Chris and I went to take Menina for her weekly walk yesterday in Tofino's sister village, Ucluelet, where she now lives. It was a glorious ramble, along a small beach, and through the forest. We saw such amazing trees! I wanted to share our walk with you. I thought it might lift your hearts to see the beauty of Mother Earth, which continues so generously, even in the midst of climate distress. Mother Earth is so brave that way: her mandate, and the mandate of all earthlings, is to live.
who is happy in her new home,
especially as she still gets to see
her aunties every week.
We're happy about that too!
I was THRILLED when a heron landed
some feet in front of me
on the beach and I managed to get
the closest shots I have ever
managed of this wonderful creature.
Sigh. I am content!
I wasn't quick enough to get the eagles overhead.
Dogs, herons and ancient tree beings. It is a wonderful world!
Sharing at earthweal.com , to remind us of this beautiful world we want so much to heal and help.
After 4.55 billion years, give or take 50 million,
it only took us 200 years
to bring us to the brink:
the voracious industrial maw gobbling acres
without a thought of restoration,
of what can be sustained,
or the cost to whatever future
we have left.
(Some indigenous people caution us to step lightly, that we are walking on the faces (and futures) of our children.)
The future is here, now.
We inherit melting ice, wildfires,
carbon emissions, a heating planet,
Refugees are on the move,
fleeing famine, flood, fire,
war and terror,
seeking safety, finding none,
borders closing, as the hope withers
in their hearts.
In the eyes of the suffering children
we see reflected
the world that we have made.
We have 100 seconds
- one minute forty seconds -
before climate catastrophe
The leaders are not listening.
Dollar signs blind them
to a truth few want to hear.
Willful ignorance enables them
to fill the pockets of the few,
while the masses suffer.
Deep time is revealing its finite horizon.
The 6th mass extinction is upon us.
Some of us recognize
that this extinction
It's a hundred seconds to midnight.
It was two and a half minutes two years ago -
anyone getting nervous yet?
The top photo reminds me of a photo of my grandma when she was about 50. She was sitting on the ground on a misty stretch of prairie, looking into the distance. The wolf, of course, reminds me of Pup, who often put his paw forward, like this, uttering a soft "whuff" to get my attention or make a request. Sigh.
I announce my presence without speech,
beaming love to all (tree) beings:
"I come in peace, with respect."
I hope they hear.
I walk gently, quietly,
exchanging smiles and breaths.
"Good morning," I say to all passing
trees, people, dogs - (especially dogs).
"Beautiful morning!" I exult, and
"You're the most beautiful dog!
Have a treat!" The dogs all smile.
Sometimes the people, too.
(Maybe I need to carry chocolates
in the other pocket?)
I look for the small beauties,
and they are everywhere -
babies' smiles and sweet little growls, old man's beard
on cedar, the first unfurling white spring blossoms,
green things, poking their heads up
after the long winter.
I turn down unexplored pathways,
eyes open to the magic.
I listen for the messages
the forest has to give.
I take my inspiration from the sky.
"Look up!" I tell
the merry passers-by.
"There's a Sky-Show going on,
this very second,
just for you and I."
I am back from a cool poetry workshop given to we seniors by our Poet Laureate Joanna Streetly. The exercise was to think of something we love to do, and to jot down vocabulary and ideas about it. Then to write a poem using those things to illustrate how we apply them to our way of being in the world. I chose walking in the forest, as it is easy to transfer the wonder to walking through life with eyes "open to the magic."
This is the time the ancestors
told us about,
when the rainbow race will rise,
when the Shambhala warriors
will stride through
the halls of power,
their weapons only
compassion and insight,
ethics and integrity.
It is time for The Great Turning,
from the ways of death
to the ways of
harmony and connection.
I hear your discouragement.
I feel it, too.
We are alive at
this moment in time
to help with the Great Shift
from darkness to light,
from the ways of war
to the ways of peace.
The Prophecy promises
a thousand years of peace.
It will not come in our time,
but it is good to know that
it will come again,
that buffalo will once more
carpet the landscape,
that people will live once again
with the land and its creatures,
that whales and wolves and bears
will one more time be
at home on and supported by
the land and waters,
and will no longer starve.
The ways of patriarchy
have lived past their time.
May we women rise,
plant trees, protect the living waters,
grow food and share it,
refuse to allow our fresh-cheeked children
to be fed to the war machine.
Time to put aside the ways of death
and to embrace the ways of life.
Peace will never be won
with guns and bombs.
Time to awaken from the nightmare
and dream a better dream.
Time for the Shambhala warriors
I find hope in the goodness
of the human heart,
which rises against injustice,
which extends a hand to help
when folks are hurting,
which wants a better world
for all beings,
who sees not You and Me
I find hope in the human spirit,
which rises from the depths
to resist oppression,
which encourages, strives, transforms
when challenges are difficult,
which never gives up
until it lives in freedom.
I find my hope in Mother Nature,
whose every living creature, plant
and natural system
is programmed for growth.
Every living being wants to live,
grow and evolve, as much as we do.
I find hope in our energy
when we seek to align with
the energies of the universe,
and assist with the transformation
of human consciousness
which will birth social justice,
and re-learn living on the land
in harmony with natural systems,
other creatures and each other.
Well. This is a lot of hope, for my prompt at Earthweal: Finding Hope. There are those who believe this is not possible, that we have strayed too far and passed the tipping point. There are others who think the tipping point will teach humanity some hard lessons and on the other side of severe climate events, more and more of us will heed the call to live sustainably.
In Canada, this week, indigenous people and their allies are rising in protest across the country, shutting down ports, railways, government buildings, bridges and intersections. They are protesting not only the pipeline the government is trying to push through their land, but the entire colonial system that has kept them oppressed and impoverished ever since the settlers arrived and began their agenda of extraction and destruction. I find hope in the First Peoples of this land, who lived harmoniously here for thousands of years and understand the natural laws of living WITH rather than dominating the land and waters. A lesson we are far too late in learning.
In the lifetime before the lifetime before this one, and again the lifetime before that, I danced under the blue sky at the sundance, when I and the world were young.
The beat of the drum sang in my blood and my feet moved in joy, and I danced and I danced as if it would last forever, when I and the world were young.
The Old Ones smiled on me with kind eyes, but with sadness, too, for their dreams foresaw suffering for the people.
Over in the meadow, grey wolves flitted in and out among the Standing People, paws prancing high, and the backs of the buffalo carpeted the earth in the days when I and the world were young.
And now I live again, in an alien skin, in a world grown cold. The buffalo are gone and all that moves is made of metal. And I am an Old One with kind, sad eyes, watching the young dance in a world gone mad, and the ancient spirits are crying still, remembering the days of dancing under the sun when they and I and the world were young.
I wondered what I was going to write for my prompt at Earthweal on Monday: Finding Hope. Why is it so hard, knowing all I know, to write about having hope? Why is it so much easier to write about all that is wrong and needs changing?
But then, today, Valentine's Day, I attended a Tla-o-qui-aht-led gathering of women (and a secondary circle of men who came to support the women) at the totem pole park on the harbour. The gathering was in remembrance of the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada. Concern was spoken for the safety of Wet'suwet'en women, as a 450-man camp is proposed in their area, where GasLink plans to build a pipeline, with government support, right through Wet'suwet'en territory. On unceded land, that belongs to the Wet'suwet'en people.
Time for the Canadian government to stop using the word "Reconciliation" with regards to their relationship with the First People of this land.
There was a small contained fire, and we were invited to make small tobacco medicine bundles imbued with our prayers. When we were ready to let them go, we put them in the fire, so our prayers could go to Creator and out into the universe. There was drumming, and singing, and Tla-o-qui-aht women spoke, along with a few non-native women. "It is time to step into your courage," one young mother said. "We need to think of the world we are passing onto the children."
We sent love and strength to the front lines of the Wet'suwet'en people, where elders and others have been arrested in a series of arrests by militarized police. Protecting corporate interests, as always, over the rights of the First Peoples of this land.
In protest, land defenders and supporters shut down government offices, bridges, intersections, railways and ports all across Canada this week. Since the only thing that matters to government is money, this has gotten a reaction. Government people are now meeting with the hereditary chiefs. It would be nice if they could listen with their hearts instead of their bankbooks.
This pipeline has already cost billions of dollars and it hasn't been built yet. It is economic and ecological insanity. Not to mention, the Supreme Court of Canada AND the United Nations have declared the Wet'suwet'en peoples' absolute rights to their land and both entities have said they cannot be removed from it.
Supporters have shown up in big numbers in rallies across the country. First Nations are not alone; they have allies. If environmentalists and First Nations join together, we have powerful numbers and a strong voice.
There were things I felt and wanted to share with the circle. But it was a day for First Nations voices, and I am lucky. I can come home and share my thoughts with you.
I wanted to say my heart hurt when I watched the video above, of the elder being led away DURING PRAYER AND CEREMONY. I heard the grief in her wail, being taken off her land, heartbroken but still singing. Red dresses had been hung along the blockade in honour of the missing and murdered women. As arrests were made, I saw some dresses on the ground in the snow, and felt such disrespect being shown as the police took down the ones still hanging. They have no clue about the sacredness of what they are encountering. They blunder; do not listen; do not try to HEAR. No respect.
I wanted to say I stand with First Nations here and all across the country, as I always have. That I mind wearing this white skin, the skin of the oppressor of indigenous people all over the world. That my heart is theirs in friendship and solidarity.
I hope my continued presence at these gatherings lets them know I am a friend.
Our gathering closed as we women walked around the fire in a circle, singing. I felt the power of women, of mothers, of matriarchs, of grandmothers, of the long line of women who walked here before us. We have strong medicine when we come together. It is not a loud strength that needs a lot of chest-thumping. It is a quiet knowing that there is a better way. When we finally sit in council, governing, as we once did long ago, this will be a better world. I am not sure how much longer that will take or if the world will survive long enough for it to happen. But women bear life, we value life, we nurture it. We know how to help it grow.
In that circle of women, as I gazed at birds in flight overhead, and traced the beauty of mist and clouds decorating Wah'nah'juss, I realized: this is where I find my hope, in a gathering of women speaking truth, sharing sorrow at injustice, encouraging action, both personal and in community, for the change that has to happen.
I found some hope this morning. It lifted my heart.
for my prompt at Earthweal on Monday: Finding Hope
Our pal Menina has been moved to a home in Ucluelet, so her loving aunties drove there to take her for a ramble yesterday. The Wild Pacific Trail wanders past some wonderful old tree beauties. I am fascinated by the moss and ferns thriving on the trunks, and I love the view out over the Broken Group Islands. We shall be making this trip regularly to see the girly, who seems to be doing well in her new home. As long as she still gets to see her aunties, she should be okay. Her new person says she played with the ball we gave her all afternoon after we left. She does love her orange chewy balls! And we love her!