Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Guardian Spirit of Pawtuckaway

She-Who-Watches is an ancient Native American pictograph-petroglyph, revered throughout the Pacific Northwest. For her people she was the resident guardian of the Columbia River basin. One can’t be detached or coolly cognitive in her Presence: Her eyes not only follow you everywhere, they pierce your soul.

I had a similar experience yesterday cross-country skiing with Russet and Coco in Pawtuckaway State Park.  Climbing up an incline between North Mountain and Middle Mountain, I began to have the uneasy feeling I was being watched. I looked around but no one was visible except us.

Just then, the sun briefly pierced the leaden sky illuminating a massive, stony presence: He wasn’t fearsome or sinister but achingly sad and mournful, his shoulders bent as if bearing the weight of the world.

I thought I knew who he was: The guardian spirit of the Penacook Confederacy, a peaceful, indigenous people who once made this land their home, until broken and emasculated by the White Man.

Then he beseeched me: “I pray that you come with peace and wonder in your heart to commune in my sacred realm – and not to stab me again in my already wounded heart.”

In that moment, it struck me like ice falling from an overhanging hemlock tree  that he was more than the guardian spirit of Pawtuckaway, he was an emissary of Gaia, our living, breathing Earth.
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