Guest column/Stream carrying me to my next dance

I sleep at night in my canoe. I see far downstream in my dreams, a vision of myself. I am dancing by a fire, surrounded by my family and friends. I am long, lean and slender. I am not as muscular as before, but a gentle voice tells me I am much older now. I am shirtless, with hairy arms, chest and back. On my legs are animal skin pants, moccasins are on my feet. With both arms stretched out, palms facing the heavens, I am dancing, beautiful feathers hanging from both my arms. With both feet firmly on the ground and together, I am dancing. Simple up and down movements with legs straight, using my strong calf muscles to bounce up and down. As I dance, I open and close my eyes. Something is making me dance.

Drums. Big drums. Deep sounding drums of my ancestors, the Shawnee, echoing from my mountain.

The sounds are so deep and powerful, with vibrations far into my soul. I cannot help but dance. Every cell of my body resonates with these deep drum sounds. I am dancing — the Great Eagle Spirit Dance.

The fire is not big, so I am close. My family and friends are all sitting on the ground around this beautiful orange fire. It is still light out. They are all smiling. This is my time to dance the Great Eagle Spirit Dance.

I am in my canoe, winter all around, looking downstream. I follow up with Dr. Edward Monaco at UPMC in Pittsburgh with an MRI. Looking back, I remember finding myself in unfamiliar territory, with unknown voices talking to me about a brain tumor and a gamma knife radiation treatment to completely zap it. That inner voice was telling me, “Do not be afraid — Dr. Monaco will take care of it.” And he did — though I staggered into Dr. Derek Powell’s office on a Monday, I walked out of UPMC on Thursday with full balance and no headaches.

I remember other voices, loud, clinical voices talking about Stage 4 cancer in the liver and lungs, suggesting I had only two options — live six more months or receive weekly chemo and live maybe three more years.

My inner voice quietly told me, “Do not fear this. They have limited resources. This path is not for you. Cher has something wonderful in mind.” The cancer specialists were quietly dismissed.

My wife, Cher, is in my stream. She always has been. Now more than ever. Like a powerful Lakota medicine women gathering the bounty of Mother Earth for the health and vitality of her entire village.

With help from her family, all holistic health professionals, she has designed a beautiful tapestry of lifestyle and nutritional changes for my road to perfect health.

Since cancer feeds on sugar, I am quickly put on a sugar-free diet. I notice the difference. Hot lemon tea in the morning and coconut oil throughout the day. She started me on the Gerson therapy, coffee enemas and juicing. The coffee enemas detoxify the liver between 600 and 700 percent above normal, and the vegetable juice gives my body all the ingredients it needs to heal itself.

Added to this daily offering are so many delicious vegetarian meals, with moderate exercise like walking our German shepherd and deep diaphramic breathing.

As I notice immediate results, the stream continues to carry me to my dance.

But I’ve done this dance before: Manfred’s, March 2015, Brian’s cover band Clover is playing. I stood off to the side watching. She and her mom let loose — they were dancing and having fun. Something deep within me wanted to dance. With jeans and boots on, I eased in behind Cher and started moving my feet up and down. The floor was the drum, my feet the drumsticks. As the loud sounds of drums, guitar and Brian’s voice came over me, my spirit began to soar, until I found myself bouncing up and down, lifting my hands up again and again in powerful vibrations of energy and freedom. Was it AC/DC’s “Highway to hell?”

And another time I danced, it was a precious memory. A.J. Deshong had invited us to the Earth Water Healing Ceremony at Grandvue Park overlooking Moundsville in September 2016. As the ceremony closed, we enjoyed drumming and dancing around a fire. And I danced my Great Eagle Spirit Dance.

So, my canoe is being carried downstream. I look through the MRI to the other side, knowing it is just a photo of past thought vibrations. Medical reports are subject to change.

The 60 trillion cells of my body are dancing like little orbs of light, communicating directly with Cher what they need to thrive. I let go and let the stream carry me to my next dance — the Great Eagle Spirit Dance.

(Jones, a resident of Steubenville, is a Shawnee medicine man.)