Jason Lawrence Bell
Stories
Search single story

05-18-19

05-18-19            PUSH ARROW FOR AUDIO

     ‘There were strong ones and there were weak ones, but the smart ones were the real winners.’ Was the early assessment of the results of the polls for Governor of Oregon State. Henry listened and shrugged off the reports and knew they lost another opportunity for real advancement. His disgust for humans and their short-sighted selfish decisions was reconfirmed once again by their failure to act. He felt doomed. 

     So, Henry returned to his home in Portland and put his house up for sale. He needed to find a place where people were willing to see the reality of our planet in distress. But where? Henry was a plumber by trade so moving was made easier because he could create work wherever he moved. But where? 

     Years ago, Henry developed a personal method for helping him make tough decisions. He used it to select his occupation as a plumber. He used it when he decided to move to Oregon from Arizona when he was fresh out of high school. It was something that was passed on to him from his American Indian grandmother when he was very young. 

    Grandmother called it Consulting The Ancestors. When she taught him, it was an experience that stayed with him at a deep level. It began one day when grandmother decided Henry was ready. She told his parents that Henry and her were going on a camping trip for a few days. She drove them to the Arizona deserts in July. Henry was well aware that July in Arizona was a challenging experience. Days were often so hot that temperatures were above 115 degrees, but the nights with the summer breezes was wonderful and refreshing. He remembers them wearing shorts and t-shirts and putting up a large tent that looked like an authentic Indian tepee. There was plenty of water and fruit but little else to eat. Grandmother was a woman of very words. She once said ‘words are only useful for knowledge, never for wisdom.’ 

     Henry doesn’t remember her speaking on the trip at all. He just followed her actions and would work as a silent partner. But there was an instant bonding. Henry’s love for his grandmother was unique and deep, especially compared to the rest of the family. Impossible to explain but they were attached at levels that his mind could not understand but his heart and spirit completely understood. She introduced him to another realm of being. It was like having another set of eyes, that could only see truth. 

     At the camp that they set up, during the days they would spend many hours in the hot tent sweating and drinking water. When they felt overheated, there were buckets of water they poured over each other. To Henry it felt like the toxic poisons were being washed away thru his sweat. His mind seemed to turn off and he allowed the cleansing of his body.

     The second day in the tent was different. His mind immediately turned off as the sweat poured out. He sensed himself descending somewhere downward. His new eyes were watching as he found himself in a suspended state. Like he was floating in some liquid environment. A thought floated by that this was like being in the womb before his birth. He sensed some part of his being was changing or growing while he floated calmly. Pure contentment. Sporadically he would resurface and pore water over himself then allow himself to descend again. This is what Henry would later consider as his inner journey. The worlds within. 

     Then came the nights, those glorious nights. They would lay under the stars that were in full display. The most amazing light show dazzling every night. Henry felt the vastness of existence thru endless realms and felt privileged to be an observer of such unspeakable beauty. The first night Henry felt waves of deep appreciation to be a part of such awesome majesties. 

     Henry slipped into a deep sleep. Sometime in the night Henry awoke. He instinctively knew not to moved. As he opened his eyes, he saw that he was surrounded by desert animals. There were at least a dozen jack rabbits curled up around him. There were turtles and small rodents and on his stomach was a large snake sleeping on the warmth of his body. Henry smiled as he realized he was being accepted. 

     On the second night the stars seemed even more beautiful. Henry realized that those stars are always present, but his human eyes were unable to see them until night. Just then he felt a drop of water on his cheek. In a moment Henry became aware of a part of nature’s cycle. Water that lands on earth for a time then eventually evaporates into mist that floats up to clouds and comes back down as drops of rain. The cycle repeats and repeats. Henry related it to the human experience of transforming into life at our birth and transforming out of life at death. He felt the wisdoms that his grandmother lead him to, absorbing into his being.

     After two days and nights Henry and grandmother packed the car and returned to their human lives. She knew Henry was changed and Henry was beyond grateful. Before they left Henry and grandmother looked into each other’s eyes for the longest time and their connection was complete. They had formed their small tribe of two and bonded forever. 

     When grandmother passed, Henry pull out a photo of grandmother that he felt captured her essence. He had it framed and hung over the fireplace. Whenever he had a difficult decision to make, he would pull down the photo and stare into grandmother’s eyes and receive the answer he needed. 

     Today he pulled the photo and asked for direction about where he should move from Portland. After a long meditation with grandmother he knew what to do. Henry walked outside and took down the For-Sale sign and drove to the state government building and applied to be a State Senator for the State of Oregon. Peace**