For Adriel Heisey 

Several years ago I had the great good fortune to fly above the Sonoran Desert a few times with a wonderful aerial photographer in his hand-built ultra-light plane, in search of prehistoric ruins. We took off from Tucson in pre-dawn darkness, the wind in our faces and our feet dangling in plain air – and my heart in my mouth – and we communicated by talking through the walky-talkies in our helmets. We leveled at 600 feet just as the sun came over the horizon, and looked down searching for evidence of ancient human life in this deceptively monotonous landscape. Flying low enough to make out details on the ground, we were also high enough to get a wide perspective of the lay of land beneath us. 

“I live for this!” Adriel crowed, as we searched for our ancient layered past in the desert landscape below. “I fly for wonder!”

With him I was flying for wonder too, learning from him about the land and time, about different perspectives, about the borders between places and between one human and another. We played with borders in the air, flying back and forth over the imaginary line between Mexico and the US, seeing only continuous desert. “There’s no real border with Mexico,” he told me. “This was all indigenous land until the 16th century when the Spanish came in and made that part theirs. That’s like a few seconds ago in earthtime!” 

We found sites wherever we looked: ancient terraces and stone enclosures, dancing grounds and what looked like a racetrack! We flew over enormous drawings etched into the desert pan and ritual gathering places tucked deep into canyons. We even found evidence of dinosaurs! Adriel recorded the positions of each site we found and filmed them in their surround. Some were new discoveries and some already familiar to the archeologists. My role was as sharp-eyed lookout.

On our third trip out, a year later, we flew over Picacho Peak, breasting clouds above the summit and emerging into sunlit spaces only to plunge back into obscuring whiteness where neither we nor the mountain seemed to have anchors to reality. Descending from clouds to circle our way down the mountain again, we came close enough to its sides to all but touch yellow sandstone and smell the pitted rock. 

Same mountain – different perspective.

Landing below at the tiny airport, we grabbed our packs and found the trail, hiking up in the hot sun and bending to smell  flowering agaves, following the flights of birds and the scurrying of beetles, hearing dry rock crackle beneath our feet, feeling the enormity of this solid earth. 

Same mountain – entirely new perspective.

At one switchback in the trail, I felt so happy that I called out to Adriel,

“I’m so glad you’re in the world at the same time I am!” and we exchanged a smile I will never forget.

Sigh – yet another perspective of Picacho Peak…

That was some twenty years ago, but I am thinking of it now, wondering about perspective and how to understand what we have to face now, as we and the world are going through a major shift of consciousness, and we have lost our bearings. Frightened by the enormity of the challenge, we have no idea of the scale of the mountain we are trying to climb.  

So what do we do now and how can we understand what’s happening? Is this about politics, about religion, about climate change or all of the above and more? What does it mean to ‘shift’, anyhow? Who knows? I just know that whatever it is we are supposed to do now, it is big and it will take great courage.

I know that whenever I’ve had to stand up to personal trouble coming at me, it took guts to face it straight on and change the story, though when it felt like life or death to me, I did it. Until I was about fourteen I simply thought my own thoughts while passively bearing my family’s dramas, but when my longing to dance was so strong I felt I’d die if I did not do it, and my parents refused to pay for dancing lessons, I snuck off to the city one day to audition with the director of Deerwood Dance Camp, telling him I’d work in the kitchen for free if I could take classes there for the summer. He looked puzzled, but asked me kindly,

 “Why don’t you just come as a student?” 

“My parents wouldn’t let me,” I mumbled, shamed down to my roots. His nostrils flared white, I recall – I loved him for that -and he offered to come to my house that Sunday and talk to them. I could hardly believe he would do that. I nodded, mute.

“I’ll be there at 11 in the morning. Make sure they’re at home, but don’t tell them I’m coming. Of course you do not need to work in the kitchen to dance!” he said emphatically. 

He did indeed show up that Sunday, skillfully shamed my parents into supporting my desire to dance, and stood tall and rather fierce while my father made out a check for my tuition at Deerwood. The rest is history and I bless Sherwood Kains forever. 

Perspective and guts, that’s what we need now, as the world we live in ricochets wildly all over the place like a balloon with the air let out.

I wonder if this period of dissolution we are in is writ into a much larger Plan that rises and falls in cycles, each turn of the wheel bringing our souls into a higher frequency of vibration as we experience all the lessons of embodiment in the physical realm? Is it possible that this period is about the old structures breaking down – and not a moment too soon – so that we can start fresh with a more expanded vision and build it all up again in new ways, based upon an improved, more sane, more loving model? We are certainly more than ready for it! Perhaps it is no accident that people like our President are here to help take the old structures apart, setting the stage for our young ones to step in with their visions and energy to create a whole new way of living upon this beautiful and damaged planet.

I choose to think of him as a scapegoat and consummate actor, bless his heart. But we’re up the task, aren’t we?

Aren’t we? 

We have just enough time to catch the planet’s environment before it all melts and goes down the drain, and so many ways to do so. We won’t likely get our old world back, but that’s not the point as there’s a bigger perspective for us to see – the Whole mountain and not just the individual rocks. Creation happens at every moment, they say, and I’ve experienced it more than once in my life – the surprise, the beauty, the unexpected visions. I’ve flown in the sky in a homemade craft while the setting sun sank red beneath a slightly curved horizon, the lands and waters below deepening into mysterious shadow. I’ve felt it in the presence of a beloved friend who made me glad to be alive in that very moment, time and time again. 

The stones that form a mountain are as essential to the mountain as the handclasp of friendship on the trail is essential to the world. 

In Physics, every period of disequilibrium leads to reorganization into a finer, more complex system of organization. It’s built into the world! I also believe – get this – that everyone here now has chosen to be here to take on this task.

It is time; it’s more than time. As Sherwood Kains knew to come at the 11th hour – literally – it is time for us all to show up too, each in our own way.

Because it’s not too late – yet.

For Adriel Heisey 

Several years ago I had the great good fortune to fly above the Sonoran Desert a few times with a wonderful aerial photographer in his hand-built ultra-light plane, in search of prehistoric ruins. We took off from Tucson in pre-dawn darkness, the wind in our faces and our feet dangling in plain air – and my heart in my mouth – and we communicated by talking through the walky-talkies in our helmets. We leveled at 600 feet just as the sun came over the horizon, and looked down searching for evidence of ancient human life in this deceptively monotonous landscape. Flying low enough to make out details on the ground, we were also high enough to get a wide perspective of the lay of land beneath us. 

“I live for this!” Adriel crowed, as we searched for our ancient layered past in the desert landscape below. “I fly for wonder!”

With him I was flying for wonder too, learning from him about the land and time, about different perspectives, about the borders between places and between one human and another. We played with borders in the air, flying back and forth over the imaginary line between Mexico and the US, seeing only continuous desert. “There’s no real border with Mexico,” he told me. “This was all indigenous land until the 16th century when the Spanish came in and made that part theirs. That’s like a few seconds ago in earthtime!” 

We found sites wherever we looked: ancient terraces and stone enclosures, dancing grounds and what looked like a racetrack! We flew over enormous drawings etched into the desert pan and ritual gathering places tucked deep into canyons. We even found evidence of dinosaurs! Adriel recorded the positions of each site we found and filmed them in their surround. Some were new discoveries and some already familiar to the archeologists. My role was as sharp-eyed lookout.

On our third trip out, a year later, we flew over Picacho Peak, breasting clouds above the summit and emerging into sunlit spaces only to plunge back into obscuring whiteness where neither we nor the mountain seemed to have anchors to reality. Descending from clouds to circle our way down the mountain again, we came close enough to its sides to all but touch yellow sandstone and smell the pitted rock. 

Same mountain – different perspective.

Landing below at the tiny airport, we grabbed our packs and found the trail, hiking up in the hot sun and bending to smell  flowering agaves, following the flights of birds and the scurrying of beetles, hearing dry rock crackle beneath our feet, feeling the enormity of this solid earth. 

Same mountain – entirely new perspective.

At one switchback in the trail, I felt so happy that I called out to Adriel,

“I’m so glad you’re in the world at the same time I am!” and we exchanged a smile I will never forget.

Sigh – yet another perspective of Picacho Peak…

That was some twenty years ago, but I am thinking of it now, wondering about perspective and how to understand what we have to face now, as we and the world are going through a major shift of consciousness, and we have lost our bearings. Frightened by the enormity of the challenge, we have no idea of the scale of the mountain we are trying to climb.  

So what do we do now and how can we understand what’s happening? Is this about politics, about religion, about climate change or all of the above and more? What does it mean to ‘shift’, anyhow? Who knows? I just know that whatever it is we are supposed to do now, it is big and it will take great courage.

I know that whenever I’ve had to stand up to personal trouble coming at me, it took guts to face it straight on and change the story, though when it felt like life or death to me, I did it. Until I was about fourteen I simply thought my own thoughts while passively bearing my family’s dramas, but when my longing to dance was so strong I felt I’d die if I did not do it, and my parents refused to pay for dancing lessons, I snuck off to the city one day to audition with the director of Deerwood Dance Camp, telling him I’d work in the kitchen for free if I could take classes there for the summer. He looked puzzled, but asked me kindly,

 “Why don’t you just come as a student?” 

“My parents wouldn’t let me,” I mumbled, shamed down to my roots. His nostrils flared white, I recall – I loved him for that -and he offered to come to my house that Sunday and talk to them. I could hardly believe he would do that. I nodded, mute.

“I’ll be there at 11 in the morning. Make sure they’re at home, but don’t tell them I’m coming. Of course you do not need to work in the kitchen to dance!” he said emphatically. 

He did indeed show up that Sunday, skillfully shamed my parents into supporting my desire to dance, and stood tall and rather fierce while my father made out a check for my tuition at Deerwood. The rest is history and I bless Sherwood Kains forever. 

Perspective and guts, that’s what we need now, as the world we live in ricochets wildly all over the place like a balloon with the air let out.

I wonder if this period of dissolution we are in is writ into a much larger Plan that rises and falls in cycles, each turn of the wheel bringing our souls into a higher frequency of vibration as we experience all the lessons of embodiment in the physical realm? Is it possible that this period is about the old structures breaking down – and not a moment too soon – so that we can start fresh with a more expanded vision and build it all up again in new ways, based upon an improved, more sane, more loving model? We are certainly more than ready for it! Perhaps it is no accident that people like our President are here to help take the old structures apart, setting the stage for our young ones to step in with their visions and energy to create a whole new way of living upon this beautiful and damaged planet.

I choose to think of him as a scapegoat and consummate actor, bless his heart. But we’re up the task, aren’t we?

Aren’t we? 

We have just enough time to catch the planet’s environment before it all melts and goes down the drain, and so many ways to do so. We won’t likely get our old world back, but that’s not the point as there’s a bigger perspective for us to see – the Whole mountain and not just the individual rocks. Creation happens at every moment, they say, and I’ve experienced it more than once in my life – the surprise, the beauty, the unexpected visions. I’ve flown in the sky in a homemade craft while the setting sun sank red beneath a slightly curved horizon, the lands and waters below deepening into mysterious shadow. I’ve felt it in the presence of a beloved friend who made me glad to be alive in that very moment, time and time again. 

The stones that form a mountain are as essential to the mountain as the handclasp of friendship on the trail is essential to the world. 

In Physics, every period of disequilibrium leads to reorganization into a finer, more complex system of organization. It’s built into the world! I also believe – get this – that everyone here now has chosen to be here to take on this task.

It is time; it’s more than time. As Sherwood Kains knew to come at the 11th hour – literally – it is time for us all to show up too, each in our own way.

Because it’s not too late – yet.