On our ponderosa hillside, Bill and I created a little altar, where we vision, talk and express gratitude.
People who visit, or who receive some kind of healing from the land, often leave something there – a special stone, feather or trinket. It is a sweet little sacred space. For my birthday one year, my cousin Jessie and her partner Mish, gave me a little green ceramic box filled with lavender, whose top was a little brown bear with pink wings. Bill and I put that, and a stone carved wall hanging of an angel that said, “Peace and Grace Be to this Place.” So we named the angel, Grace and the little bear, Peace.
When I went back up there, the following week, the bear was in a different place, and her wings had broken off. She didn’t seem any more worse for wear, so I figured she had sacrificed her wings to create a butterfly – a transformation of Peace.
On my next visit to the hillside altar, Peace was gone! What was I to do with no Peace? Of course, it became a quest to find Peace. Every hike, I searched. I looked everywhere for Peace. For a while, I even thought that maybe someone had stolen my Peace.
A few months later, Grace disappeared. I thought for sure, there must be an altar trinket marauder. Grace was really heavy. How could a pack rat have moved her? I wrote a little note, asking for their return, and left it in a baggie, thinking maybe it was a kid who thought they had been abandoned.
Finally, I let go. If someone felt the need to steal them, they needed Peace and Grace more than I did.
Over a year later, Bill and I were marking trees for a thinning project. We were probably a quarter of a mile away from the altar and 200 feet higher. At the time we were about a hundred yards apart. I thought I saw something green and shiny buried under a large root.
As I went to investigate, it began to dawn on me what it might be.
“Oh my God!” I shouted. “Oh my God!!!”
“What honey? What’s wrong?” Bill yelled back, with visions of me lying on the ground, fractured and bloody.
“I Found Peace!”
The moral of this little pack rat parable is that you need not look further than your back yard, when searching for peace.
When letting go of something, if it is meant to be, it will return.
A couple of months later, I found Grace. I think the magpies or ravens must be in on these little capers.
May you find peace and grace.