In cart Not available Out of stock

Lightning Woman Danced, The Story Behind the Song

“I have always gone to the wilderness,” or some version of that, is a line you will read often in my stories. The wilderness shows up constantly in my songs and poetry, almost without fail. It is the place where I have always gone to rest, to discover and to regain my footing. In my early years I developed an ability to take a place with me where ever I may go: I see the place, hear it, smell it, feel the sun or the wind or snow of it, I can step into its waters and cool my feet.
Some have asked me if the wilderness is where I found God. My answer is, “No”. God found me not in the wilderness of the world, but in the wilderness of my soul, and He has never let go and promised He never will. However, God does talk to me through the wilderness places I go. And, perhaps when I am not listening to Him elsewhere, he sends me out to where I will listen.
My father died in the fall of 2013 and a few months afterward, in the spring of 2014 my mother followed him. The trouble started shortly after Dad died though, when my brother introduced his executor duties to his best friends, greed and cruelty, and the four of them mounted and offensive against me. Shortly after Dad’s funeral, I was pronounced a danger to my Mom and was not allowed to see her and even my phone calls were screened. I was stunned to say the least and could not begin to understand the reasoning behind this edict.
I hired an attorney to fight for me to be able to see Mom and this only escalated the situation. In the end the attorney did no good for my cause and Mom died without me getting to see her or visit her in her last days. Because a friend of fifty plus years was one of her caretakers, I was able to speak to Mom on the times my friend could notify me that the coast was clear to call. It was this friend who notified me the night of my Mom’s passing. Other wise I was not notified by family for several days.
To say the least, it was a horrible position to be in. To have one’s will paralyzed with no regard for the truth. Spring became summer and then fall. My equilibrium was still off, but I had concerts to perform and those shows helped to carry me through. Yet, the fight continued, now over the estate.
Way back in 2004 my parents bought their first new car and that winter flew to Arizona to visit me for Christmas. While here, Mom informed me that the brand new 2004 baby blue Lincoln Town Car with the leather interior would be mine when she died. It was already in her will that way. “But, don’t tell your brother,” I distinctly recall saying. “It will only start shit.”
I promptly forgot about the car. Little did Mom know just how much shit the Lincoln would start.
In 2015 I was tired, exhausted from the estate battle and unsure if I could do a good show, but, I had concerts to play that had been on the book for a couple of years. I had also scheduled a short two week tour of house concerts from Arizona to Washington State and back during August of that year. I could hear Mom saying, “Go on and go, get away from the mess.”
So, I did.
As I headed north out of Arizona via Flagstaff and on to Lee’s Ferry, a storm was looming over the Vermilion Cliffs. I made my ritual stop at Cameron Trading Post to visit with the Weaver see what she had working on her loom. As I approached the turn off to Lee’s Ferry, I noticed that cars not far ahead of me were disappearing into the storm, so I pulled over to wait it out. Even the Navajo traders set up along the highway were packing up their goods and getting in their trucks for protection from the driving wind and rain.
After the storm passed I took the turn for Lee’s Ferry and Kanab, Utah, a road I had traveled before and was familiar with. The fact that I may not see another car for many miles did not bother me. The Vermilion Cliffs were a favorite place of mine and they were made more beautiful by the remnants of the storm which hung about their tops. All of a sudden, ahead and to my right, a bolt of lightning came from the sky, touched the edge of the cliff and stepped down to the ground. It took another step toward the road then jumped into the sky.
The scene was too startling to be scary. I was now looking in the mirror hoping to see another car and thinking they would have had to see what I just saw. But, I was the only one on the road. A minute later the lightning ran past me on the right, as if we were racing. It was take huge, giant steps and leaps that had to be a quarter of a mile or more in stride but were sideways to the right and then the left. I began to laugh. Lightning Woman was dancing. She was going across the road and back again, leaping into the sky then turning back to jab her feet into the ground.
“Oh, Lightning Woman danced down off the mesa.
She danced jabbing toe and heel into the ground.
She danced across the road and on the playa.
She danced into the air and came back down.”

By the time I made my motel in Kanab I had those words and more. Words about how Lightning Woman was sent to tell me I was doing the right thing. I was on the right road and to stay with the map printed on my soul.
My first show was the next night, and I was excited to see some friends whom I knew cowboyed in Brice Canyon and the Kaibab Plateau for many years.
I asked Jeanne, “Have you ever seen such a thing?”
“Only once, and I have never forgotten it.”
“Good, then I know I have not gone nuts!”

Stay on your right road. Follow that map printed on your soul. Answer to the wilderness when it speaks to you. God works in the wilderness and He has a purpose for sending you there.
Step toward the light away from fear and hear all those angles up in heaven stand and cheer.

Lyrics


A lonely desert highway through a tempest

Miles and miles and miles to sing my songs

This world can smack you down with its immenseness

And make you fear the very place where you belong.




Lightning Woman danced down off the mesa

She danced jabbing toe then heel into the ground

She danced across the road and on the playa

She danced into the air then turned around


I was driving to the West across the Kaibab

Lightning Woman dancing there beside me

I raced her 'cross the plateau to the red gap

As she won, she turned and laughed at me




Lightning Woman danced down off the mesa

She danced jabbing toe then heel into the ground

She danced across the road and on the playa

She danced into the air and came back down



She danced, laughing, "No, you've not gone crazy!

You stepped toward the light away from fear!

In His great joy God sent me dancing

And all the angels up in heaven stood and cheered!


Believe with all your heart you're on the right road

Your map is in remembering that you know

Your gift is planted firmly in your soul

And God is with you everywhere you go.



Lightning Woman danced down off the mesa

She danced jabbing toe then heel into the ground

She danced across the road and on the playa

She danced into the air then turned around


I was driving to the West across the Kaibab

With miles and miles and miles to sing my songs.