Sunday, 22 May 2016

Druid walk in the spring snow

Today was wet, and in some parts of Calgary, very snowy.  Everyone 'knows' that it often snows on the May long weekend here, and yet when it does, we are all amazed, and at the same time some how a little bit pleased that we 'knew it would'.

Our group met as planned in the parking lot with warm clothes, rain gear and little offerings to take to the Medicine Wheel. The first steps off the pavement were slippery, muddy and uphill... more than a bit of a challenge.  In fact, we had to be very careful where we trod, as there was an awful lot of slipping and sliding and more than enough falling.

Driving up to the 14th street parking lot on Nose Hill

A couple of things started to happen as we walked along.  First, we realized that the park looks different under a little bit of snow, and that a Medicine Wheel made of small stones will be almost impossible to see until we get right to it.
Second was the problem of the ravines.  The steep dirt-now snow covered muddy paths were too slippery to navigate, and the wet snowy grass was not much better.  

A beautiful snowy path on Nose Hill

After we walked for about half an hour, marvelling at the great long earth worm stretched out on the trail, and the many flowers poking up through the snow we admitted we were not going to make it up the hill to the Medicine Wheel.    It was not as tragic  as Franklin's failed expedition to find the North West Passage, or as disappointing as a failed Everest attempt.  We, being a creative bunch, decided we could choose our own sacred space, leave our offerings to the park, and head back to the cars and go for coffee.  

Uphill and slippery

We choose a spot beside a crossroads of paths, and tracked a footprint circle in the snow around a pretty purple flower.  After a short ceremony and a few short words we left our offerings of flower seeds, oak wand wood shavings, a feather and some oak leaves to the spirits of the place, and to Nose Hill Park.

Our little altar (possibly Houndstongue - Cynoglossum officinale)

Even though we did not find/arrive at the Medicine Wheel, our intentions were good, and it felt like a right place for our purpose.  We did realize that it is highly unlikely we would ever find this exact spot again, if we looked for it.  Somehow that was fitting in a mysterious and magical way.


Bright and sunny buffalo beans poking through the snow.  (Thermopsis rhombifolia)

There is an old abandoned road on the hill, with beautiful and tough poplar trees growing up through the pavement.  It is a wonderful example of nature's power.


Poplar trees growing through an old asphalt road


Moss and lichen on the north side


Green and wet


Rose hips

We all agreed to come back and complete our goal of a walk to the Medicine Wheel, preferably on a hot and dry summer day.   As usual, we ended our walk over coffee and treats at a nearby coffeeshop.

Wet spring blessings to all!

    /|\
Feather






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