Blog

In A Good Way Of Life

The old threads are unraveling,
Get your needles ready. 
We are stitching a new quilt
of humanity.

Bring your old t-shirts,
worn out jeans, scarves, 
antique gowns, aprons, 
old pockets of plenty
who have held Earth's treasures, 
stones, feathers, leaves,
love notes on paper. 

Each stitch
A mindful meditation. 
Each piece of material
A story.

The more colour the better, 
so call in the tribes. 
Threads of browns, whites,
reds, oranges
Women from all nations
start stitching.

Let's recycle the hate, the abuse, 
the fear, the judgment. 
Turn it over, wash it clean, 
ring it out to dry. 
It's a revolution
of recycled wears. 

Threads of greens, blues, purples
Colourful threads
of peace, kindness, 
respect, compassion
are being stitched
from one continent to the next
over forests, oceans, mountains. 

The work is hard
Your fingers may bleed. 
But each cloth stitched together
Brings together a community. 
A world, our future world
Under one colourful quilt. 
The new quilt of humanity.

~Julia Myers

It was a first for me, a Native American drum ceremony near the Potato River. But as I stood near the moving water making its way toward Lake Superior and listened to Tony DePerry offer his prayers, I knew I was in the right place.  Meister Eckhart said, in the 13th century, 'if the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice'. As I spread my tobacco into the water, I sent deeply heartfelt prayers of gratitude for Mother Earth, Lake Superior and the people who are re-imagining abundance and community in Northern Wisconsin.

Our souls have traveled through many lifetimes to be right here, right now— at a time when the heartbeat of a 2 billion year old mountain range, that once rivaled the Alps, and the largest body of freshwater in North America are threatened by human greed and the mining industry. Their shortsightedness has ignited a fire fueled by prayer, gatherings, ceremonies, story-telling and a re-definition of true, not stolen, power and influence that will not be extinguished.

A womb in bark— fitting for a space where the past is cherished and the future is being born amidst gratitude, feasting and ceremony.

We continued on our Saturday in the Penokees road trip to the Lac Courte Oreilles Harvest Camp near the proposed mine site and it was another eye opener. We walked into the camp and were met by Melvin, the head honcho, who warmly welcomed us and explained a few simple camp ground rules. In spite of the super-sized mosquitos, it was a magical place— a fully functioning settlement among the trees and rocks slated by GTac to become overburden.

An indigenous elder from British Columbia, Cecil Paul, told a story about a Magic Canoe, the preservation of the Kitlope, an old-growth forest in northern B.C. (story here) and the change that is possible when we gather around a fire, in a camp or in a mythical canoe. 'I was alone in a canoe," he (Paul) has said.  "But it was a magic canoe.  It was magic because it could make room for everyone who wanted to come on board, to come in and paddle together. The currents against us were very strong. But I believed we could reach our destination.  And that we had to for our survival.'

'You know, you guys call it 'the Kitlope,'" Cecil says. "But in our language we call it 'Huchsduwachsdu Nuyem Jees.'  That means 'the land of milky blue waters and the sacred stories contained in this place.' You think it's a victory because we saved the land.  But what we really saved is our heritage -- our stories which are embedded in this place and which couldn't survive without it, and which contain all our wisdom for living.' The LCO Harvest Camp is a place where, regardless of where you come from, all our wisdom for living is alive and well, available to anyone who walks into the forest off Moore Road.

We are in for a long haul— GTac isn't going away anytime soon but they are showing their true colors, as are we. It's maddening when you realize what you cherish has been sold to the highest bidder but we are shining light, from the banks of the Potato River or the LCO Harvest Camp, on the death throes of greed, hubris and corruption that doesn't fit in the world we are re-imagining. Community, ceremony, legacy, conservation and stewardship— good places to start changing our world.