I cried on the path back to the fire in a way I have not cried in ceremony before.
Thank you Creator, thank you my brothers and sisters, for letting me walk in these ways.
There is nothing like the feeling of when they come to retrieve you from your vision quest. Since you can’t tell what time it is exactly, as you are left literally to your own devices, you must look at the sky and try to remember what time the sun comes up, then try and remember approximately when it is that the sun goes down and divide those hours by the arc of the sky, so that you can estimate the middle of the day. This is a good guess, your own private sundial. Then you must interpret when it is that you think they might come for you, the people who brought you out here, who “put you up on the hill.” Usually there has been some kind of hint but, but on the 5th day without food and water, it is often hard to remember. It is not that your guides are trying to hide anything from you, or that part of the vision retrieval is that you must be punished into an utter loss of control.
Your sponsors, friends and family are there to help you. They, the ones who are praying for you, the ones who are back at base camp eating for you, they are there with your best intentions at heart, they are thinking about you all the time. It is just that the world you are living in once you surrender to the elements, once you enter the spirit world and become truly wankan, is so completely removed from those who are caring for you ~ you could be continents, planets, away ~ that after this time distant from everything you know, everything that keeps you safe, you forget what it must be like to sleep inside, eat food, drink water. You do not know how they think, back there, at home. So you strain to remember, way back when, what exactly their words were when they left you out here.