At the time that I write this, around 200 indigenous people from the Great Plains - the place I’ve always called home - are standing their ground to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. The oilmen are rallying, their henchmen (aka law enforcement) are lined up, and their lawyers are writing their language on papers that are seemingly more worthy than the paper that was used to draw up the treaties supposedly protecting this land. Tribes all across this continent are drawing in to support the warriors fighting to protect the water, the land, and the sacred thing that I sing to as the Great Mother.
My heart is swelling with joy, anger, and fear. It’s a fear that expands me, something more like humbling concern, a deep regard, and a looming uncertainty of the future.
Ever since I can remember, I have felt like a singular stem, a blade of grass maybe, or something sticking out into the open alone. Yet the deeper I’ve grown, the more connected I’ve become to a larger pulse that is much bigger than me. My deepest memories come from plants and breathe in the rhythm that the earth does- large and sweeping, waves and thunder, moods like colors across the sky and truths as firm as the tide.
The pain of this earth body has not escaped me and I feel her every weep. The rape, plunder, and utter disregard of the spirit of the natural world around us has left me, at times, numbing myself in order to survive. The pain is just too huge. I know that many of us simply feel paralyzed by the enormity of the task at hand to come to the defense of our Great Mother Earth.
But as the warriors rise as we knew they would - and should - we must take their lead. This is not a violent revolution. This is the most heart-felt, courageous, and truthful thing we can do. We must rise in defense of the sweet soul that nourishes our babies, that give us life-sustaining water, that grows our juicy, luscious fruit on the vine, that keeps us in time with what it means to come home.
We must use our pain as a window to our love for Her. We must see it as the thing that connects us and makes us strong.
So are you in or are you out? There are a lot of justifications, rationalizations, and explanations as to why this pipeline must go on. Are you okay with the rape of the earth? This is a simple yes or no. Either you will defend her, or you will live your days at the mercilessness of the rhythms of nature. It’s so very simple. It’s already begun.
This system, this illusion, the patriarchy is cracking. We’re seeing it everywhere in everything. There will be more opportunities to defend Her and to do right by her, but not for long. She knows who her children are. We have all sprouted from her but do not remember her voice, and when it’s time for her to call us home, will you remember? Will you be able to understand that the veil is thinning and that what is on the other side is the truest form of yourself that always existed? Will you run towards this? Or will you, like so many others, run away?
This is not about eating the “right” food or driving the “right” car. It’s not dogmatic. This is pragmatic and spiritual. What will you stand for?? The answer to that question must come now.
She will not wait for us. She does not need us like we need her. But that same joy, anger, and fear is what the earth is holding for us still. She is still here for us. We need to be here for her.