Child, look back into your history, into your roots, and you will see a time when life waslady-2925407_1920 simple.  Less comfortable, yes, but as we weren’t attached to being comfortable as you are today, it wasn’t so much of a concern for us.  We lived in direct contact with the land in a way that you can only yearn for in your bones.  We knew how to work the land to grow our food, how to sing to the plants as we planted the seeds, honoring the appropriate phase of the moon so that they would grow in the most beneficial way.  We knew how to work with our hands, creating every single thing we needed. We knew how to make our own clothing, how to raise animals with love and care, and humbly use them to care for our needs of sustenance and warmth.  We knew every single plant, which ones were good for food and medicine, which ones we could use to make clothing and dyes, and for tools and the things of the home.  We also knew how to work together to do these things, as no one person could know how to do every single thing.  We came together to create all of the necessities that helped us to survive.  It’s true that we struggled in many ways.  There were potent sicknesses that came, destroying entire crops that we needed so desperately for our food.  And of course the sicknesses that came, bringing death to the people.  Sometimes to young people, even little children.  And now, there are so many ways your people can heal these diseases, and that is wonderful.

Today, in your world, you have so many unnecessary things, things that are interesting and amusing, and ultimately pointless.  To an old one like myself, these things seem like mere children’s toys.  Shiny toys, fast toys, all merely games.  And while my people also enjoyed games, and likely far more time to rest and enjoy life than your people do, there was far more meaning in our play.  The sicknesses of speed, competition, greed, and war back-1822702_1920have infected your games, and your world, in ways that my people could never have imagined.  And yet, where are the elders?  Where are the teachers?  Where is the initiation into adulthood?  Where are the tests and tasks and learning that cultivates a wise heart and mind, cultivating these childish impulses into full adulthood?   This is sorely missing in your culture.  The distractions of accumulation of things and riches have rotted your human minds, and all my people can see in your culture, as we peer down through time, is sickness and insanity running rampant.

Can you imagine what it is to know who you are?  Not only who you are based on who you are supposed to be according to your systems of education and working.  Not only based on your achievements and accomplishments and certifications.  Not only based on your stories from your lifetime.  Not based on status or material accumulations.  But based on a source of knowing that is deep within your bones, your blood.  Can you imagine what it is to know who your people are?  Not based on their historical and cultural achievements, or based on collective power and intelligence, but based on a old-book-2297946_1920strong connection to land and home and ancestry through time beyond imagining?  Can you imagine what it is to know what it is to belong?  Not because you own property, paid a membership into a society, or achieved some level of respect as a business person or for your work?  But instead, because your very essence is intertwined with the rhythm of seasons, the change of the land through the year and through time, through relationship with the plants and animals and minerals and sunlight and wind?

If you will lean in with me here, I will take you into my world.  Into the old world before the sickness of your culture was born.  If you lean in with me, I will show you the pristine Earth, the homeland of your people, and a time of living in harmony with all of life.  Taking only what is absolutely necessary in order to sustain our own lives.  Before humans were distracted by games of power and war and domination and destruction, girl-529633_1920when the magic was still very much alive and natural.  If you lean in with me, I can help you to remember how to hear the voice of the wind, to walk with the Earth meeting your every step, to communicate with the animal world, to see and know things from the heart.  If you lean in with me I can show you what it feels like to belong to the land through being in deep relationship with Mother Earth, and if you pay close attention, you will be able to see the ways that she leans in with us here too, as she always has.  Can you imagine how beautiful life was, in spite of our lack of comforts and daily hard work, simply living our lives in peace?

I feel the longing within you, and the grief, my child.  Longing to know who you are, and where you belong.  Longing to understand what has gone so unimaginably wrong in your late times.  There came a time for our people when outsiders came and interfered with our ways, forcing their ideas upon us and declaring our culture primitive and uncivilized.  I will spare you the stories of that time, as it was more horrible than your ears need to hear.  Where their ideas were born, we may never know.  But these invaders came and abused us in every possible way because they simply didn’t like the feather-2571777_1920way we did things.  We had known conflict before, of course.  Humans have conflict, that’s true.  But never conflict like this.  We were beaten and raped and killed, thrown out of our homes, forced from our homelands.  All the while, we could see the sickness in the souls of these humans.  They were humans who didn’t know who they were, and who had never been cultivated into wise adult human beings by their elders.  They didn’t learn the ways of respect and humbleness, and somehow came to believe that they could just take whatever they wanted, with little care for the harm they caused in the process.

And so, being gentle people, we had no way to fight them.  It wasn’t in us to fight that way.  And though we knew only the ways of living in harmony with the lands in which we and our people had known since the beginning of time, we had little choice other than to adapt, to move, to go wherever we could to be free of their harm.  We endured great hardship in this, but because we were used to working hard already, we were resilient people.  We learned to adapt, even though we often found ourselves in lands that were utterly foreign to the lifeways we had always known.  We lost many of our people in this time, as the speed at which we needed to adapt was sometimes beyond our eritrea-105081_1920reach.  We did the best we could.  We prayed, we stayed close to each other, and we learned to listen hard for the guidance of Spirit in these lands we didn’t know or understand.

Over time, we were surrounded.  There was no place left to go.  They beat us for using our languages, and so to survive, we surrendered our languages.  They beat us for our holy celebrations and traditions, and so to survive, we kept only those we could do in hiding.  Over time, no longer able to celebrate our traditions together, and not having the chance to come together to share our stories with the younger ones, the great forgetting began.  We began to forget who we were.  They forced their ways of dress upon us, and forced our young ones to go to their schools.  As people deeply connected to the sacredness in everything, we found ourselves in their churches as well, longing to find connection to Spirit in community in some way.  Without that, we would have been utterly lost.  And so, stripped of our lands, of our traditions, our languages, our celebrations, our stories, our customs, and our ways of teaching our young ones what we believed to be true and important, we became lost.  We were assimilated into their ways, not even remembering what was lost.  Not directly, anyway.

But the whispers of remembering flow through the ancestral lines woven into your body, called DNA by your modern humans.  Do you feel the longing to belong to a place?  Do you feel the hunger in your bones to come back to something you can’t fully name?  Do fantasy-2964231_1920you find yourself feeling lost, like an orphaned child, though you are decidedly not?  Do you feel the call to wander, but you aren’t even certain what it is you are looking for?  It is the restlessness of your soul, longing to know its place in this ephemeral world of trees and waters and sunlight and stars.  And while you may have the ability to travel to any place you wish with your powerful technologies, and while you may have the ability to move yourself and your loved ones for any reason you choose, that restlessness is calling you deeper, calling you to return home to yourself, to your homeland, to your people ~ none of which exist any longer in your world, at least not in a meaningful way that would satisfy your heart’s holy ache.

Child, all I can do is hold you in my arms in this moment in time.  Life in your world is at an interesting and delicate turning point.  So few of your people have cultivated a sufficient sensitivity to even enter into this conversation, and when you meet others that share that sensitivity, treasure it.  Talk with each other.  As you do, you will enhance each others’ remembering, and awaken what has been dormant for so long.  There is much to be healed, and things in your world are so precarious right now, there is no clear way forward along that path.  At the very least, know that the longing that has carried you this far has brought you to understand more than you ever imagined you could.  You are my grandchild, dear one, and I am here with you all along the way.  Know that from here forward, you cannot fail.  You have remembered this much, and your heart is awake, and to our people, that is enough.hands-2888625_1920(1)

From My Grandmother

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