Getting to “the bones”

I read Women Who Run with the Wolves many years ago. It was one of those books that, when I spied it standing solo on a little pedestal at the East West Bookshop in Palo Alto, California, I felt compelled to pick it up and open it. It was a new release at that time (1992) and only in hardback and expensive for my budget.
I opened to any page and read a paragraph and was surprised to see the relevance to a current situation in my life. Yet, that wasn’t reason enough to spend $28.00 on it! I walked around this very engaging shop and all sorts of book covers caught my attention. However, I gravitated back to Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ book. Again, I opened the book to any page. The words jumped out at me and I was riveted.

Recently, I had met a stranger at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. I was weaving in and out of the water as the ruffled waves washed gently on the shore. A man’s voice behind me inquired “Isn’t it cold?” I replied that “Yes, it is and I love it.” He asked if he could walk with me. I agreed and we walked and talked on a very deep level for the next several hours. It wasn’t like we were strangers. It was as if we had met lifetimes ago and then designed to meet each other at this time and place and share our life-findings so far.

As we talked, we became vulnerable to each other. The sharing was personal, sometimes intimate and philosophical. As the sun dipped behind the clouds, I began to shiver. He casually placed his red hooded sweatshirt over my shoulders. He was a handsome man, slender, blonde hair cut in a stylish clip for the times. He gave me a large rose quartz stone to hold in my hand as we walked beside the sea. “To calm you,” he said. The entire experience felt comforting, as if I was walking with my Guardian Angel.

We had walked a length of beach and then, finally, turned around to return the way we had come. When we got back to our cars, he gave me his phone number and softly, like a butterfly, brushed a kiss across my cheek. I thanked him and went home feeling loved, guided, protected. I was married and although there was tension in my marriage, I had no intention of leaving my husband at that time. I wasn’t planning on calling the phone number. There was nowhere this relationship could go. Although, I did call it once and got his message machine. I never called it again.

When I opened the book in the bookstore that day, this was the quote that I read:

The Passing Stranger

“…The person who might take us out of the ice, who might even psychically free us from our lack of feeling is not necessarily going to be the one to whom we belong. It may be…another of those magical but fleeing events that again came along when we least expected it, an act of kindness from a passing stranger….Then a something that is sustaining appears out of nowhere to assist you, and then disappears into the night, leaving you wondering, Was that a person or a spirit?”

Clarissa Pinkola Estes from Women Who Run with the Wolves

I bought the book.

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I am a writer, a seeker, a discoverer, a poet, a painter, a woman with something to say about a variety of topics. Some topics are difficult but they are real. Some are sheer silliness.

8 thoughts on “Getting to “the bones””

    1. Hi Cecelia, It’s not an easy book to get into. When I first read it, I was working and rearing a family. I read one chapter on a weekend and then allowed myself the next week to “digest” it. These days, I pick it up from time-to-time and read what I’m called to read. Good luck with it! I like that you’re going to give it another try. At the time when I first read it, it felt like the “woman’s bible” to me.


  1. Hi Christine! A very lovely post.

    I’ve been meaning to refer back to one of your posts about Muktananda. I met him in the early 80’s at the Oakland ashram, and went to a couple of intensives where I received shaktipat. I had recently gotten divorced, and being with the the people and environment was very helpful. I loved the chanting and meditating. I will always remember the moment Chidvilasananda handed me a paper with my spiritual name.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing, Cathy. That’s a special and lovely memory. I didn’t start going to the Oakland Ashram until the early 90’s so I didn’t meet Baba Muktananda. I felt fortunate to meet Gurumayi Chidvilasananda though. I hope that you and your family are doing well.


  2. Interesting. Powerful. The perfect telling of the tale. I enjoyed this immensely, Christine.

    I just saw the information about the Mill Fire. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Judy, thanks. We have some smoke today…but mostly the wind direction has been to the north. The community is trying to rally to help our neighbors in Weed.
      For now, I’m going up on the mountain to breathe a little deeper.
      Thanks for reading my post and taking the time to comment.


  3. Call it kismet or fate…those chance encounters are very powerful. I have had a few of those in my lifetime as well. I know someone who might appreciate that quotation and I am going to forward it to her. Thanks Christine.

    Liked by 1 person

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