An Earth Grandmother’s Calling… -Angela Chayse
People come into our lives for different reasons. Some pass through without so much as a smile or a wink. But some envelop you in a moment so profound, you carry their warmth into a lifetime of change… It’s dark and cold out. Winter is creeping across the province of Nova Scotia. Alone, I am rested in front of a fire, searching – on my lap top, for yoga schools in Halifax. Somehow, I come across a page titled, Grandmothers Medicine lodge. Instantly I am drawn in, and find myself hitting send on an email, requesting to meet grandmother in person. I have no idea what that even entails, but a deeper knowing is guiding me to her presence. Late the next Saturday evening, I am knocking at her door. Selina, Earth Grandmother, is of mixed heritage, Black Nova Scotian, Mi’kmaq Aboriginal and Scottish, a representation of the coming together of races. She dresses in white flowing gowns, and radiates universal love. She certainly looks like an earth grandmother. I sit down in front of her, still not quite knowing what to expect, or even why I am here. We chat for a while. She looks deep into my eyes as the ancient spirit – Grandmother Turtle, is called on for guidance. At her feet is a bundle of musical instruments, drums, feathers, shakers, different grasses; all handed down from native generations past, all blessed the with healing powers of the ancients. The energy in the room grows intense as I lay on the table to begin my session. Ever since I was a child, I have had visions. Mainly of corroborees, aboriginals dancing in sharp movements telling stories of the dream time, woman chanting in nasally tones, clap sticks, didgeridoos, the smoke of the fire creeping up my nostrils, my heart singing with the whisper of the trees. I was different ages at different times, but the one thing that connected them all was the love I felt for the earth and my family. These visions come back to me as she picks up different instruments and moves them around my body. The energy they each bring forward, is unique to their own. I feel my heart open, my pinkie toes pulsate with the flow of blood. But now, something is shifting. Lifetimes flash before my eyes, as Selina stops. She puts down her instruments. Muttering to herself, she takes hold of my left hand and shoulder. Instantly, an intense burst of energy spirals me back through time. I am in a camp with what feels like my aboriginal family, only this time white men are charging at my people on horses. They are massacring everyone in sight. I see horrific scenes as my mother is killed before my very eyes, my baby brother stamped on.. elders shot and slain, everyone lay dead or dying.. I am all alone. An elder appears before me, I am screaming ‘You said you would never leave me’. Chanting fills the air in a language vaguely familiar. Selina is also chanting, she is travelling through different dimensions, calling back the parts of me that have been lost. The elder looks deep into my eyes as he put his hand on my left shoulder. The message is clear. I am safe. The dust settles. We both take a moment to breath. Selina hands me an instrument that contains the essence of Grandmother Turtle. I hold it in my left hand, over my heart. My head swells with thoughts. What am I supposed to feel? Was this really blessed by the ancients? I hear Selina’s voice through a vortex of time. ‘How are you dear one?’ Suddenly, like a freight train powering through the dessert, Grandmother Turtles spirit shoots into my heart. My whole body vibrates with her power. Her wise and knowing voice fills my head. ‘The path you are on is the path you were put on this earth to take’. I see visions of the future, my hopes and dreams a reality. I try to question the truth of what I am being shown, but she cuts me off. ‘It’s time to wake up’, Grandmother Turtle commands. My eyes well with tears. ‘You are stronger than you allow yourself to be’. Again the energy builds. But I am scared I am not enough. Her vibration intensifies. I can no longer hold on. I surrender to her strength and ask for guidance. ‘You are far greater than what you think you are’… Trust dear child, I am with you’. A sense of relief fills me. I am not alone. I ride on grandmother turtles back into the boundless ocean.. Playful and free. As I come back into the room, I connect with Selina’s eyes. ‘The ancients are strong with you dear child. Remember who you are.’ She whispers. ‘The energy of the earth is calling’. Suddenly I feel more than I have ever felt. I can hear the sound of the boats out on the harbour and smell the burning sweet grass. I no longer feel alone. It hits me. I’m never alone, because all of what I am exists right now.. and all of what I am is not just me. I think back to the girl sitting by the fire and guide her to this moment. Selina’s heart breaths fresh oxygen into my mind. The energy of the star people shine bright, as, at the stroke of midnight, I leave Grandmother’s studio. Gratitude floods my being. I am no longer shattered pieces of dust floating through time. Perhaps I have walked many worlds with a sense of emptiness. Traumatised by memories blanketed through time, confused by an image looking back in the mirror. In this life I have willingly given pieces of my essence away, not caring as to how I would ever again, feel whole. With each decision to disrespect myself, perhaps I felt I was giving back a piece of satisfaction to my black bothers and sisters . As I gaze at the heavens a thought enters my mind… ‘We come from the stars and return to the stars, but forget who we are when we’re here’. Perhaps now, is the time to remember, so we can let go of our suffering and truly come together, to shine as one.