Ellen "Dream Entry" Turns into an all Night in an Alabama National Forest Experience
While volunteering at an eco-center in the Talladega National Forest in Alabama, I shared my dream with the co-owner, Mandy of creating Power of One Woman into a movement, spreading the message that women have the strength and power to create a cooperative and sustainable world. I recently finished the book Power of One Woman where I interviewed 60 women working for the planet. I shared with Mandy my vision of having the book published and the documentary made so these women’s remarkable stories are shared!
Feeling motivated, I walked into Mandy’s cabin and stated, “I am sharing my dream with Ellen.” I wrote a draft and decided to take a quick hike for endorphins and clarity. I told Mandy I would send the email after an inspirational short hike. I did not see the trail markers on the return. An overcast, fall afternoon, I continued to search for the trail until I came upon a road. As I walked, the area became more remote. I hiked the opposite direction until dark came where I sat on the side of the road. I knew the owners, Dustin and Mandy, would be looking for me. I heard the shouts, and I shouted back. I knew I was safe; they did not. I had on a light jacket and my dog, Josie, was with me. The dark hours continued on the November night, and I made a bed of leaves where Josie and I lay. The shouts continued, and I continued shouting back. I decided a few times to walk towards the shouts coming upon logs, hills, and thorns and returned to my bed of leaves. I relaxed my mind and sent blessings to Dustin and Mandy. I wanted them to know I was safe. I stayed in a place of gratitude for the leaves, the ground and fresh mountain air. Rain fell and I moved under a fallen tree crouching my head against it. Josie lay next to me. 12 hours of darkness allowed me to stay in a warrior attitude. At the slightest shift of light of the early morning, Josie and I made our way down the road. The road opened up to a more commercial road where we walked for miles until it came to an end. I knew the search and rescue team would be moving out any minute so I decided to hike in the mountains towards the sound of cars.
We walked across beautiful creeks, orange and yellow foliage and marvelous overhangs. I followed a sound for an hour until we came to a large creek. The sound I heard was a generator of a home. I shouted across the creek, and a woman in a bathrobe came out shouting back. I waved and explained I had gotten lost. She returned with her husband who looked at me and went up the hill for his kayak. After paddling my way across the creek, Billy heard my story and explained he had no cell service. He started his truck to take me to Dustin.
I dialed my cell phone from his several times as we bounced up and down on the dirt roads. Billy said, “Just wait; we will be there soon.” I heard stories of coyotes and bear sightings. Billy had a southern twang made famous in movies. He was also kind. We drove up on Dustin’s driveway to the Search and Research squad. I hurriedly hopped out explaining to the Sheriff I was the woman they were looking for. I ran to Dustin and quickly said, “I am okay!!” I had only one briar cut on my leg.
Mandy came out and said, “I knew you were coming back because you were excited about writing Ellen!” My cell phone, computer, and notebook with pen were sitting exactly where I left them. As procedure, the sheriffs asked Mandy the questions, “Are you sure she wants to return?” They were asking was my disappearance intentional? To Mandy, it was definite I was returning; I had declared my mission of creating Power of One Woman into a movement, and I was sharing this with the Ellen Show. As we sat around the fire that day recounting the events and hearing everyone’s perspective, I was grateful. Women are powerful. We are mindful and adventurous, and creative. I was grateful to the team of men who made their way through the forests calling for me; for my dog Josie staying by my side, and for the beauty I experienced. The clarity of cooperation, teamwork was opening my mind. Dustin hiked, shouted and persevered most of the night. Volunteers joined him. He and Mandy were grateful and gracious when I returned. My focus during the night was to stay safe and present; I knew what Dustin and Mandy were experiencing, and I was grateful for our friendship. My experience writing the Power of One Woman interviewing women of courage, talking to people supporting the mission, I knew in the woods all was okay. It was one night of nature immersion. I sent my intention and story to Ellen!