Vision Quest: Mothering Myself: Part 1: A Wilderness Tale

Mothering myself.
Allowing the inner strong wise woman to mother the frightened child of my being, so that I may become the inner child & mother I am.
Reweaving my story & the stories of my ancestors and descendants.

This is just one of the messages I received during my Vision Quest two months ago, and the first thing I am sharing publicly about it.

Mainly just because it only took me two months to realize what it means, and that’s at least enough to begin in earnest!

Part of that beginning is sharing my story & process honestly and without judgment, but I’ll be honest, it’s going to take some practice.

Here is the abbreviated story about how I received the overarching message of my vision quest: the need and ability to mother myself, to self-care, and to release.

Road Trip…err…Vision Quest!

In Late August for five days and four nights, I went on a vision quest in the hills of the Columbia River Valley in southern Washington state with a group of six other women and two elders, to venture alone in our own spaces within the Wilderness, to commune with the Spirits, quiet the mind, and escape the frenetic pace of modernity.


Good Intentions

I left with the intention to receive a confirmation (or correction) on what I feel is my true purpose here & now.

And if I was correct, as I had no idea where to start, I also wanted to know:

What is the FIRST step I need to take to begin fulfilling my purpose?

During the initiation to the Quest, I drew the “Creativity” card from the Rainbow Warrior Deck:




In drawing this card, my purpose was confirmed. (More on that another time)

First intention: ✅

The second intention was a little more woolly.

When the Spirits Talk, You Listen

When I had stated my second intention for the quest, that of receiving wisdom about my first step towards true purpose, I had thought the spirits would tell me something like:

Yeah, you really ought to commit yourself to that online herb class you’ve indebted yourself to take.


Get a computer tutor to teach you how to properly work your web hosting platform so you can really get that slogging, drag of a blog rolling finally!

0r even

Sell all of your belongings and go to that doula workshop in Bali you’ve been salivating over since you got knocked up two years ago!

But instead, I got an even ruder awakening.



I feel like I ought to spare you the details,
but that’s just me trying to escape the truth,
which is:
I blew my whistle.

A few hours before dawn I found myself awake, but barely. I’d had relatively great sleep considering I was alone in unknown woods in an unknown environment, so when I woke up briefly and didn’t have to shove my boobie into a whimpering baby’s mouth, it was so delicious that I actually was just falling back asleep when…


Well, it was louder than that, but a LOUD POP suddenly jolted me awake again! I was about to brush it away as just a dream whose sounds had woken me up, as that has happened to me before,

BUT…when I heard an animal snarfling loudly immediately after that pop, I realized:


My thoughts immediately raced to my food bucket (carefully placed earlier a dozen or so yards away from my tent) had snapped off the dry branch from which it was hanging.

Then I wondered if whatever animal was making the noise had snapped it off.

Then I thought about how high I had placed it.

Then I thought about the animals that could possibly be tall enough to reach it.

And then I thought about blowing my whistle.

Because my only conclusions were:
Bear and Mountain Lion.

Maybe coyote, but I wasn’t afraid of them, and I from what little experience I have in mountain lion country, I doubted one of them would go after my food bucket as they would probably prefer to lunge at my living flesh.

But a bear?
Oh baby, a bear would EAT MY SNACKS UP!


So I was now dealing with a bear less than a dozen yards away, eating a giant bucket of dried nuts, fruit, and meats, with me pantless in my tent, in pitch black darkness, quite a distance away from base camp.

Moonblood, Foodstuffs, and Bears, oh my!

Oh, and did I mention, I had started my moon time in the middle of that night and I was bleeding only onto some toilet paper I had managed to shove in my underwear in my sleeping bag???


Although I had been fairly certain, from my park ranger days, that menstrual blood and regular blood are discerned by bears as being different, so I didn’t initially worry that my moon time & quest time would overlap.

Of course, once I got to the quest, everyone had a different opinion on THAT topic, so any faith or confidence I had in my knowledge of bear behavior kinda got thrown out the window—although that was the LAST place it should have gone, since I should have trusted my knowledge, expertise, and intuition.

Then again, these ARE LOWER-48 bears, sometimes they are a little more unpredictable than Alaskan bears.

Regardless, as I reached for my whistle, I had a momentary pause of:

Is this wimping out?
Am I a failure if I blow my whistle to get help?
What if I wake and alarm the other questers?
Why didn’t I do this on Orcas Island where there are no large predatory land mammals?!?!

It was right around that moment, as I felt the warm rush of moon blood, that I decided that if I was going to die in the next 15 minutes, I sure as hell would rather have blown my damn whistle.

So I put that thing to my lips and I blew till my cheeks threatened bursting!


……….nobody came.

To Be Continued…


2 Comment

  1. Fran says: Reply

    I loved every bit of this. Literally laughed out loud! Good stuff ❤️

    1. Olive says: Reply

      Aww! Thanks! I guess I should write the part two so the cliffhanger can be resolved! 😉

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