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“I don’t believe it!” I said to Beverly. “The fact that this came to our house by mistake can’t be
“You’d better get on the phone and make our reservations!” she replied.
I did just that, and two months later we were on our way to the seminar. On the way we passed within a mile
of where I had made camp for my vision quest. I was curious to know whether the teepee poles I set up were
still standing. I wanted to hike in and see, but our timeline didn’t allow for it. We decided if we had time on the
return trip, we’d see if we could find the camp. I felt a chill as I remembered how wet and cold I was during that
whole experience, and I was grateful to be returning to the area in warmer weather.
How could this all be coincidence? I asked myself, thinking back to all the things that had to fall into place
for this to happen.
“I think that elderly woman at the pow-wow was much more than she appeared to be,” said Beverly, smiling
at me with a knowing I had not seen before. The more I thought about it, the more I knew she was right!
Shortly afterward, we arrived at the camp where the seminar was to be held. It was nestled deep in the woods
of Western Massachusetts. Surrounded by trees and mountains, this was a beautiful setting for what promised to
be something very special. We entered the main building and were greeted by several people seated at a table
near the door. They helped us with our registration, then gave us the key to our cabin. After thanking them for
their help, we left to unpack. The cabins were from another place in time. The furnishings were minimal and
somewhat antiquated, but overall the place was cozy and comfortable.
It was late Friday afternoon or early evening when we finally got settled in. We left our room in search of the
dining hall, where we arrived just in time for dinner. The menu was interesting because all the food was
vegetarian. It looked and smelled wonderful, and the people could not have been nicer or more helpful. There
were about sixty people attending the seminar, which was a far greater number than I anticipated, since it was
far from being centrally located. I realized the seminar didn’t begin until the following morning, but I was
getting more excited by the minute and found it difficult to remain patient.
After eating, we spent time getting to know others who were there. People came from all over to attend Ed’s
workshops, and they were, by all appearances, a very diverse group. I enjoyed having time to get to know many
of them, and I noted Beverly was doing the same. Ed had not arrived yet but was expected early that evening.
After dinner and much conversation, Ed finally arrived and made an appearance in time to greet the crowd
before we retired for the evening. Beverly and I stayed up until midnight learning his agenda for the weekend.
Ed looked very much like his picture on the back of his booka stocky, well-built man in his early fifties.
One could easily assess the fact that he was a military man by the jacket he wore, which was military issue,
fighter pilot insignia and all. Ed had flown more than 140 missions over Vietnam when he was in the armed
forces. He struck me as being a very confident man who knew what he wanted and how to get things done. He
had an air about him that made you feel comfortable, and he always left you yearning to hear more.
I was anxious to get to know him because I felt there was a very special connection between us. I couldn’t
put my finger on what it was, but I knew it was there. I decided to say good-night and head to bed since we
would be up early in the morning. I walked over to him and shook his hand. Beverly and I bid him and the
remaining group good-night, then we left for our cabin and a good night’s sleep.
The next morning we awoke to the sound of the food bell. We washed and dressed, then headed to the dining
room, where everyone was talking about the book that inspired them to attend. Mother Earth Spirituality was
the first of Ed’s books I had read. I have since read every one he has written. I have several copies of the same
book on my bookshelf, and I give them to various people who visit that express an interest in nature-based
Everyone in attendance had a copy of Mother Earth Spirituality. As we made our way past the myriad of
groups seated at the tables, the conversations were filled with excitement. It was truly amazing to realize the
number of people who had heard Ed speak before.
“You won’t believe the sweat lodge tonight,” we heard one person say. “It’s the most amazing thing I have
ever experienced!”
As we began to leave, we were directed to a circular open-air space with a roof over it, not far from the
dining hall. There were bench-like seats in the round, somewhat like an amphitheater, with a separate area set
up for the speaker. We were seated just a few minutes when Eagle Man appeared. He walked to the podium in
the front of the space, raised his copy of Mother Earth Spirituality in the air for all to see, and smiled.