|Jumping to the Grave|
Around about the time I resigned from the Matrix I had a dream in which the fox came to me. He scampered out of the woods and made himself visible to me, and he looked me in the eyes to transfer his magic. To prepare my mind for entrance into a glitch which would allow me to mostly be left unhindered from the Matrix's control. Fox imbues the magic of invisibility in plain site. I recognized him, and his teaching, and then he disappeared back into the woods, and I woke up. It was a dream vision. I dubbed our new home the "Fox Den" and gave the fox a pedestal at Epiphany Now. About a year after my resignation a real fox was delivered to the Fox Den, and her name was Pepper (but she went by Bo Beppa). She was born from domestic dog parents, but she was no dog, she was a fox. She was the most beautiful animal I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.
|Diggin' a fox hole|
A couple of months ago I was digging in my yard, preparing a hole for a five gallon bucket full of table scraps. The area I dug in, behind a swale and berm, is the worst hard compacted clay SC has to offer. I was tired that day, and I just couldn't get the hole to the proper dimensions. Pepper loved scrutinizing my holes. She got in the hole, laid down, flipped on her back, and looked up at me as if to say "this will do," although I only know that in retrospect. I figured since she was enjoying the hole, and I wasn't going to be dumping five gallons of table scraps in it, that I would just leave it for her. My wife and I had hypothesized that she was actually sleeping in a hole she had dug in my first hugel bed. She dug holes into all of my six hugel beds on a regular basis. So I thought maybe she liked the hole better than what she had dug. At any rate, I moved onto digging a new hole in a different place in the yard where the soil wasn't quite so compact.
Around this same time I had a dream that I was throwing a boomerang in our yard. I've never thrown a boomerang before, and I had no idea what the dream meant, but I decided to go online and purchase a rang. Whatever the reason, I took to throwing boomerangs like I imagine birds enjoy their flight. It has become a meditation for me, and a spiritual practice. Boomerangs connect you to the sky and the wind. They teach you to be still and patient, especially when the wind is blowing too hard. Half of throwing a boomerang is ability to read the wind. If you want it to come back to you than you've got to first know which way the wind is blowing and how hard. Then you have to figure out how much layover, how hard to throw, which direction, how high of a release angle, and lastly you just have to get lucky (at least when the wind is blowing), and if all that is done properly the boomerang will come back to you.
We decided to get Pepper fixed around this time. She was right at a year old, and we didn't want to breed another dog (I mean fox) because we have two kids and one pet is enough extra responsibility. Getting her spayed changed her psychology, or maybe it was just because I was in the fields throwing my boomerang and she wanted to get out of the fence with me. Whatever the case, she started escaping from our yard on a regular basis. She'd run off chasing field mice, or voles, or whatever else caught her noses attention. We live off of a pretty busy two lane road. About a quarter of a mile before our house the speed limit goes from 45 to 55, and people regularly travel 60 to 65 mph. Knuckle heads will occasionally use that stretch as a temporary drag strip. It's one of the most dangerous roads I've seen, and this is coming from an opinion informed by 6 years on a meat wagon. People get killed all of the time on this road, and near this house to boot.
I came home from an ecological design dig in Asheville NC that day. I was tired from moving large logs and Earth around for a massive hugelspiral construction we were creating. I got home and left our fence open. Pepper got out and got herself ran over on that road. The people across the street called the house, it was about 9 pm, and they asked "is your dog in the house?" No, I replied. "Well there's a dog out here on the road that's been run over, looks like it might be yours." I put my clothes back on and went out to see about it. There was a large lifted 4X4 truck pulled over with a kid no older than 20 standing there with a dip in his mouth. "Over here." He took me to where she lay dead on the side of the road. I was relieved to see that she was actually dead because I did not want to have to put her down to stop her suffering. She lay there in the ditch, with her tongue hanging out, and just a trickle of blood. Her skin was all in tact, which I still think is strange having been run over by a large truck. I picked her head up and sure enough her neck was broken. I offered my hand to the kid whom had run her over, and I said "it's not your fault man." He said "I know it's not my fault," got in his truck and sped off.
I carried her remains through the dark to that hole I had dug, placed her in it, got the shovel out of the bed of my truck, and committed her to the Earth. I cried a lot about Pepper for the next couple of days. I could still cry about her if I wanted to. In fact, weeks later, it's still hard not to. It was more than just the lose of a beloved pet, it felt like a dark magic had descended on the Fox Den. It felt suspicious and as if some intentional evil had been done. It felt like I had lost some very important magic myself, as if something was trying to take it from me. I haven't lost any magic, in fact, I have gained some. Pepper's job was complete. The fox world vetted me, and she was the instrument. Pepper was sent to teach me the ways of the fox, so that I may study them and know them. I like to think that she knew her body would eternally rest in that hole we dug together. She's there now, protecting the Fox Den always. I told our three year old son Ayden Zen that Bo Beppa was invisible now, that she is with us in spirit but that he would likely not see her again, and I took him to her grave to let him say good bye.
A new totem was to arrive shortly after the Fox was finished teaching me his, or her in this case, lesson. The robin showed up shortly after Pepper's death. I was in the garden, meditating next to Pepper, and a Robin landed close to me. The robin looked at me, just as that fox had looked at me in my dream vision. Only now this was no dream, this was waking life. I walked over to the robin and he led me around the yard for a while, not letting me get closer than five feet. That robin just hung out with me for a while, beckoning me to listen to what it had to say, wondering if I would accept the next phase of my totem progression. "I've seen you throwing that boomerang," robin said to me, "do you really want to know how to fly?" That was the question robin was asking me. Throwing that boomerang is like flying. Every time I throw it my spirit elates with the magical flight path and remains connected to it. It's as if I'm flying there with it, and apparently the bird world has taken notice.
Around the same time all of this was happening our house burnt to the ground. We were renting the house, the only house my wife and I have ever owned, the one we brought Zen home to from the hospital after his birth. We were renting the house to renters because I could not resign from the Matrix and afford the mortgage. New renters were moving in that night, and they set a box on the counter in the kitchen next to the stove top. The element got kicked on, and 25,000 gallons of water later the fire was out and the house was gone. Nobody was hurt. Allstate paid the mortgage off and wrote us a check for the remainder of the policy. The Phoenix is rising from those ashes, and it has sent robin to teach me the magic of flight.
Just before our house burned down I decided, uncharacteristically, that what I needed was to go to the local park by myself. I drove to the park, got out of my truck, stretched, and then started running (I hadn't gone for a run in probably 7 years). It was spontaneous, and it was as if I was not in control of it. Why had I chosen to run in the park on that day? So I ran into the woods and onto a disc golf course. The path started to climb, and I had run about a mile at this point, and so I decided to walk a bit. Before I knew it I was walking along a creek, and so I sat down next to the creek to meditate. Something told me to go 20 yards to my right, up stream, and so I did, and there in the middle of the creek, a foot beneath the water, was a disc somebody had lost. I've never played disc golf, but I had always wanted to, so I started throwing the disc along the path of the course. Five holes later, and I was on the back nine of the course. I was kneeling down, looking for the next disc golf basket, trying to figure the course out. A man in his 70's appeared with a very large dog. I was eyeballing them pretty hard (probably because of the size of the dog) and eventually the man asked me "are you security." "No," I said, and we sort of walked towards each other and started talking.
He reminded me of the cover of my copy of John Steinbeck's Travels with Charlie. Permaculture came up, as did Bamboo. "I have bamboo," the man said with elation. His dog's name is Bodey. I have a cousin named Bodey, it's not a common name, especially not for a dog, and so my attention was gotten. I had been drawn to bamboo shortly before this meeting. We swapped cell numbers and he invited me to come by his house to check out the bamboo he'd planted. A couple of months went by (in which all of the above story happened), and my wife had started regularly trying to get me to call the man from the park (Gary is his name). We were talking about installing a bamboo stand as a privacy screen, and so I had good reason to go pick his brain. Being Aspergian, however, it's damn near impossible to get me to reach out to people via phone. Wendy was persistent, and eventually I gave in and called Gary.
So we packed up our family of four, and went to a man's house whom I'd met only once several months ago. Our son Ayden Zen appears to be having difficulty with speech. Wendy thinks he may have a lisp (I just think it's cause he's 3 and a half). At any rate, Gary's wife had written several books on phonetics...what is this synchronicity? Gary and I talked bamboo for a while and then he handed me a business card that he had gotten via his love of Bamboo for a near by company specializing in bamboo. I put the card in my wallet where it stayed for a couple of weeks.
I began researching bamboo online, and then I began digging a trench to create a bamboo island. The next client for my ecological design business is a female shaman, and she wants a living privacy hedge. I'm hopeful I can convince her that there is none better than bamboo for a privacy hedge. It creates a complete visual block within 4 years. It's the fastest growing plant on planet earth. Wiki reports that bamboo has been recorded as growing 98 inches in 24 hours. This is nothing short of amazing, and science is still trying to figure out just how it's possible for bamboo to achieve this phenomenal growth. At any rate, it's apparently time for me to learn all things bamboo, and so I emailed the email address on that business card, and I asked if I could come pick their brains on all things bamboo. The business is run by a married couple. Their nursery is really not a nursery, but more of an experiment in bamboo prowess. I'll have to pick this story up in the next installment here at Epiphany Now.
However, I'll leave the story with this bit of synchronicity and numerology mystery. The day before I went to meet John I looked at the clock at 111, 222, and 444 pm, I never do that. I usually catch it once where all the numbers are the same. The bamboo business is actually located in the same county I moved from after resigning from the Matrix. The same county I worked EMS in for 6 years. In fact, my first EMS job, was actually working for the rescue squad that services the town the grove is in. That town's not far from where our burnt down house resides. The same burnt down house that has that Phoenix rising from it's ashes. We drove to the Bamboo Forest yesterday with Zen and Tribann, to tour it, to learn all things bamboo so that I can convince a shaman. We pulled up to the field just in front of this endearingly magical place on Earth, and there I met John and his beautiful wife. John has a scruffy beard, he's from California, and he has Aspergers (if you don't know, I'm from California and I have Aspergers). The day that would follow would prove to be amongst the most magical days of my life. I'll tell that story next time.
|Part of Bamboo Island|