I’ve been doing a lot of preparing for my retreat to the Hoh Rainforest this weekend. Some mundane, like getting stuff packed. But the biggest part is preparing the depths within me for what is to come…opening my heart, mind, and inside eyes to hearing the voices of my Ancestors.

To help me in this, I’ve been listening-meditating intently each day for instructions on making a Saami drum. I’ve not made a frame drum before, so was really surprised when, at my last retreat in the Rainforest, I was told I must come back in May to make a family drum. After many years of ‘hearing’, I’ve learned to have faith in the process and just allow it to unfold. The drum I painted for my GrandSon’s first BirthDay came into being in this way too…I had no idea what I was doing, but ‘heard’ the step by step, on how to complete it.

This time, the mandate was to, “write the names of all your Ancestral GrandMothers, your Mother, your Self, your Daughters, and your GrandDaughters…on the inside of the frame, in Viking runes, and woodburn it in. Ha! My initial reaction was, whoa…that’s a lot of work! But, I’ve undertaken to follow this, and have been sitting with the frame in lap each day, as I inscribe all eleven generations that I am aware of, first in pencil, then burned in. Those who are no longer in body are wrapped in bookend infinity symbols. Each generation has its number beside it. Of course, the generational numbers will shift as the years go by, but it matters not. The generations to come, and the GrandMothers we learn of from the past, will all be added to the drum in time…I’ve already been given the instructions on how to do that.

The furthest back I’ve been able to find so far, is my GrandMother Beret, who was born around 1658, and who is the eleventh generation from my youngest GrandDaughter, Josephine, who is almost two years old. I do not know GrandMother Beret’s last name, nor does it matter. Just by the learning of all my Ancestral GrandMother’s first names, then by working on figuring out each one in runic script, writing them on notebook paper and allowing the flow of how they should go on the frame to well forth…and then writing them again in pencil, and finally burning them in…they are, in turn, being burned into my mind and heart, each GrandMother coming alive, one by one, within me. I am clear that this is for the generations to come, maybe even more than it is for me…and that all will be revealed, in time.

Thank you, thank you, thank you sweet GrandMothers, for gracing this life with your presence, witness, and guidance. May I be a worthy vessel for your love to pour forth, sending healing onto this plane of exist-dance.

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