Tend

 
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Each morning I rise to ask, “What does it mean to live well in a place?” Daily, I notice the many ways in which our culture reinforces the ways in which we are separate and independent peoples. In what ways are we connected to one another? What splendor are we composed of, and where do we collectively go from here?

I see a long lineage of peoples. Warp thread moves as a long river and spills into a greater sea. This warp thread is our ancestors as they arrive to connect with us in the present breath of our time. This thread will continue beyond that of our own. What is the purpose of a single thread-- if not woven as part of a larger cloth? I think a line that is centered on itself is lost. When lines join with others, an image/ a grid/ a structure is formed.

I came across an old friend who shared his grief at transitioning out of a career. He shared that he did not know what to do as he would now become irrelevant in his field. Another man stood beside him, laughing, and said, “you don’t get it do you-- we’re all irrelevant!,” and together they laughed. I watched the two men and cried a soft quiet cry, and replied, “you don’t get it, do you-- we are all relevant, and we have a responsibility to tend.” This body is my home, and this land is the mother that nourishes me. I see that we are embedded within a reciprocal landscape. We are a vessel here to care for place. We are carriers of life, and a presence that can work to increase the fertility and renewal of the Earth. We are here to remember, to re-embrace our sacred duties.

And what of our ancestral memory? What have we forgotten in our minds, but remember in the cells, sinew and marrow of our bodies? Do we remember that we are water, stardust, our ancestors, and that we have survived hearty laughter and grief? When a culture is deprived of stillness, we cannot remember our whole selves. We forget where this sacred body came from, what animates us, with whom we are related, and where we will return. Without stillness, we cannot imagine a time beyond our own, or to rectify our behaviors for the healing work that is being called for at this time. I hear the static fibers laugh and sing, asking with joy-- How do we restore integrity to this large tapestry of life? What beings, seen and unseen, sustain our tenuous, fine thread lives? How do we reweave ourselves back into right relationship with each other and place?