Most of us would love to have all the time in the world to be in Nature to get quiet and reconnect, however, for many urban modern people we aren’t able to “get away” like that as often as we would like. Understanding this reality, The Institute for the Shamanic Arts offers Nature connection excursions that are on the edges of Tucson, as well as deep within the city limits. We call this process “Beside the Road, Between the Worlds”. In our desire to “get away” to Nature, we forget that we are surrounded by Nature wherever we are. There are pockets of natural beauty in so many urban centers…ones we drive or walk by without thinking much about them. When we are hurrying or not noticing the sky, trees or earth below our feet we are “beside the road”. When we can see, hear and feel the connection with the Nature elements that constantly surround us…we move “between the worlds”. This process is helpful as we reconnect with what is right in front of, and within, us.
In Tucson, we are graced with natural beauty close in any direction. Understanding that many are able to take a few hours out of their day (as opposed to days or weeks) to explore the worlds within and around, ISA focuses on adventures that are easily accessible so we can move “between the worlds” as often as possible. ISA has offered many such adventures in the past, hikes and drumming sessions in Sabino Canyon, labyrinth walks in a dry river bed at Campbell and River, shamanic journey circles in various parks, and day trips up Mt. Lemmon.
This past weekend we offered two more-
Saturday morning Quynn Red Mountain hosted a nature walk and wandering circle in the Saguaro National Park west, just on the other side of the Tucson Mountains. As an unusual treat, the sky was completely cloud covered. This was not a “follow the leader, walk in a line” kind of walk- each person found their own path of least resistance. The experience was a fine example of “beside the road, between the worlds”.
We did not go far from the road, but each step took us more deeply into our own worlds. Each step was important. The wind spoke as we drummed. The stone people helped us feel grounded.
Saturday evening was Full Moon and ISA hosted a Labyrinth Walk in a local park. A great view of sunset illuminating the Catalina mountains and the beautiful moonrise grace this place in the urban center. The ramadas around the labyrinth were filled with people having birthday parties, dogs were happily playing with their humans, and friends of ISA walked a labyrinth made of ropes. Close, but far away.
Each month ISA offers a few opportunities to reconnect with your Sacred Nature. Join in the adventures “between the worlds”. They can be spiritual maintenance for an urban life…even when they are not far from a road.