It still feels like yesterday… driving to North Dakota with my co-pilot Holly. If you missed my first post about our trip you can check it out here … Road Trip Recap Part 1
So I wrote a little about what it was like being there but not in depth.
On Thursday, November 23th, 2017 … Holly and I woke up early after an energetic evening of communing with our elder about the lineage of the Ojibwe people, my people. We woke up, made our coffee and headed down rte 3 towards Cannon Ball North Dakota.
Energies were all over that day, we felt excited, nervous, hopeful… on a mission.
Energies were showing themselves through syncs this entire trip, however day felt different. We were heading to the energy center of a ripple that will affect what is drawn to us next. Like a drop of water into an empty basin…each person there, each person aware is another drop in the same spot… filling up the basin and creating momentum through a powerful ripple.
We stopped at the geographical center point of North America, in Rugby North Dakota. Some people say its not exact, to me that’s not the point… because points are all subjective anyway. The obelisk and flags are interesting, as is the bell tower sculpture the next building over. I’m always curious of the details of monuments.
Continuing our travels south, we learn more about each of our history…Holly’s Quaker lineage and my Ojibwe linage… we learn about the doctrine of discovery. This was one of the most eye opening things to learn that I was never taught growing up. The fact that this is not taught as apart of our history to know, is very telling.
Driving while listening to this was life changing. Nature talking to us…showing us ourselves. Connecting to the harmony of the earth while being uprooted from our previous perceptions of our reality. We slow drove down this road and saw an abandoned house surrounded by these energetic trees. So we stopped, and got out to explore. The geese circled above our heads as we walked around. The house was a beautiful reminder of how time passes and material things fade, but mother earth… she remains through it all.
When we finally arrived at Sacred Stone camp it was as if I had been here before. I felt at home, peaceful and in loving arms. I experienced the magnitude that gratitude has on the human spirit. Everyone working together for one cause, our mother Earth… love… brotherhood. We dropped off our donations to the medic clinic, and they were received in pure love and gratitude.
I stopped into the new school tent, and met a beautiful woman who told me all about how they just moved the school into these car ports and were reinforcing them and insulating them with hay and blankets so that the students could learn in a space that was warm and comfortable for them.
I noticed the students had a lot of books, and there were many visuals on the walls. The students create a mural on canvas, posters to share new knowledge and artwork to express themselves. Seeing what I do everyday, being done in a place with less resources and support, really experiencing it first hand was powerful.
Thanksgiving is a day known in our history for the relationship between the light skinned settlers and the native people of the Americas. Historically, the story goes there was peace with all who sat and ate together. People all over celebrate this day of thanks… this day of giving. Instead of focusing on the irony that the police ate their thanksgiving dinner on top of the Standing Rock Sioux tribes ancestors burial ground and ignored the peaceful pleas to respect their ancestors and move off the hill, I remained in gratitude for all I have, knowing that even the toughest and smallest things deserve my love and appreciation.
Grateful to experience the love and brotherhood of thousands of people. Grateful for my friend Holly, for my auntie and giwaa, for my partner and kids, for my mother and father… for my coworkers, my friends and acquaintances, for my job, for the system that my job is apart of, for the world I live in … for better or worse… because there is no such thing as worse… there is only experiences and my perception of those experiences.
Gratitude is the key to realizing who we are… gratitude opens your mind… to be grateful for something starts a chain reaction of appreciation for life its self, ups and downs, for without one there would not be the other.
So after visiting Sacred Stone camp we decided to travel to the large front lines camp, Oceti Sakowin. Driving up to the camp was surreal… seeing all of the people setting up camp, to stand in solidarity for our earth, our water.
It was fantastic seeing how we come together and express ourselves through art… there were so many beautiful banners, and amazing installations showing unity through art!
After exploring the grounds, we found out there was a water action happening at Turtle Island, the burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux’s ancestors. This was the hill that the police set up their post to watch over the water protectors. So Holly and I walked to the front line with hundreds of other people of all different nations, to stand for peace, love and respect.
When we arrived it was ominous to see the police standing on top of the hill looking down on us. It was like right out of a George Orwell story to see drones flying over and around us. It was beautiful to hear hundreds of people chanting words of intention for peace and love… for the protection of our water, and our mother earth.
We participated in a Lakota water ceremony with hundreds of people from all over… praying to our grandmothers and blessing the water with cedar. Infusing love and blessings into the water and land, and each others hearts.
Talk about a fantastic day of thanks… experiencing the true meaning of thanksgiving… gratitude… appreciation on every level. Our drive back was reflective, and our experience brought out new insight on our perspectives and how we can be more grateful for all things and in all things we experience, and how we can show unconditional love.
Everyday we should reflect on what can we do to be more appreciative and compassionate in our lives …
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