient ghoulies slipping out of your pores. There’s much that could stand clearing. Let go. Let God.”
She jumped a little as a young man she didn’t know put his hand on her shoulder. He had a nice face with a rough blond beard, dotted now with droplets of moisture. “If there were any light he would be lit like a Christmas tree,” she thought irrelevantly. He gestured to her back, silently asking if he might give her some massage touch. It might have felt creepy to be approached by a naked unknown man but she had just talked herself into in a trusting space. She looked up to see Owen watching from across the pile of glowing rocks. Yes, she had plenty of friends around her to keep track of the vibes. She nodded acquiescence and settled in to the young man’s soothing touch. He went right for the sore places, of course. She could tell that he had healing hands and knew how to use them. She slipped deeper into her internal haze……
At some point she realized others, including the young man at her side, were leaving to cool off in the spigot outside the roughly blanketed lodge. She hadn’t been the first to give in to the impulse to flee back to normalcy. She chuckled at herself and made her way out. Waiting her turn at the spigot, the chilly night air slid delightfully down her nasal passages, a welcome relief from the searing heat inside the lodge. A light rain kissed her body, also welcome in its coolness. “Thank you, Air; thank you Water; thank you Fire; thank you, Stones,” she intoned quietly.
Having had enough, some people ceded their places to others who were waiting their turn. No one spoke though there were a few self-conscious giggles. After her clumsy splashes from the bucket at the spigot, she knew she should join those heading for the house. There were some cookies and fruit piled there along with water to drink. Instead, she gulped some liquid refreshment from her cupped hands and made an uncharacteristically selfish decision to go back into the sweat lodge. She was taking care of herself tonight. Probably no one here but Owen knew of her cancer concerns but she felt no need to explain or even voice her decision to anyone. She turned and, lifting the blanket flap, crawled back into the lodge.
Again, the steam assaulted her. Her lungs searing, she realized that the logical place for her was way at the back so others could get in without climbing over her. She wouldn’t be able to get out if she needed to. No matter, it was where she knew she needed to be. Someone poured water on the new rocks and steam rose, startling her nostrils and lungs yet again. Still in a dreamy haze, she surrendered to the stillness that descended once people were settled….
She had no idea how long it had been when she became drowsily aware of everyone leaving again. This time she had no energy or desire to move. Instead she curled up limply on the damp blankets. The air was cooler now, cozy rather than searing and the sense of deeper quiet without anyone around her was blissful. No way was she up for being inside with other people. If a finishing ceremony was happening she would have to miss it. She could do something on her own later. Conversation was beyond her. So was driving home.
The flap lifted and someone laid a soft cotton blanket over her. Good, she wouldn’t get too chilled as the lodge continued to cool. “Are you ok?” Owen’s murmur touched her ear and, with a slight delay reached her consciousness. She nodded yes and drifted off again into some sweet place that wasn’t sleep but felt deeply healing. Just where she needed to be.