I want my final post on Mothers Day to be a tribute to Our Mother Earth. I took the below reflection from the Shundahai website.
Reflections from the 800 mile Family Spirit Walk for Mother Earth
By Daniel Jameson & Craig Stehr
The night darkness is awakened by a pre-sunrise ceremonial fire circle. A circle of peace campers moves clockwise, as a Shoshone tribal elder beats a drum and sings to the Great Spirit in his native language. There is a tribal pole with colorful streamers, hoops made from willow branches, tobacco, sage, cedar, water, and a desert tortoise shell that I,Craig,found while following a hawk in the desert. Corbin Harney sings about Mother Earth, the necessity of humanity having drinkable water, the neutralization of the harmful effects of nuclear power, and the genocidal policies and systematic theft of tribal land by the United States Federal Government.
The night darkness is awakened by a pre-sunrise ceremonial fire circle.
A circle of peace campers moves clockwise, as a Shoshone tribal elder beats a drum and sings to the Great Spirit in his native language. There is a tribal pole with colorful streamers, hoops made from willow branches, tobacco, sage, cedar, water, and a desert tortoise shell that I,Craig,found while following a hawk in the desert. Corbin Harney sings about Mother Earth, the necessity of humanity having drinkable water, the neutralization of the harmful effects of nuclear power, and the genocidal policies and systematic theft of tribal land by the United States Federal Government.
There are people here from around the world, who have completed an 800 mile Family Spirit Walk for Mother Earth which began in Los Alamos, New Mexico August 9th. Seeds of Peace and East Bay Food Not Bombs are at Peace Camp providing meals; several other groups are manifesting music, legal help, puppet making, a massage tent, medical station, and much more. Shoshone elders hold evening sweat lodges. A sign reads, “these lodges are an expression of our religious freedom – they have been declared sacred by Shoshone elders – this is Shoshone land.”
There are two sweat lodges, one for men, one for women. In front is a ceremonial fire area with herbs. There is an impressive sunbleached buffalo skull. The spiritual power here is palpable. Across the road is the Department of Energy Nevada Test Site with the proposed Yucca Mountain national nuclear waste repository in the distance. The Shoshone’s sacred mountains ring the area.
Peaceworkers hike up to the peaks to pray and meditate. To the north there is the ka-boom of bombing practice, also parachuting practice. So on one side of the road is an ancient spirituality responding to the postmodern military-industrial materialistic madness. And on the other side is Nellis Air Force Base and the U.S. corporate-governmental development of bombs, bombs, and more bombs. The Great Spirit of the Shoshone spiritual way witnesses everything.
Civil disobedience has taken place. Demonstrators “technically trespass” at the Nevada Test Site’s main gate, are arrested, and are bussed off to the Beatty, NV jail. Shoshone tribal elders point out that whereas the land treaties are a sham, and whereas this is Shoshone ancestral land, the idea of trespassing is ridiculous. The peace camp legal advisors suggest that no resolution can take place anywhere but in Shoshone tribal court – and ultimately in international world court.
Free Radio 104.7 FM is broadcasting news reports and interviews from a portable station at the Peace Camp. Local media is covering the story and there are reports being published in the Las Vegas newspapers.
Up the road a piece the City of Las Vegas hosts visitors who come to the desert for big time gambling, entertainment, and to party every day of the year. The whole region is coated with radioactive contaminated dust particles borne on the wind. Sunrise ceremony on the last morning of the Peace Camp…I, Craig, ask Corbin Harney for a special prayer to publish along with this text…he says that there is no special prayer. He says that “we don’t want this to be special.” Rather, he asks that everyone understand that anybody can do what we are doing, and that is the beauty of it. Corbin says, “everyone is welcome to join the circle.”
Fenton Lake State Park, New Mexico. Our spiritual family is on its road between Los Alamos and the Nevada Test Site. We are passing through four states to bring awareness of the nuclear tragedy from its beginnings in the uranium mines to its end at Mercury, Nevada, where it is exploded as plutonium.
This morning an eagle disappears over the canyon wall as Gilbert Sanchez, our Tewa spiritual guide, calls to her as a friend and fellow being…The Family Spirit Walk is in the heart of Pueblo sacred land after several weeks of hard foot travel. My name is Daniel Peacewalker. I am part of this spiritual family, continuing the dream journey that began long ago in childhood, when stories of sacred quests and pilgrimages devoured my waking hours; when in my soul was cultivated the deep desire to be free and unfettered on a quest, in the company of those who shared my dream and vision. This dream is alive and bearing fruit today as Gilbert calls to the eagle. Throughout the journey four red-tailed hawks will appear, at spiritually auspicious intervals, to bring us reassurance of our bond to the Creator and to one another…or perhaps it is the same hawk brother that I have yearned to meet since reading the poetry of Robinson Jeffers and travelling to his tower in Carmel, California…Jeffers wrote, “Give your heart to the hawks, and not to men.” Perhaps now, I feel that I will be able to give my heart to humanity as well, doing Jeffers honor by going beyond his vision.
These winged spiritual guides come from the natural world around us, but they are also expressive of the deep collective womb of our community psyche. They are manifestations of a deep collective hunger which our Creator and the ancestors of these lands recognize and honor in each of us. They provide for our hunger by sending spiritual guides who are here to inspire us to fulfill our mission of peace. The appearances of these creatures are made ever more poignant by their growing scarcity. We see little wildlife on the walk – bands of solitary crows, a few horned toad lizards – once a hummingbird followed us for miles. The rarity of these blessed ones throws their appearances into blazing relief. Could this scarcity be a portent of the suffering psyche of humanity, growing ever more parched and barren, kept alive by the visions of fewer and fewer people? The growing PeaceWalk movement seems to me to be a hopeful sign of the replenishment of humanity’s collective psychology. It is a sign that a quantum leap of spiritual evolution is trembling in the balance, ready to explode in a blaze of light! As we walk, it becomes clear to me that a great part of our mission is to share our collective pool of dream, to nourish this psyche of Turtle Island…in my belief the spiritual life of the world is imperiled but not terminally ill, only needing to be stimulated from its lethargy and awakened to the fact that it is under the influence of misdirected leaders. The world needs to be directed toward a healthy spiritual destiny, a common dream of “living in a good way”, as the tribal elders say.
As I write this, the Family Spirit Walk has come to a fine conclusion at the Nevada Test Site with sacred ceremony, nonviolent training, and courageous direct action. In retrospect, what we perceived on the Walk as “errors” were only human steps, made in earnest sincerity. All those many thousand spiritual steps! In my belief every single walker succeeded in their commitment to that Good Red Road. I was proud beyond measure to have been in the company of the Family Spirit Walk.