The yurt was cold. Our dreams were wild (oddly enough, all about being attacked in one way or another) and the rain poured so hard all night and all morning there was a bit of an apocalyptic tone to the entire experience. When the sunshine finally rose, hours later than what we were used to, the scenery was far from apocalyptic. It was breathtaking. The shores of Lake Huron rolled softly onto the rainsoaked beach and though the drizzle and 12 degree climate was brisk, we decided to honour our intention of doing yoga in miraculous places each day. I dragged my hot pink yoga mat into the sand, the girls set up a makeshift tripod, and with my raincoat on and my blundstones within a short reach, I began to dance. Dance through one of those yoga practices that vibrates through your insides. The rain became my sweat, my tears, my purification. My hands grew into the sand as they crushed it deeper with each breath in downward dog. I had arrived. I remember. This is what we wander for.
We left the yurt unscathed and with warmed tea in our hands we cruised west on the transcanada highway. With bald eagles guiding our way and dead moose hauled into the back of pickup trucks alongside us, we drove with our jaws hanging far beyond dropped. Yellow, golden, red and orange trees framed the highway that we are calling home these days. Lakes and rivers and creeks spotted beneath a beaming October sun confirmed that we had landed in the territory of Group Of Seven inspiration. This is the land the world thinks of when they hear Canada. And this is the land we had never met, until now.
The vastness of beauty seemed unstoppable until we neared a small mining town called Marathon. Suddenly our sweet roadway was no longer framed by mama natures babies, but rather, by the destruction of them. A lump of miscarried trees and plants replaced by a giant sign that made Ashley’s heart ache. It read, “Barrick Gold”. This was mining land. This was where the land was destroyed, indigenous rights repressed and the great natural beauty of our country was replaced by greed and economic supremacy. We ate a grocery store lunch in a strip mall, took a photo with a giant goose and conversed about the balance between preserving nature and indigenous rights vs. building a roaring economy of mining anything that sits beneath the earth. Confused and conflicted, we drove onward,ironically approaching our own “mining” assignment. With just 45 to spare, we would be mining Amethyst just outside of Thunder Bay.
Have you ever heard of the crystal children? Indigo children? Hippie rumour has it that this collective of divine beings were dropped onto the earth to help guide and teach people about the power of group consciousness, love and peace. They are forgiving, easy-going, blissful wise beings in little bodies. Jordana and I are still trying to determine whether we are crystal children, witches, angels or just kids from the 80′s who watched Hocus Pocus and The Craft too much. Our venture to the amethyst mine was the most exciting item on our trip to do list. We would dig our own crystals- purple rocks bred from the sweet earth that roared with peacefulness and balance as we thought we did.
An elderly whippersnipper of a woman greeted us at the amethyst mine. This was her mine. She and Tim had run the place, with support from their family since as a long as she could remember. They took risks. They were true, fiery entrepreneurs. Hauling in tourists and crystal children wannabes like ourselves to dig their own amethyst. And the price was to die for. “I feel like I have been ripped off by every Crystal store I’ve ever been too” sighed Jordana as she ravaged through the acres of amethyst leeching rock. Buckets in hand, we explored. The way we imagine real explorers once did, hunting, fetching, feasting on a wild abundance of sacred subjects. It reminded me of wholesale Buddhist mala markets in Thailand. What a place it becomes when the things we cherish for their sacredness are raining down onto us.
For under $50 we took home a lifetime of crystal shop impulse buys. Stones in our pockets, car door cup holders and anywhere else we could stash them, we cruised onward, to the winding roads of the Sleeping Giant.
A mystical aire emerged from the depths of sun soaked trees preparing their wings for the fall. Canopied treetops wed us beneath her and fed us the most delightful feelings of connection to the earth. We walked, ran, stomped and “yoga’ed” all over mama earth today.