In the time before we were not separate from ourselves and the places we stood upon and looked up into, we were a people so connected to the earth that the earth took our pain in the same manner it gave us life. Absorbed it like a rare rain in the desert and held onto it like it was holding onto their dear lives. At one point, back in our time, we were each those people. And, now they are mere remnants of our shared fabric; tossed and hidden away when not murdered from existence, removed from the collective conscious except when it appears to serve a colonial romantic nature or reliance on greed. We have conveniently forgotten our own indigeneity, our tribal connections and those woven into all things of the natural world before commerce and church met to draw us into a new way of defining value.
In the places where we have shoved those people who represent the past that we have collectively deemed unworthy of our attention, we die along with them. As they bleed the interest in life, the earth withholds it–for them and for us. There’s no need to feed & give life if life is no longer lived in the manner it was made to support. And this is repeated around the globe, again and again, even as we struggle to manipulate natural and created systems to feed our futures. This cycle will be repeated like a contagion until we vanish unless we choose differently, make conscious individual and collective choices, recognizing All That Is is everyone and everything, whether they look like us or we agree with them.
Like those before us who were starved of connection to their sacred places & spaces, we disconnect even further from each other. Some run in any number of ways to escape, some escape to feel free yet yearn to come home. Those who have walked before and those now.
I have felt the lost. I have held their hearts in my hand and I have stood in the spaces where the ancients realized all that is was no longer; that relationship with the ground, that relationship with each other, the ties that bind us as a people, that relationship between spaces below and above; the very representations of all that is home. I have watched as others thought I was lost because my way wasn’t theirs, didn’t conform or confirm their understanding about how things are or should be.
I listen to those struggling to maintain communities in a good way fight to keep parking lots from plowing over medicines, to hold institutions accountable for maiming and marginalizing. My heart breaks when I’ve brought a 40 year old man back to his tribe but the 15 year old sitting next to him is desperate to escape, “because I can’t be me here. I’m not safe. I’m not ready to kill myself, though. Yet.”
To walk onto home and feel the defeat between the highs and to hear the kindness of strangers turn to meanness toward kin who aren’t enough of any measure to be accepted by family or community, reveals that same lostness; not of the Ancestors but in the hearts of those beating now. “How can I be me if I can’t be seen?” “All this talk about spirits, why am I called crazy for seeing these things?” “I can’t tell anyone the trees speak to me.” “I could just die.”
It is about more than the beauty of the earth and our connection to her. It’s about our connection to each other. In my wildest imaginings of the past it never occurred to me that I would embark on reconnecting people to their tribes, their own first peoples but that is clearly what is happening. It’s not only about, being led solely by instinct and spirit and energy, me reuniting a Navajo man who carries the medicine with his Native birth mother or others to whom I’m woven. The purpose of these reconnections between ground places and sacred spaces, people and people, sacred people and places; and spaces with the space above and below is crystal clear for me.
In this, we are creating the opportunity for re-beginning for each of us; for the ground that wants to bring us back to life, for the ancients that are bringing the past forward: bringing us back into relationship to the time and space and beingness long before we created the reliance on archetypes, philosophies, definitions, deities, and laws of our own creation that perpetuate separation.