Walking On My Shaman Path (#118)

I started a correspondence course on how to be a Shaman. The first lesson told me to go to a sweat lodge or sauna. Sit there waiting and sweating. A vision of my animal guide or spirit would come to me. I am puzzled as to what I will learn from this.

With my hours of work and schedule of exercise classes I figure I already have a full plate. So the shaman lessons are filed away. Although, thoughts about animal guides stay in the back of my mind.

On the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend I was to lead a guided nature hike on the Caspar Headlands Trail. The path of the trail runs right above the park at Caspar Beach where I live and work. It’s a two mile round trip through a dense coastal rain forest of redwoods, ferns, pines and a plethora of other flora and fauna.

An hour before the hike was to start the rain came down hard. At the appointed hour of 10AM it was still raining. I walked over to the Beach Store anyway. Maybe some diehard hikers would be there.

After fifteen minutes no one showed up. I decided to do the hike solo.

It was only my second time on the trail. The first time was a couple of weeks ago when I hiked it with Louisa, one of the trail’s builders. For me it was a great opportunity to learn the history of the area, and to identify the surrounding flowers, shrubs, and trees.

That day out we found the tail of a wild pig just laying on the trail. The tail was black and about 6 inches long. A half mile further on the trail we found animal scat with lots of black pig hair in it. Louisa remarked that now we knew what had eaten the pig: a mountain lion or bobcat.

We finished our hike without further evidence of carnivore activity. I had learned to identify wild mint, sorrel and Mendocino paintbrush. I knew the location of an osprey nest and a junked Volkswagen. I was ready to do my guided hikes.

So here I was on a rainy Saturday going back up the trail; hiking party of one! I had on sturdy hiking shoes and rain gear. Once up the switchback I got in under the tree canopy with little rain coming through.

As I walked along I could hear kids laughing in the campground below. Purple irises still bloomed; a bittersweet tree was laden with its bright orange clusters of berries. It was a perfect opportunity for me to review my mental notes on the trail’s highlights.

The rain increased once I left the tree cover. So I decided it was time to turn around and head back home. Going along at a quicker pace I was just coming off a side trail to the dirt road.

Thirty feet ahead, on the other side of the road, it was crouched low, a tawny golden color to its fur.  As soon as it saw me, it turned away. Taking off into the deep forest. A mountain lion!

I was in awe! I walked home, thoughts dancing in my head: I’d gone for a hike. I met a wild and fearsome creature. I got to live to tell about it! Oh, and…… I also met my animal guide. Will wonders ever cease!

Joy! Tin Can Annie

About TinCanTraveler

Born under a wand'rin' star.... living in my Winnebago, traveling the country, explorer/adventurer, photographer, writer, chi master, massage therapist, retired teacher/counselor, work camper. Grateful for the freedom to do it all. Enjoying life's ultimate lessons of trust, respect, and grace. Inhale love; exhale gratitude.
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4 Responses to Walking On My Shaman Path (#118)

  1. Gia says:

    I looked up the symbolism of the mountain lion…
    MOUNTAIN LION – teaches us how to lead others. To be true to oneself, allowing neither fear of responsibility nor the jealousy and insecurities of others to divert one from one’s path, is the mark of a genuine leader.

    ” being true to oneself and the mark of a true leader” .. yep ! that’s Annie ! 🙂
    Blessings ~
    Love, Gia

  2. Sher says:

    OMG – a mountain lion! Anne, I do worry about you. You really have to stop doing stuff solo! So I guess you figured the mountain lion is your guide. You are truly a wonder, all the things you are accomplishing in your life and you are still such a young chick! God bless you. And I sure hope he is watching over you.

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