Peak & Prairie

Rocky Mountain Chapter's
Online Newsletter
April / May 1999

 

Meditations

 

Adam Werbach, in his book Act Now, Apologize Later, describes several kinds of environmentalists. One of them he calls "druid environmentalists," who are "…driven by a basic belief that nature is restorative and inherently important for its spiritual qualities."

This section, Meditations, is meant for the "druids" of Colorado—and for everyone else who wants to cele-brate inspiring and thought-provoking quotations, experiences, views and reflections about our connection with the earth. Your ideas and suggestions will help to shape future Meditations. Contact Kyra Epstein at kyraepstein@earthlink.net.

Excerpts of a letter from Chief Seattle to the U.S. Government, 1852 From "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell.

 

The President in Washington sends word that he wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky? The land? The idea is strange to us.

Every part of this earth is sacred to my people. Every shin-ing pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know the sap, which courses through the trees, as we know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle: these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juice in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and man—all belong to the same family.

If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each ghostly reflection in the clear waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water’s murmur is the voice of my father’s father.

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth. This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many men and the view of the ripe hills is blot-ted by talking wires? The end of living and the beginning of survival.

When the last Red Man has vanished with his wilderness and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of my people left?

We love this earth as a newborn loves its mother’s heartbeat. So, if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. Hold in your mind the memory of the land as it is when you receive it. Preserve the land for all children and love it, as God loves us all.

 

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