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93_48 hours complete – July 8, 1999

I wake cold and tired. I feel drained from the relentless chill in my bones and am eager to move into the warmth of the morning sun. However, I travel only a short journey into the day before being guided to break my circle and end my quest. I am a bit dismayed. I don’t feel as if I’ve had a clear ‘vision,’ but I trust the guidance, and I sense the shift. I am complete. It is time to return.

I spend a few minutes basking in the success of my journey, then I stand, and I pull my flags with a strong sense of pride. I did it. I succeeded in doing what I could not do on my last vision quest. I remained until I was complete. Gathering the rest of my alter, I follow my guidance and return to the people feeling that I return as someone with value.

We begin the final rounds of the inipi ceremony, and I share my lessons. I speak of my fear and of the cold. I speak of deer, honoring her sensitivity and her strength. I share the lesson of surrender, and I tell the people this is all I have to say. I did not see a vision for the people, and for this, I apologize.

My sponsor looks slightly stunned by my comments and asks, “What happened during your last night out?”

I’m as confused as she is. “Nothing. I mean, I can’t remember anything. I remember praying for you to come. I was so cold, and I didn’t want to stay, but I didn’t want to break my circle either. But, after you came, I just went to sleep.”

“I didn’t come, Linda.” Her look is determined as she continues, “I asked several times if I should smudge your circle, but I was guided not to do it. I did not come because I was told you did not need it.”

Questions flood my mind. Why would Spirit stop her from coming to me? Obviously, I needed support. Did someone come and comfort me last night? Is this why they told her to stay? Were the snakes really there? Was I nestled in their bed? Did I receive the support they gave or was it someone else stepping to my side in times of need? Who was it smudging my circle last night?

My mind is a whirl—everyone in the circle watches, waiting to see what I will do. I respond in the only way I know how. I share my experience, “I don’t know what happened. Early in the morning, I heard someone walk around my circle. I smelled the sage burning. Someone was smudging me, and then I slept. After a time, I watched the Morning Star rise. I felt so peaceful. When the sun returned again, I sat under it and relished its warmth. I even looked forward to the idea of spending the day, but when the 48 hours of my vision quest passed, I was told I could return to the circle. My quest was complete. This is all I know.”

Apparently, this year it is all I need to know.

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