North Pole Journey: Day Four, Part One
Day Four: Sunday, September 26, 2010
UP, UP AND AWAY!
The morning alarm goes off just a couple of hours after I had stretched myself out to sleep. I pop out of bed, surprisingly not tired. This is the day I have been preparing for. We are going to the North Pole so I can perform my songs there. Rishi will shoot the video, and then we will offer healing to our Mother Earth at the top of the world – all to help raise awareness that the polar ice caps are melting at an alarming rate. I feel connected to warrior-like steadiness, ready to meet whatever this day may bring.
I peel back the curtains of the hotel window in Resolute Bay to see the dawn light not yet breaking amidst flurries, blowing snow and overcast skies. Today we are scheduled to travel about 800km by air. A momentary thought passes through my mind: will our trip be postponed due to inclement weather? I rule it out. I don’t want to go there, even though, over the last couple of days, we have been warned of bad weather and potentially having to reschedule our departure. We have been actively praying for all to go smoothly. I choose to only believe that am protected and lucky.
We quickly get ourselves dressed and downstairs to contact the airport for today’s weather forecast. Rishi makes the call. Is our private flight a go? He returns with a radiant face, saying the weathermen were surprised to report what they saw. The weather is low visibility everywhere except in the small stretch where we plan to land. Based on this report, we can leave. Sunanda, Rishi and I smile at each other. We all know that this is grace.
Meghan, the innkeeper, kindly drives us quickly out to the airport where a tiny Sea Otter plane awaits our arrival. In the twilight of dawn, amidst the blowing snow and -15º C icy winds, Captain Troy and co-pilot Mark greet us and help get our gear onto the plane.
As we board, we are told that today we have the “executive suite special”: Captain Troy points jokingly to a garbage bag-lined bin that is our only toilet for the day. The cabin is perhaps 18 feet long and four feet wide, half the space occupied by large, rusty metal barrels, our fuel reserves to make today’s journey.
Somehow, I like this plane. Perhaps the purpose of the journey itself inspires me and makes all things uncomfortable seem meaningless. Neither the prevalent smell of gasoline nor the uncomfortable, collapsible seats made of woven, synthetic fabric hung over metal rods is a bother. I have ridden for hours in a tropical jeep crammed with more than twenty sweaty people as we bump over dirt roads. I have slept on concrete rooftops, park benches, on the soil of dense forests and on the sand in open, raging beaches with few necessities. As the adventurer and one ready to serve the highest good in all, I feel ready for anything.
Wrapped in our down snowsuits, we each find a seat and buckle ourselves in. The engine starts abruptly, igniting a very loud sound that makes it impossible for us to speak to one another. I now understand why, when we boarded, we were given orange foam earplugs. It is now nearing 9am and it is getting light out. We must depart if we are to succeed our mission before nightfall.
ONE WITH THE SKY
The body of the plane shakes as we rise. Air vents switch on, providing some heat. Below us, the tiny box-like houses of Resolute Bay look increasingly distant. Inside this small cabin space, I am immediately struck by an intimacy with the sky, an almost physical connection to the air, the clouds and the atmosphere. I begin to feel as though the body of the plane is an extension of my own.
Aware of the warnings of the dangers of this trip that were echoed by the Inuit healers we met in Resolute, Sunanda, Rishi and I are busy invoking grace every minute of the trip. In the silencing noise, we are left alone to go within. We each quietly meditate and pray, tuning into the purity of this mission to serve all beings. We pull out our mantra books and each recite the thousand names of the Goddess, an ancient Sanskrit prayer to the Divine Feminine. The Earth is our Mother. To Her we offer these prayers.
Though the land looks pure, white and untouched, I sense the presence of energetic congestion. I can see it in our cities, the weather patterns changing, extreme heat, extreme cold. I can see it in people’s faces all over the world, the stress, the fear, the disconnect. Here too, I can feel it in nature, the agitation, the weight of the collective consciousness at this time on the planet. The earth is burdened. Here, Sunanda, Rishi and I are doing what we can, playing our part in helping to lighten the load. May these prayers serve. May these actions inspire. May all beings be free…