Reunion Adventure #2: The Ceremony

September 23rd, 2008

While we were at my family reunion a while back, we decided to take a hike…..

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….. up the nearest volcano.

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So we loaded all the kids in the car and drove up a gorgeous mountain road with luscious evergreen forests.

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But when we got near the top, I immediately noticed how hot, dry and barren it was.

I also noticed that I’m not used to hikes that are hot, dry and barren.

And I also noticed…..

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A large group of people holding hands in a circle and dancing freestyle to drums (while still holding hands).

Hmm, I thought, I wonder what this is all about…..

Since they were hard to miss, the rest of my family noticed them, too.

“Oh, wow,” my Mom said, “That looks like a ceremony.”

A ‘ceremony”? I thought, What’s a ‘ceremony’?

“I heard they happen up here a lot because this is a sacred volcano,” my Mom explained as we walked by the ceremonious group, “But I’ve never seen one before.”

I couldn’t resist pulling out my camera and taking a picture of the ‘ceremony’, but then felt guilty.

Am I allowed to take pictures? I wondered, Or is it sacrilegious?

“I think it’s a ceremony for peace,” my Mother continued, “And it costs a lot to be part of it.”

Oh, they have to pay to be in the ceremony…..?

I’d never heard of paying to be part of a public peace ceremony, so I hoped that meant it was okay to take pictures and nobody would be offended.

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Then we headed up the volcano to the sound of drums and chanting.

And it wasn’t long before I started noticing…..

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….. little rock formations.

Of course, I took a picture.

And then felt guilty.

And wondered what the little piles of rocks meant.

So I looked back at the ‘ceremony’…..

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….. and realized what a pretty picture they made.

A harmonious circle below a sea of blues.

So I took another picture.

Then I tried to ignore them and repent of my sacrilegious ways.

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And took a picture of my beautiful sister, Mel, helping one of her dear boys.

And that’s when I realized I was shirking my duty as the family photographer and taking more pictures of rock piles and ceremonies than I was of my own family.

So I made them pose for me.

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What a good-lookin’ group!

(From left to right: my sisters, Mel & Elise, my Mom, my brother, Brett, and his little man).

After that, we came upon a large level spot…..

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….. with rock circles!

And I furtively glanced around before taking a quick picture.

Then tried to pretend I didn’t by holding an impromptu photo shoot.

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Of Mel’s wonderful family, demonstrating full support of BYU’s first football game of the season. (Go, Cougars!)

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And Brett’s fantastic family (though somehow I missed taking their picture and borrowed this one from their camera).

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And my stupendous family who loved me in spite of my stylin’ crew socks.

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Then I herded everyone together for a big group shot.

And I was just about to call it quits when Brett’s sweet wife offered to take one with me in it.

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So I hopped in and Charming tried to lick Brett’s ear.

Then we called it quits and everyone dispersed.

And then I felt a hankering to check out the ‘ceremony’ again.

Except…..

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….. these two cuties were still hangin’ around, and I didn’t want them to see me spying on the source of our background drums.

So, as soon as they left, I peeked down…..

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….. and once again fell in love with a picturesque scene.

*sigh*

Then Charming came up and said, “Bubbers isn’t doing very well.”

“He isn’t?” I said with concern.

Then I thought back to our photo shoot…..

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….. and his sad, pained facial expressions.

“You’re right,” I agreed, “Maybe we should go back.”

“Okay,” Charming said.

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And he headed down the volcano as Brett and the others continued on.

We enjoyed the beautiful view as we descended and found our car.

And right before we got in, I took one last look…..

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And felt guilty again.

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14 Comments

alycia | 9/23/2008 11:33 pm

Beautiful! Don’t worry, I think you did the right thing. :)

 
Suzanne | 9/24/2008 3:51 am

I love that you share a lot of your family and adventures with us. I am glad you took the photos and I dont think they would have worried or they may have been on the look out for you after.

 
Wandering Nana-Linda | 9/24/2008 7:55 am

When people are in the ‘moment’ I don’t think they care about people taking pictures. I have seen the little rock piles before and when I asked I was told they are markers for trails so people know where to walk. We use to see them when we would go camping and it was one of the things they taught YW for certification. Is there anything on line about the group? Again, beautiful pictures (family included).

 
Heidi | 9/24/2008 9:30 am

I’m relieved that ya’ll think it was okay! And thank you for your compliments on my pictures and family. I sure miss them.

Wandering Nana:

Ooh, I hadn’t thought about them being trail markers… There were a lot of them all the way up and they were right in the middle of the trail. They were also in and around the rock circles. Is that how they’re supposed to be?

And you know, my Mom didn’t tell me the name of the group, so I’m not sure if they’re online… That would be interesting, though.

 
Neighbor Katie ~;o) | 9/24/2008 1:12 pm

Beautiful pictures! Makes me want to go on a hike! Also makes me miss the sun! You sure have a big, beautiful family! I love the one of you, your hubby and Bubbers as well, definitely one to frame!

 
Darcy D | 9/24/2008 11:23 pm

If they didn’t want pictures taken, they would have had their freak show indoors. (sorry for being so blunt) Another question would be can you be sacrilegious toward something that has nothing to do with God? (like a “sacred” volcano)

I can’t believe how barren it looks up there. Is that Mt. Shasta? LOVE the pictures of the misty mountains! Your family reunion sounds so fun. Your dad build their house himself?

PS why is sacrilegious spelled so funky? I’ve never seen the word, I thought it was a derivative of religous, but apparently not. Or maybe the cool people who invented English thought it would be “fun” to spell it that way.

Heidi | 9/25/2008 9:10 pm

Holy smokes, you are so funny!

 
 
Darcy D | 9/24/2008 11:30 pm

Did a little research into what volcano worshippers believe, ROCK ON!!! (sense the extreme sarcasm here)

go here
http://www.lemurianconnection.com/en/about-mount-shasta.htm

“sacred mountain is an incarnation of the Great Central Sun of this universe. It is a focus for angels, spirit-guides, spaceships, masters from the Light Realm, and the home of the survivors of Ancient Lemuria, which sank under the waves of the Pacific Ocean a little over 12,000 years ago. For those gifted with clairvoyant abilities, Mount Shasta is embraced in a gigantic, etheric purple pyramid whose capstone reaches far beyond this planet into space, and connects us intergalactically to the Confederation of Planets for this sector of the Milky Way Galaxy”

 
toadmama | 9/25/2008 9:36 am

I loved all the pictures and the narrative. I was really going to make up something weird to convince you that it wasn’t a peace rally, but something else way weirder (hadn’t thought of what yet). Then I read these comments and laughed out loud. Volcano worshippers? Is that for real? If it is, that’s way weirder than I ever would have imagined.

There’s lots of them. It’s sort of scary. But maybe that was like the annual gathering for volcano worshippers around the globe and that was the full contingent. We can only hope that is so…

Heidi | 9/25/2008 9:09 pm

LOL! I love it! Yes, let’s hope that was the full contingent. :):) (And welcome to my blog!)

 
 
tearese | 9/25/2008 12:42 pm

darci- huh,. that sounds like some kind of Scientology stuff or something.
Heidi- I’ve seen those rock things all around Seattle beaches and in neighborhoods where lots of Asian people live. In those cases, I think they are little shrines, but I’m not sure.

 
tearese | 9/25/2008 12:42 pm

where’d my comment go?

 
tearese | 9/25/2008 12:45 pm

It disappeared again!!!???? I give up.

 
Melissa | 9/26/2008 9:27 am

I’m with you, Heidi – I much prefer the cool, moist hikes around here myself. :) And as for the volcano worshippers, yes, that sounds strange, and yes, un-Christian, but at least they were assembled peacefully. :) Sounds like you had a wonderful time with your family. Great pics!

 

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