Madelyn Soldner Sullivan

Story as Ritual 


A long time ago, Not all that far From here....

There once lived a young maiden in the far up mountains of the blue sky country. She spent her days wandering the forest streams, picking flowers, feeding animals and riding her old white horse in the summers. And in the winters she could be found speeding down hills on a sleigh, building snow caves and skiing to huts with her friends.  As the seasons cycled, and the waters froze and thawed, froze and thawed again, she grew older and was carried down the melting tributaries from high up in the mountains to edge of the Eastern shores.. 


The mountains grew smaller and smaller, the rivers grew wider and wider, until finally she reached the big expanse of salty blue where the sun is born each day. By the ocean of the Atlantic she learned the ways of the elders who lived here. It was not an easy task. She struggled through dark winters that forced her to look for the light inside her instead of the light around her that always left each winter. She met many people who helped to steer her towards her light. She learned from a boat builder the ways of tools, she learned from a farmer the ways of the land, she learned from a medicine man the ways of the plants, and she learned from a tracker the ways of the wild.  She learned to sharpen her pen and refine her paint brush to communicate the colors of the world through her hands. She learned the ways of the ocean, the rhythm of the tides, the timing of the storms and how to ride cold pounding rumbling swells in the icy winters.


On her journey out of the darkness she sought to connect the light within her to the world around her. To do this she first had to find solid ground beneath her feet. And so she slowly began to remove the layers protecting her from feeling herself in relation to the world. She learned to make her own sandals in the ways of the old people. She ran in the woods in her sandals and was no longer separate from the animals and trees, but soundlessly flowing through the forest as a part of it. She learned to listen for her intuition before making a plan. She learned to trust her body's wisdom before her thoughts' impulses.


She knew that she was not the only one longing for true connection to the ground beneath their feet. She knew that others were hungry to find their voice, find their connection to each other and this earth. And so it was that she embarked on her journey as a story teller weaving meaning and ritual into all of her tasks. Through sandal making, painting, writing, teaching she cast sacred circles for people to step into to take them out of ordinary time and space, telling ancient stories that connect people back to their inner creativity, to their inner ground. 

She knew that she was not the only one who longed for true connection to the ground beneath her feet.


And in these pages you will read of her adventures as she travels farther and farther, and nearer and nearer on the spiral path of the seeker. 


It is said that to this very day she can be found by the edge waters of the Great Pacific, where the sun goes to die each day. You may see her there, singing on her ukulele by the shore, or maybe catch a party wave with her as the dusk settles into twilight. 


Portraits by Tayler Carlisle

and Leia Vita

Video by Samuel Pike

Walk Your Prayer
— Madelyn S.S.