Remembering Our Mother: The Ways of the Land, Chapter Two from The Wisdom of the Native Americans, Edited by Kent Nerburn

“All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth.”

 — Chief Seattle
Susqwamish and Duwamish

I was born in Nature’s wide domain! The trees wee all that sheltered my infant limbs, the blue heavens all that covered me. I am one of Nature’s children. I have always admired her. She shall be my glofy; her feature, he rrobes, and the wreath about her brow, the seasons, her stately oaks, and the evergreens — her hair, ringlets ovwer the earth — all contribute to my enduring love of her.

And wherever I see her, emotions of pleasure roll in my breast, and swell and burst like waves on the shores of the ocean, in prayer and praise to Him who has placed me in her hand. It is thought great to be born in palaces, surrounded with wealth  but to be born in Nature’s wide domain is greater still.

I woule much more glory in this birthplace with the broad  canopy of heaven above me, and the giant arms of the foresst trees for myshelter, than to be born in palaces of marble, studded wiwth pillars of gold!Natre will be nature still, while palaces shall decay and fall inruins.

Yes, Niagra will be Niagra a tohousand years hence. The rainbow a wreath oveer her brow, shall contiue as long as the sun, and the flowing of the river — while the work of art, however carefully protected and preservedk shall fade and crumble into dust!

George Copway (Kahgegagahbotoh)

* * *

What is a man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth.

Chief Seattle
Susqwamish and Duwamish

* * *

I love that land fo winding water more than all the rest of the world. A man who would not love his father’s grave is worse than a wild animal.

—Chief Joseph
Nez Pierce

The character of the Indian’s emotion left little room in his heart for antagonism toward his fellow creatures.  . . . For the Lakota [one of the thee branches of the Sioux nation], mountains, lakes, rivers, springs, alleys, and woods were all finished beauty. Winds, rain, snow, sunshine, day, night, and change of seasons were endlessly fascinating. Birds, insects, and animals filled the world with knowledge that defied the comprehension of man

The Lakota was a true naturalist — a love of Nature. He loved the earth and all things of the earth, and the attachment grew with age. The old people came literally to love the soil and they sat or reclined on the ground wth a feeling of being close to a mothering power.

It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with are feet on the sacred earth.

Their tipis were buil upon the eath and their altars were made of earth. The brids that flew in the air came to rest upon the earth, and it was final abiding place of all things that lived and grew. The soil was soothing, strengthening, cleansing, and healing.

This is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from the life-giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly; he can see more clearly the mysteries of life and come close to kinship to other lives about him.

 — Chief Luther Standing Bear
Teton Souix

You ask me to plow the ground. Shall I take a knife and tear my mother’s bosom? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest.

You ask me to dig for stones? Shall I dig under her skin for her bones? Then when I die I cannot enter her body to be born again.

You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it, and be rich like white men, but how dare I cut my mother’s hair?

I want my people to stay with me here. All the dead men will come to life again. Their spirits will come to their bodies again. We must wait here in the homes o our fathers and be ready to meet them in the bosom of our mother.

 — Wavoka

Great Spirit — I want no blood upon my land to stain the grass. I want it all clear and pure, and I wish it so, that all who go through among my people may find it peaceful when they ome, and leave peacefully when they go.

 — Ten Bears
Yamparika Comanche

I love the land and the buffalo and will not part with it. . . .
I want the children raised as I was . . . I don’t want to settle. I love to roam over the prairies. Then I feel free and happy, but when we settle dow, we grow pale and die.

Kinowa Chief

Here are a series of pictures, chosen at random, that I’ve taken over the years as I’ve walked with my dogs, ‘looking for pictures.’ This is one reason why I’ve fought so hard to walk again, and I’m hoping to once again continue this daily routine.

Love and hugs to my readers on this Earth Day!
~Jean 🙂

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4 Responses to Remembering Our Mother: The Ways of the Land, Chapter Two from The Wisdom of the Native Americans, Edited by Kent Nerburn

  1. Ri-chard says:

    And the indigenous ones spoke of being grounded for doing no harm to Mother Earth and one another, is the reason for their culling. The people must not know of these things, never are they to know who they are and purpose, said the Kings, Queens and the Holy See. in their secret meetings.

    • Jean says:

      Ri-chard, your words strike at the core of this entire situation. We have been separated from our planet, from the being that gives us life, and it has been done deliberately! Thanks and hugs, ~Jean

  2. doranpat says:

    thankyou for sharing this Jean, the pictures are so beautiful and the quotes-esp the Lakota ones are so full of sacred truth and love, made me remember when i was five or six years old my parents took me to a Lakota Sioux reservation. When it was time to leave i ran away from my parents and hid behind a squaw screaming-“don’t let them take me away, I want to stay with you my real people”–everyone just stared at my blonde hair and blue eyes and my dad picked me up and slung me over his shoulder and just said “she is sick-running a fever-delirious”–but i was not sick–I WAS RIGHT–thanks for the memory.

    • Jean says:

      As I read this, my eyes fill with tears! If people only would take the time to understand — to imagine what living in such a world where our Mother is respected — as is the feminine energy! Thanks and hugs, ~Jean

      PS I believe we are going back to that kind of a caring world, but there is a lot of water to pass under the bridge before we get there. As we learn the truth, I think we will eventually return to this place. 🙂

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