A trip to an energy vortex is a must for each soul. This is exactly what we did over a few days to refresh ourselves after a summer of hard work. We read a while ago that Mt. Shasta is considered to be one of the Earth’s seven energetic chakras; the Root Chakra. As residents of San Francisco, this was an easy excursion. On our first night at camp, as we lay in our tent, I looked out the mesh window and saw a shooting star pass right through the constellation Taurus: a good omen. Throughout that night we acclimated to this greener climate, and listened to the sounds of the environment around us. Every twenty minutes or so we would hear a great rushing breeze swooping from the mountain tops down into the valleys below, refreshing our lungs and fueling our dreams.
During our most explorative day, we ventured up the mountain to a cluster of trailheads near the end of the paved road. Upon recommendation from the kind people at the Visitor’s Center in Mount Shasta City, we made our way along the Panther Meadows trail. At the head of this trail is a message board which offers a brief history and survey of the mountain meadow. We discover that this meadow is considered a sacred healing space by the indigenous people. They still perform healing rituals here. Previous foot traffic had destroyed the meadow, however, it’s been recently restored by the park service to our our delight.
The forest service has been working diligently to restore this meadow, and kindly asks its patrons to enter and stroll mindfully. We are more than happy to do so. As we enter, the landscape is bordered with coniferous trees and boulders. The first opening is rather stoney, as well. Continuing on toward the upper meadows aspect of the trail, we walk through another tree-lined boulderous region. A quick jaunt through this part spills us out over the upper edge of the meadow. The view is breathtaking; tree covered rolling ridges in the background, cloud-speckled pristine blue skies overhead, supremely refreshing breezes abundantly flow over us, and the flower and mountain grass laden meadow before us.
The Panther Meadows spring is just a few feet beyond this point, so we venture over to it. It is protected by a stone barrier shaped like a keyhole. At the center of the bulbous aspect, the gentle burbling of the water pushes up from the depths Shasta. It quickly becomes a quiet babbling brook, which adds to the astonishment one experiences knowing that this water creates this immaculate meadow. We sit and soak-in the energy from this special place for a few minutes. One feels the purity of this place, and understands its sacredness.
I am reminded of my trip to Lago Titicaca (Lake Titicaca) in Bolivia/Perú, during which I had the honor of visiting the Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun) and drinking the Agua de la Fuente de la Vida (Water of the Fountain of Life). That experience, though nineteen years prior, is still sharp in my mind. With equal respect for this mountain spring, I stretch my legs across the short gap in stones over the brook, stoop down, take a full double-palm of water, and let it flow into my mouth, filling me with its essence. It is crisp, fresh, and pure. Swallowing, I savor this moment; appreciative.
From this mountain meadow spring we venture on to the nearby town of McCloud in pursuit of a swimming hole to splash the end of the day away. We trekked along an elevated pathway overlooking the Upper and Middle Falls; spectacular and alluring. People are swimming in each fall-carved well along the way. The scene is idyllic as the sun begins to rest. Soft breezes caress the adventuring spirits reveling in this natural splendor. The swimming hole is a little ways up from the falls. It is a quaint space to spend some time basking in the sun and cooling off in the pool created by a make-shift dam.
Once we feel refreshed we return to our campground to spend our final night at Lake Siskiyou. Our camp is lit by a perfect half-moon, an awesome array of stars, and the nebulous haze of the Milky Way; things hidden by our light polluted metropolis. We rest, and sometimes sleep. I open my eyes frequently to absorb the passage of the twilight sky, further imprinting memories of this wondrous place; hoping they will stay sharp until our next excursion into the flora of this beautiful earth.
As we disembark the following morning, I am overcome with a great sense of hope. This trip has shown me how forgiving Mother Earth is. Though many have trod ill across her, we can make amends. The future of our planet rests in our hands.
A special thanks to the National Park Service for curating these spaces which we enjoy so much. Happy 100th Birthday!