Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Vision Quest

Ever since the 2009 Euador exchange began, I sensed a kind of spiritual movement stirring within some of the youth. This is especially true for Santiago. More than once I found him up late at night pondering the mysteries of life on both a personal and collective level. In quiet moments, he often expressed a sense of vulnerability and deep inner change.

At some point during the bonfire, his eyes adjusted to the dark and he suddenly noticed the mountains standing watch over the Kooskia Valley. Janet looked on with approval. She smiled and said, "The grandmothers have shown themselves to you." From that moment he made a plan to arise early the next moment to climb the mountain. Again I felt that same stirring within his spirit.

The alarm went off at exactly 5:30 the following morning and Santiago began to wake the others. "Let's go," he pressed, but no one made a move. Everyone who agreed to climb the mountain now refused to leave their warm beds. I was tempted to get up and share the journey with him, but something inside told me to stay. "You go alone," I said.

And so he did.

I could not even begin to call his experience a vision quest, at least not in the fullest sense, and yet a hint or a shadow of that old archetype emerged. Santiago was the one who had expressed some of the deepest spiritual changes, and now he found himself climbing the very mountain others had used to find their visions. Once again, I find myself humbled to witness the ancestral spirits manifesting in the youth.

By the way, this is a photograph he took from the mountaintop using my camera.

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