The Journey Home

MedicineWheelLakota

On my journey out West to Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana, I had the pleasure of staying a night in a Lakota / Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. It was quite the magical night and all were very kind to me, although I did end up staying out over night in the wild even after I had pleaded for a place of refuge. I asked the Priest if I could stay in his church and he regretfully had to say no. I had only an 1/8 of a tank of gas left and nowhere else to go. But I had lessons to learn that night, so in my eyes, it was all a divine plan. Mother Nature had another agenda for me.

I drove around with my Husky all night listening to tribal music after all my technology had failed me. It was now up to me to entertain myself in nature. Something I love, something I had forgotten. The moon took my breath away as Mars was skirting across its path. It was below 30 degrees, but I had my sunroof open. I looked up at the sky as I drove the land and to my surprise I saw the most beautiful halo around the moon that I think I will ever see in my life. It was enormous and crystal clear. A ring around the moon, prettier than any diamond a man could ever give. I got out with my dog and danced under it at midnight. I will never forget it. I was in such awe that my voice rang across the plains of South Dakota that night as I gasped and chanted in delight. I was moon struck and simply in awe of nature and its hold on me. It was spiritual. It was serendipitous. It was serene. And I was all alone to witness.

I think it is in moments like this, where we are brought or knees in reverence, that we remember where we all come from…Mother Earth. We are one. We are expanded, yet humbled in her presence.

It was one from Lakota Sioux that wrote Mitakuye Oyasin (All My Relations), something I always held very dear to my heart because it spoke of an awakening that has been transforming me for the last 5 years.

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I also watched the sun rise that morning, only to be greeted by an Native American who had been following me all night to make sure I was okay and safe. He offered me coffee as we chatted in the sunrise. I met a lot of fantastic folks on my little journey, but this was one soul in particular that I will always hold dear. The wisest of men are not ones of many words, it’s what they do that transforms their very nature and those lucky enough to be in their presence. He sent me on my way with some well-tuned advice that I will never forget. In my journey for a place called “Home”, he said to me ever so gently, “You cannot get lost, for all paths connect to one another. Wherever you find yourself, you are home and always have been.”

I definitely had my angel that night and that morning. I believe we are all divinely guided in our lives and it is up for us to see and interpret. It is up to us to receive universal messages. I have not found it in the walls of church or at the hands of technology. I found it in nature and the hearts of mankind – when the mind is silent and most receptive.

In order to tell your stories, you must first see them unfold. Ask the right questions and then listen to what is being told.

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Here are some quotes I found about the nature of things these days according to a Sioux Chief as well as the Aho Mitakuye Oyasin poem:
  • It was good for the skin to touch the earth, and the old people liked to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth… the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly. He can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.
  • We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, the winding streams with tangled growth, as ‘wild’. Only to the white man was nature a ‘wilderness’ and only to him was it ‘infested’ with ‘wild’ animals and ‘savage’ people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery
  • Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky and water was a real and active principle. In the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them. And so close did some of the Lakotas come to their feathered and furred friends that in true brotherhood they spoke a common tongue.

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin is a simple yet profound statement.
It comes from the Lakota Nation and means all my relations.
It is spoken during prayer and ceremony to invite and
acknowledge all relatives to the moment.

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin… All my relations. I honor you in this circle of life with me today. I am grateful for this opportunity to acknowledge you in this prayer…

To the Creator, for the ultimate gift of life, I thank you.

To the mineral nation that has built and maintained my bones and all foundations of life experience, I thank you.

To the plant nation that sustains my organs and body and gives me healing herbs for sickness, I thank you.

To the animal nation that feeds me from your own flesh and offers your loyal companionship in this walk of life, I thank you.

To the human nation that shares my path as a soul upon the sacred wheel of Earthly life, I thank you.

To the Spirit nation that guides me invisibly through the ups and downs of life and for carrying the torch of light through the Ages. I thank you.

To the Four Winds of Change and Growth, I thank you.

You are all my relations, my relatives, without whom I would not live. We are in the circle of life together, co-existing, co-dependent, co-creating our destiny. One, not more important than the other. One nation evolving from the other and yet each dependent upon the one above and the one below. All of us a part of the Great Mystery.

Thank you for this Life.”

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