Dec 1, 2016

The journey is the destination

From the south ~ straight up north right towards the Ogallala Aquifer, my trip took me through oil country.  Yes, oil and aquifer country. 
Fracking country. Big Oil Country. Dallas. Oklahoma. Kansas. Then got into the Ogallala area Nebraska and South Dakota.
The irony was not lost on me.
I avoided the gas stations I know directly owned by Energy Transfer Partners like Stripes.
Then I avoided BP, Exxon, Mobil, Shell….it got harder and harder to find fuel.

I fell in love with the Great Plains. The earth tones of the hills, the openness,  all shades of brown. Wide open places.
Straight through the Heartland. Agricultural. Rural. People living close to the land.

I wonder why they had not felt the land speaking to them to protect her soils, her rivers? 

Why is this region considered desolate and waste land?
The rivers in spite of dams, sing and sparkle in the sunlight.
Red River

Somewhere in Nebraska or South Dakota, for about 30 minutes a flock of large white birds flew above me in V formation, gracefully arcing across the sky. They would swirl around over head, then drift out of view as I drove through the hills.
I was reminded of the metaphor of "turning the flock" ; of the "murmuration" of birds
when all together they seem to synchronize and change to go in a new direction. This must be a sign, I thought, that our action in North Dakota can change the direction we are headed by coming together in prayer and unity.

 All of a sudden, the road turned and there they were! The sky was now full of these white birds settling into the field! I still don't know what they were. Not cranes. Large heads, almost like pelican beaks. They must have been large, since I was quite a distance away. Lots of them.

The mission-
What drew me there? What was my purpose?
Recently I had left a career in higher education to spend more time exploring my world again. As a young adult I had left home in upstate New York to live in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico and study anthropology. I learned a second language and became accustomed to a second culture. I backpacked and camped in Mexico and Guatemala and traveled in places where there were no roads with an open heart and Swiss Army knife in my pocket. I was drawn to the wild places in Central America where indigenous people lived close to the earth. From the Selva Lacandona in  Chiapas to Barranca del Cobre in Chihuahua, I roamed. What I was seeking was not in the anthropology books. I felt something intangible from the Huicholes I met. I felt a unique spirit from the Tzotzil and Tzeltal Mayan people who welcomed me to eat in their homes. The Raramuri drums echoing in Copper Canyon spoke to me at a visceral level.
I had worked in archeology in the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico, explored caves in Oaxaca and Texas, spending time living expedition style outdoors without electricity or running water.  I had camping gear and experience spending much of the day in cold and snow, too.
Over the decades I had worked to end the Vietnam War,  Free Leonard Peltier,  marched with Cesar Chavez, worked for migrant worker’s rights and organized opposition to nuclear power in Austin. It felt right to head North. But I knew this would not be like any other experience, this was an indigenous led action based in prayer.

This made sense to me. This resonated deeply with me.
My mission from home now is to educate, to help by sharing truths from so many wisdom keepers.

Please inform yourselves and others about what is at stake, what you can do and what is happening today.

November 29, 2016

December 1, 2016
Tulsi Gabbard speaking to Congress

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