Monday, July 13, 2015


We have had a very busy week, and the weekend of events and gatherings capped the auspicious time. Slow and steady progress ... he puko'a kani 'aina is my password as we continue in small ways to gain steadily until firmly established.

I found the list (shown front and back) of things 'TO BRING' from one of our first Safety Pin Cafe storytelling times. We were going to make bottle rattles and tell the tale of Raven Stealing the Sun. The list of things for me to bring include all the necessities for a Border Witch!

As Pete and I finished our nourishing breakfast of steamed braising greens, slices of chicken coated with olive oil and Italian herbs I read the list to him. He cackled, "You should put that up on your blog!!" Funny, I thought.

The ways we keep track of the structure of our ventures, inventorying our cache of resources and ingredients. Unique for each of us, and what tickles me today is how my lists of TO BRINGs is something I have been doing for decades.

Beginning with my first job as a teacher and home educator for HEAD START back in the day (1980) I have toted books, sticks, paste, paper, string, beans, and other possibilites. My vehicle of the day was the traveling 'classroom' all the everyday utility of a wondering storyteller!

I'm reading a wonderful book that reminds me to remember to remember. It's Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. Her work, and the way she honors Trees by writing words, and stories worthy of their sacrifice (for they do give themselves for the production of books, among other things). Kimmerer's book is divided into sections, and then into chapters. I am reading the Section "Picking Sweet Grass" and nearing the end of the chapter, "The Honorable Harvest."

I met Carol Crowe, an Algonquin ecologist, " writes Kimmerer "at a meeting on indigenous models of sustainability. She told the story of requesting funding from her tribal council to attend the conference. They asked her, "What is this all about, this notion of sustainability? What are they talking about?: She gave them a summary of the standard definitions of sustainable development, including, "the management of natural resources and social institutions in such a manner as to ensure the attainment and continued satisfaction of human needs for present and future generations." They were quiet for a while, considering. Finally one elder said, "This sustainable development sounds to me like thye just want to be able to keep on taking like they always have. It's always about taking. You go there and tell them that in our way, our first thoughts are not 'What can we take?" but "What can we give to Mother Earth?' That's how it's supposed to be."

"The Honorable harvest," continues Kimmerer, "asks us to give back, in reciprocity, for what we have been given. Reciprocity helps resolve the moral tension of taking a life by giving in return something of value that sustains the ones who sustain us. One of our responsibilities as a human people is to find ways to enter into reciprocity with the more-than-human people world. We can do it through gratitude, through ceremony, through land stewardship, science, art, and in everyday acts of practical reverence."

It's something to consider every day. What do I bring?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Speak from the heart