Heeding The Call


A few hours ago, I crawled out of a sweat lodge, sweating and steaming and gasping for air. I was elated because the understanding of what whale had been teaching me was revealed during the ceremony.

But let me slow down and tell you what had happened before I entered the sweat lodge.

For about ten days, a male orca resided in the little bay near my home. He swam back and forth in the harbour, occasionally giving shows of tail slapping and breaching. People flocked to the shores to see an orca up close.

It had never happened before. Yes, about once a year, a pod of orcas comes visiting, but they hardly ever stay more than an hour.

This lone adult male stayed. No matter how many boaters, paddle boarders or kayakers were out to get a close look, and in spite of the usual boat traffic and sea plane landings and departures, he stayed.

I watched him almost every day and thought about what made him stay. An old friend and mentor, a Cree medicine woman said: “It might be more important to understand what he wants to tell us.”

As the whale was not feeding and increasingly showing unusual behaviour, DFO specialists looked at options to get him to move along, out of the harbour again.

I was fascinated by the strategy the experts eventually adopted. They played recordings of a pod of whales that the lone orca used to travel with. Our whale responded immediately and followed the DFO boat out of the harbour. They crossed the shallow sand bar and after six miles, having reached deeper water, he kept going by himself. One day later, he was seen near Alert Bay, already 170 kilometres north of the bay he had been curiously occupying.

I could not then make sense of the story of this event, nor discern its deeper message. Not until this morning, when all of a sudden, in the midst of the sweat lodge ceremony, I got it.

In the river of our lives, sometimes we circle in a back eddy, almost clinging to the shore, away from the current of becoming human. We can get stuck there and it can feel like life is passing us by. Have you ever felt that way? Well, I certainly have at different times.

We can get stuck in the daily business of life, just like our lone whale among the watercraft in the busy harbour. When we get stuck, we forget about our purpose, we forget our calling, we forget what we are here for, and we forget the journey we are on. I recognize this in me all too well, especially at times when life wants me to serve, to contribute to some bigger cause. But instead of listening, I pull the weeds in the garden, fix the bicycle, go fishing, and watch nature videos on you-tube and such. Nothing bad, just not focussing on what I am really here for. I get stuck in the counter-current, ignorant to the fact that there is nothing holding me back. Just like this whale who did not leave the busy harbour, even when there was really nothing blocking the way.

I hope that next time I get stuck in the small daily stuff, someone will be there to remind me of who I am, who I can be, and where I belong. Someone who will remind me that there are people who know me and love me, and that there is a family on a journey, my family, that is hoping that I will join them again. Someone who can remind me of my purpose, of my calling. I hope that I will hear it then, in whatever form it takes. Perhaps as a friend knocking at my door, as a sobering message on the radio that wakes me up, as an insight after a prayer in a sweat lodge, or as a phone call. Perhaps the catalyst can even take the form of a whale in the local bay that reminds me that I am stuck, and also that there is a family, to which I belong, that is on a shared journey with me. I hope that I hear the beckoning sound and that I heed its call.

Promise me my friend, to wake me up when I fall asleep the next time. We need each other and we are all one big family on the move.

Maybe you have experienced a call? Maybe you want to share it with others? I invite you to write a comment below. Let us inspire and support each other, so that we do not fall back asleep.

One of the most beautiful ways to say “I see you” is through the process of finding and taking a homeopathic remedy. Discovering the remedy requires that the homeopath sees you, gets you. This “being gotten” is reflected in the remedy, whose vibrations are a wake-up call that permeates every level of the human being – through body and soul. Perhaps you have a sense that there is more to life and your part in the shared journey. Perhaps reading this makes you think of a friend or a loved one, or even a particular trouble you have encountered in your life. Perhaps working with a homeopath is for you, or the person that comes to mind.

One sign of waking up is asking for help. No one does it alone and no one needs to do it alone.
If you wish to contact me or refer a friend or loved one, send me an e-mail at Roland@VancouverIslandHomeopathy.com or to call me at 250 650 1662.