an old prayer shared…

Last Saturday night, I sat up in my church and prayed. I prayed with tobacco. I prayed with corn pollen. I prayed on my knees, directly on the Earth, behind, to and for the Water. I love my church. It is sometimes arduous to stay up all night in a tipi. But as a believer that Truth is One, Paths are Many…It is the one path, the red road path, which feels the most authentic to me. I love the sacrament Peyote. I love the fire, the instruments, the feathers, the songs, and I especially love sitting in a circle, with community that stands for faith, hope, love and charity.

People have mentioned to me over the past years that I should have a blog. And while I am still not there, I realize that the time has come not only to share, but to create a space to share the musings and flutterings of our minds and hearts. Even if it is just for this moment and this sharing.

I am a consummate planner, organizer and doer. My great lesson is to slow down, breathe and enjoy the moment. Therefore, I have been making a conscious effort to accept the unfolding of the universe’s secrets and messages. It is important for women, especially the Water Woman to wear a shawl in the tipi. The shawl represents protection. The shawl grounds us. While the early dawn was rising, and the snow blanketed the ground, my friend Matt was keeping us warm and toasty. So toasty that I started to peel off my layers, including my shawl. I had asked to sit behind the water for this prayer as it was for a very close friend of mine Nathaniel. He is such a unique individual. An herbalist, he lives close to the Earth and I admire the integrity he has towards simple living. I suppose I was overly eager, so that when My Uncle asked me to take the corn pollen as an offering to the Spirits of the East, I jumped up and went outside without my shawl. I have had a deep relationship to nature most of my life, but praying with corn pollen now stands with the invisible string of jewels that breathe life into my spirit: giving birth, being with a real and loving man, having community, finding raptors. The moments that words can’t touch or completely express. As if the hand of God reached down from heaven, and simultaneously the spirit of Pacha Mamma rose up from the inner core….they accepted that offering and the feeling was so humbling it almost knocked my sails out.
I have prayed behind water before, during ceremony, to the Delaware, to the rain, to the glass of water I drink in the morning. I am comfortable speaking for this element. But I was almost crippled not by sadness, but by true humility. It is the feeling of one’s heart cracking open at the expanse of Love that resides towards us. It is the knowledge in a moment of our human potential. I am not enlightened enough to hold onto that knowing, but for a moment, for a taste, I had it. And it was that moment that the shawl wrapped around my shoulders. My sister Jill brought me her shawl. The one that was given to her by Grandmother Margaret. CC deemed it “the showgirl shawl” as it has such sparkling embroidery on it. The protection was with me in all its glittery glory.

I have read much on Buddhism over the years. I have spent hours pondering suffering. I don’t know that all suffering should be completely avoided, though much of it could. And that there is so much suffering that at some point I decided I would stop trying to end suffering. Instead, I would focus on being happy. But given an opportunity to reach God’s ear, one can not help think about the world and all that is wrong with it and ask for guidance on how to change.

This is the answer that has risen in my heart today. Live your life with so much gratitude that there is no room for suffering…How can we do that when there is police brutality, earth pollution, magnificent species dying because of human folly, political greed and ignorance, and on and on? Because to focus on that creates that. I am not saying not to fight for what you believe in. Just do it from a place that stems from gratitude. Fight for it because you ARE grateful for what you have. And there will be more power behind it. Care but don’t care too much. The bleeding hearts can do no good if they have bled out completely. Mother Theresa was an exceptional human being. But we have to live according to our own abilities. So care enough to choose a couple things, or even ONE thing that you can contribute your energy towards. Rather than complaining only, care enough for one cause to bring awareness and aid to that cause. Stop spreading negativity. If you want to share something depressing, sad, unjust, share it with an answer or idea of how to change or uplift the situation. Celebrate all that is inherently good.

Since that prayer, I have had the heaviest cycle that I can remember. I realized that I no longer have to suffer for the world as my body does that monthly for me and for the world. That the millions of women on this planet, do that with their bodies monthly, so much that at every moment, the suffering is already taken care of. So let us step out of suffering, let us let go of the past stories we make up that keep us chained up and not living our dreams. Let us rejoice in the rising of the sun every day, the trees that keep us alive, having food, our precious children, stepping foot on this planet that supports us,, say thank you to all of Life. Thank you, Life.

This is what I was musing about on the way home from school today when I found a red bellied woodpecker in the middle of the road. He was still warm when I picked him up. His red top almost an exclamation point to these thoughts. Thank you for the beauty Creator. Thank you to the men for their strength, may they use it to nurture themselves and others. Thank you for their tears as well. Thank you for the children’s laughter..may the water be pure for them and our future generations. Thank you to the elders and those who have passed before us and the good teachings available to us. I am grateful. A special thank you for all female beings and their power to transform the heartache and pain into laughter and joy.

A bit stunned behind the water, I didn’t quite express myself as completely as I had planned. And so the moment brought me here to share with all of you my prayer now.
Hug your loved ones, give thanks, be merry. Be LOVE and feel free to share.

XCheri

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