It is a clear warm night in Costa Rica. There is a fire, and drums, and a big moon, and about 15 people watching a young man as he goes through an initiation ceremony. The shaman is tall, muscular, very powerful, a tenth-generation shaman. He goes for the jugular if he thinks you are being stupid or cowardly.
He asks us, “Who are you?”
The younger people in the group look blank; they have no idea how to answer this. The shaman is getting impatient.
“Come on, come on. It’s not that hard a question. Who are you?”
I love this question, although it isn’t such a simple question anymore. I’ve outlived the simple answers. I am like a mobile, shifting and whirling, with more and more doodahs bobbling around on it all the time.
I’m an adventurer
an explorer of wild places
(inner and outer)
I’m a really good friend
I love being a woman
and a mother
I love to play and I love to learn
I’m passionate, curious, and sensitive
I treasure honesty and grit
and wisdom rooted in pain
I’m slowly finding my voice
and learning to live from my heart
(I have a long way to go)
I’m an artist
but mostly I know that
I’m a child of the
great mothering heart of the universe.
I tell this to the shaman, and he laughs.