I can almost make it across the field to my unfinished writing studio sitting amidst the trees. If I followed the melt off beneath the trees, I could get there. Watching the winter melt away is interesting. Things are revealed. Tomato cages left along the fence, a soggy cardboard box, a tool I haven’t seen since fall, my tiny Christmas tree . . .
And the birds are gathering. I remember hearing a Lakota man speak about how all creatures have a need to gather. Sometimes they gather as an entire nation. He talked about seeing the owl nation gather once at his grandfathers—hundreds and hundreds of owls suddenly came together to re-gather their strength as a nation.
This seems like such a powerful image to me. We spend our days flying off in a hundred, a thousand different directions and yet sometimes we just need to come together. I think it must be time for the human nation to gather. I have finally put some energy into bringing people together in our little Many Kites Center to talk, exchange ideas, learn from each other. I have this very deep feeling that it is time for many of us of common consciousness to come together not just to sell products or learn from “experts” but in a true gathering of nations. Because we believe in the pursuit of spirit and awareness does not mean we are outside of the nation of man/woman. We are its heart.
I feel a sense of urgency, and I know many of you do, too. You have told me so. We can’t continue on the path we are on or our dear Mother Earth will do as the ancient Lakota story of the Second Cleansing tells about. In the story, Mother Earth becomes weary of her warring and disrespectful children and decides to toss them all off the world. Before she begins the cleansing, she takes a few of the people and puts them inside of her. The story says those people re-emerged from Wind Cave as The Lakota People.
Years and years ago I wrote a novel called One Drum. I have struggled to bring this book into the world via a “real” publisher, but it hasn’t happened. I think it’s time has come. The story is about a gathering of great beings and spirits that rush forth to help us avert the cleansing—but we have to ask for their help. I love this story. Two little boys find a young woman asleep in the Badlands. She doesn’t know who she is or why she has come. The boys and the woman take off on a great adventure to restore the deep inner rhythm of the universe.
Several years ago, Milt and I were invited to attend a five-day ceremony down in Trebol, Mexico. There were many “nations” gathered there and they came together to attempt to bring a greater harmony to the earth. One tribe, The Piaroa’s have a ceremony that they do every other year, and they believe that if that ceremony is not done in the proper way at the proper time, the “center” will fall and all will be done. We were able to observe the ceremony. It was midnight beneath a vivid Mexican sky. The medicine man was a tiny little man. In one part of the ceremony three people came out wearing what looked like little huts. They carried rattles and began to sing and shake their rattles. A woman came out and began keening. The sound raised all the hairs on my arms. It was as if she was dying, experiencing the death of someone she loved—or giving birth. The sound was piercing. I couldn’t understand the words, but somehow knew that she was calling on all the great powers of the universe to help us and to make us strong again.
Except in the deepest pages of one of my novels, I have been shy about speaking my mind. I have let the characters I create say it for me. I want to be more out here with what I believe. I don’t think the human race is doomed, but there is an urgency for us to come together more consciously, with greater intention, to work with the ancestors and great beings to help bring about the transformation that our race needs. Mother Earth is not requesting—she is demanding that we act in new ways.
As always, this comes down to the moment—the here and now of each of our lives. We may not be able to overthrow deceitful governments or alter world economies, but we have each other, we have this moment, and I do believe we have the blessings of many great and mysterious powers. I feel small and powerless sometimes to effect real change, although that has been the mission of my life. There is, however, much that each one of us could do. In the physical world we can tighten the reins on the desire to buy shit we don’t need or to toss something instead of finding a use for it. We can expand our desire to clear and cultivate and grow things in the soil. We can actually build the little “retreat” centers that dozens of people I have met have dreamed about doing. And there is much we can do in the spiritual world—practice respect, engagement, a greater sharing without limiting boundaries of me and mine. Practice peace with those you love. And we can ask for help from each other—and from those great mysterious energies that we know are there although we, as limited human beings tied to language, have never found the words for.
I should have written this post for “Earth Day” but in my book, every day is Earth Day. I would like to share my novel, One Drum, with anybody who would like to read it. If you email me, I’ll send you a PDF—and I’ll get it in print within the next two weeks. Let it take you on a journey . . .
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