Last Friday I was leaving my house and as I went to lock the door behind me I paused for a moment. I felt a surge of energy move through me and I knew when I returned at the end of the weekend, I would not be the same. I was about to start a two and a half year professional shamanism training with The 8th Fire.
In that moment I had a flash of my first trip to Nepal and the weeks trekking through the Himalayas. It was then that I was introduced to J.R.R Tolkien’s the Hobbit, a befitting time to be reading such a brilliant book. As I locked the door behind me Friday, I couldn’t help but think of Bilbo Baggins and imagine how he would have felt when he was asked by Gandalf the wizard to partake in an adventure unlike any he had ever endured in his humble life. To leave the comforts and confines of his home and embark on a sometimes perilous and life-changing adventure would surely bring forward fear and doubt.
And some fear mixed with excitement was what I felt. I am certainly not one to shy away from new experiences and adventure- from skiing down steep chutes in the backcountry and rock-climbing up the face of mountains, to canyoning in remote wilderness settings and white water kayaking, I seek out things that cause a healthy stir of fear to ripple through my body. However, lately, the desire to delve deeper into the internal world and the wild spaces that exist within, has been calling. And I know this will be unlike any other journey in my life thus far.
This new venture is reminding me to yet again embrace the unknown and to be open to the experience of it all. Unlike my exciting excursions in the wilderness, this is an intensely personal one. One that brings with it the promise of adventure and change. And if I am as fortunate as Bilbo, I will see and experience new worlds, I will embrace the darkness and challenges along the way, I will realize heightened courage and bravery, and my feet will turn at last to home afar.
Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
Roads go ever ever on,
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
- Bilbo Baggins