Dec 1, 2016

Walking the walk

Prayers drifted on the frosty air from the Sacred Fire through the dark. 
I wrapped my gray wool skirt around my waist over my jeans.
Without food or coffee, I joined the prayer circle.
Standing. Listening with my heart.
Praying with my soul, I stood with Standing Rock.
Literally for me, standing is a miracle. Walking is a miracle for me too.
The act of joining in the circle and walking to the river, each step a prayer and blessing, to offer tobacco and stand with prayers as the first sun rays hit Mni Sosa….This is what it means to me to be able to Stand with Standing Rock- to share this moment of prayer and a gratitude for a new day!

My first sunrise at the Sacred Fire, a sister shared the significance of women wearing skirts as representing the tipi. In the dark, her words informed and comforted me. I felt welcomed and at home. She said she was asked often about what to pray for. She said she would pray for blessings yet to come. She also shared that when you say Mni Wiconi, it is like a prayer that starts in Earth and you feel it coming up your legs and then out in your voice to send out into the air with your breath. That is the way to raise your voice with the words Mni Wiconi. She didn’t like to hear it chanted as a political slogan, without the spiritual energy and feeling with it. After the canupa ceremony at the river, we all demonstrated how to raise our voices crying out, Mni Wiconi with deep feeling.

The second morning I joined the circle at the Sacred Fire, we walked to the water where Don Julio, a Huichol marakame shared his reasons for coming and how important water is in his belief system. He blessed us with his feathers and lit a vela with many prayers. He spoke in Spanish with a familiar cadence. He talked of the waters around San Blas island and Wirikura and of medicine.
Conozco Wirikura. We made eye contact and heart contact. He knew I heard him, that I understood. He had a soft-spoken translator with him, but how do you translate all the Don Julio wanted to tell us gathered there?
Don Julio had come a long way to bless us by the River that morning.
We shared our hearts and prayers as dawn broke over the waters at Oceti Sakowin Camp.

No comments: