Thursday, July 21, 2005

A lonely drive...

One day a week I hit the freeway by myself to visit clients in Moses Lake and Ephrata. It's a lonely, barren sort of trip, without much to see or do. I've heard it said those towns wouldn't even exist were it not for the construction of Grand Coulee Dam supplying irrigation water to local agriculture; but here they are today in the midst of an otherwise deserted stretch of land.

The radio is my only companion for the road. The Spokane music stations take me almost as far as Moses Lake, but quickly fade as I reach town. Even the right-leaning talk radio shows on the -am- band turn to static as I pass Moses Lake and are replaced by the imported sounds of Mexican radio.

After the radio dies, the silence gives me a chance to meditate on the deeper things of life. Sometimes in those quiet moments, the ancient spirits visit in the form of traditional Native songs.

Years ago, I dreamed a spirit told me about a place known as the Center of the World, near Ephrata, Washington. To the logical mind, Ephrata seems an unlikely candidate for such a singular honor, but in the old traditions, Coyote built the first sweat lodge in this area and gave it to the people. His lodge stands to this day and is regarded as a sacred site for those who retain a memory of it. Shortly after my dream, I visisted that place and found a song...or rather, I should say the song found me. As I pass through this area every week, that song returns to visit me in my travels. When the clamoring noise of modern life fades from my radio, I sing and remember my connection to all that is.

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