This (poem) was me as a little girl. How does the gift of Time bloom those precious buds of childhood? Through the many twists and turns in the river of life. Here are some of mine…I used to run in the forests and meadows, singing with the birds and loving God and Nature. I would carefully walk across fields, trying so hard to not harm a single ant or plant. I was free, and lived most of the time in the HeartWood of my soul.I grew up on an acreage just outside of Fremont, Nebraska, spending much time in the great Oak trees and playing on the cliffs and Indian burial grounds along the Platte River. My favorite days of childhood were spent outside with all that was wild. I was in love with life and the world, and it was in love with me, as far as I was concerned.Born to musical gurus and educators, I was taught to sing from the time I was six months old, and was on stage by the time I was three years old. My parent’s gift of music is one of the great gifts of this life. Their gift of the stage has allowed this incredibly introverted, intuitive and highly sensitive soul, the ability to get up in front of people, allowing me to sing and teach.The great need and desire for quiet and reflection has always lived within, and I’ve spent much time in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, since moving here at 17 years old.My spiritual pathway has been multifarious and prismatic. As a young child raised in the Lutheran Church, I was in love with God and would cry at Christmas because I loved that baby Jesus so much. As I grew, I questioned church doctrine and dogma, and stretched beyond the childhood teachings of my parents’ religion.I went on to study the wisdom traditions, the mystic sides of Buddhism, Native American teachings, Christianity, Sikhism, and the nature religions. I took college courses in comparative religions. My bachelor’s degree was focused on shamanic studies and botanical medicine, culminating in a thesis on the relevance of cross-cultural shamanism in modern culture and how modern life is itself, the ultimate shamanic journey.I voraciously self-studied Mircea Eliade, Larry Dossey, Candace Pert, Kay Whitaker, Carlos Castaneda, Iliya Prigogine, Rupert Sheldrake, Terrence McKenna, Buckminster Fuller, Matthew Fox, and Stephen Harrod Buhner among many others, and spent time in the company of Gilbert Walking Bull, Kisma Stepanich, Paul Beyerl, Susun Weed, Tieraona Lowdog and many others. I became a kundalini yoga teacher, learned to meditate at Naropa Institute in Boulder Colorado, and led people at kirtan events, singing sacred chants from around the world and playing a harmonium.Mostly, I spent time alone in the woods, asking, waiting, opening and listening. Eventually, I was cracked open and could hear. Ever since that initial connection through a Mother Cedar Tree on Tiger Mountain in Issaquah, Washington, who reached in and asked me to “Go back and teach…speak for us…give them the gift of our time…no time,” I have been hearing the Call to teach for them, for Them…the Spirits of the Forest who want to reach the human people.On January 4th, 2015, I heeded a Call to be in the RainForest…to show up for something I had no foreknowledge of. I heard to “just go” – and it was during that time alone in the RainForest that the Tree People reached out once again…asking me to build an Ancestral GrandMother’s Drum – that my lineage of Saami GrandMothers were Calling to bring the ancient wisdom of our people back…through me. I knew nothing of drum building or the shamanic lineage of my Grancestors at that time. I returned to the RainForest to bring that Sacred Drum to life in May of 2015, as They had asked me to.During the 5 days in May, I birthed the Drum, and was led each day to where to hold ceremony, what to do, what to say, when to show up, and how to take each step. It turned out to be an unplanned 5-day Vision Quest, led by the Ancient Ones of the RainForest and my Grancestors. It was profound and nearly unspeakable. The Sacred Drum that came alive that week has changed my life in ways I cannot name.During that week, I was opened by a giant Old Growth Tree – the largest Western Red Cedar alive in the world…Great GrandMother Cedar Tree. She told me that I am Her apprentice and that I am to teach, to speak for Her and the other Ancient Ones. She was insistent – urgent in her plea to bring people back to Drum around Her and the Others.She taught me of the communication network in the mycelial layer, and took me there to see it…the twinkle lights of electrical impulses shared between all the Plant People. She showed me how Sacred Drumming in a certain way, reaches that network and can be heard around the world through the sound current.She asked me to visit the 13 Eldest Trees in the world, to drum for Them, and then to return to Her to complete bringing the electrical communication to the surface, and that in some way I do not yet understand, it will effect things on this planet for the betterment of all.And, although my mind does not understand all of this, I am compelled, impelled and propelled to follow Her every prompt. As I have done so, I have only been led to further reaches and broader profound moments, tears of gratitude, and beautiful human beings.My desire is to carry this work onward…to continue the tradition of ceremonial Drum birthing, and to teach others how to create their own Sacred Drum in the way I was Gifted – as an inner Vision Quest to one’s own Guides and Wisdom. I have been asked to also ceremonially birth and offer Sacred Drums for sale, with cards explaining each Drum’s Spirit and Being – planting seeds in the HeartWood of humankind that can grow into hearing their own Call.Somehow, in a way my mind cannot yet understand…it is imperative to do this. There is an urgency from the Forest coming through the transmissions. It is beautiful, and loving, and sweet – a longing, and in no way connected to fear, sadness, anger or contraction of any kind. They miss us terribly, need us, and are Calling to us.They miss the Time of Humans when we danced around them, sang to them, drummed for them, and held our ceremonies around them. They miss how we used to offer our prayer ties to them, sit in their branches, tell them our troubles, and allow our children to giggle at their feet. They miss the HeartWood connection with us. I think we as humans miss this connection too…we have simply forgotten it existed and that we are a crucial part of the dance!I now speak for Them, and Sacred Drums are beautiful Tools that can take the common human to a state of bliss and grace very quickly, without needing months or years of guru, leader or practice to show us how. This is about how we can find our own profound current of wisdom through the making of a Sacred Drum, working with the Soul of our Sacred Drum, and heeding our own divine Call, each in our own way.It’s also about the birthing of a GrandMother…me. From those little girl days when I would run freely and in bliss, to these Wise Woman and coming Elder days of walking in that same childhood bliss, life has taken me down a river with many twists and turns of learning and growth. All this life experience has brought me back around to where I began…in love with God and Nature, living in the HeartWood of my soul.