Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Earth Day - Wisdom of a Lakota Indian Elder

On this Earth Day, we might do well to consider the words of a Lakota Native American elder...

"This is what you have to understand.  To us the land was alive.  It talked to us.  We called her mother.  If she was angry with us, she would give us no food.  If we didn't share with others, she might send harsh winters or plagues of insects.  She was the mother to everything that lived upon her, so everything was our brother and sister.

"For your people, the land was not alive.  It was something that was like a stage, where you could build things and make things happen. You understood the dirt and the trees and the water as important, but not as brothers and sisters.  You were supposed to make the land bear fruit.  That is what your God told you.

"And here is what I wonder.  If she sent diseases and harsh winters when she was angry with us, and we were good to her, what will she send when she speaks back to you?"

from "Neither Wolf Nor Dog, On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder"  by Kent Nerburn.

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