-John Long, England, on the Native American people in the newly found United States.
"The earth is our mother. She
nourishes us; that which we put into the ground she returns to us, and
healing plants she gives us likewise. If we are wounded, we go to our mother
and seek to lay the wounded part against her, to be healed..."
There are a lot of times that I wish I could be content with what I have instead of dwelling on what isn't in my grasp. A lot of times it's really difficult for me to see everything in the light, to know how beautiful things are, to hold onto them with the pleasure of knowing how significant they are. Sometimes I can see it all clearly and the world seems full of life, goodness, and pleasant things; splendor. Then there are the darker times where everything seems to be gray and blank and useless, when everything bores me, nothing shines, nothing is important. These times make me feel like I have a hole in my existence and my stomach is empty. My heart loses its strength, I feel like I'm falling into nothing. I lose all touch with the wonders of life and earth and in my surroundings. Reality blurs, and I'm not quite sure whether anything is really as good as it seems.
There is a war in my head between happiness and bitterness. Sometimes I see people as curious and magnificent creatures. Others times I see them as beasts, full of junk and excess, ruthlessness, a lack of care for their own kind and for their planet. I watch them abuse their knowledge and power, destroying this kingdom, and I wonder how someone can possibly want to take away from what nature has given us. This place full of natural balance, peace, and harmony has been manipulated, built upon, and damaged for far too long by its own people.
Watching the "less intelligent" life on earth amazes me. These beings live contentedly in their habitats, not always in harmony with each other, but always following the natural rhythm of life. They eat, sleep, and groom. They draw from the ground and the seas and the sky and the trees, and are not corrupt. They are simply what they were made, without feeling the need to make things better or more extravagant than they already are. They do not have the "intelligence" of us humans so they aren't able to drag themselves through mazes of thought, constantly wondering and hoping and whining and wishing things were different. They know only what is there, right in front of them. They know the obvious, the simple, that which we always ignore.
Everything about the Earth in its natural and original state was full of order. This order may not have been the same thing human beings have gradually come to consider order. It is all beyond our reach. It is an order and a balance that is far beyond human creation. But we still insist on breaking into it; trying to make it something else, something that seems ideal to us at a given time. We try everything in our power to control the elements and make them our pets, our servants. All I can wonder is why we can't respect the practices and ways of life of our ancestors; these wise, knowing, and spiritual people.
So when the shadows of doubt and dissatisfaction creep around me, I remember the simple things. I surround myself with the patience and strength of my own ancestors, a pure race that took their food from the earth and bathed in its rivers, a people truly in touch with a truly higher power, nature. As I walk along the cement path through this grassy field, I slow my stride and merge onto the grass. Under my feet there is soft pure soil in mounds, a stark contrast to the cold, black, rocky asphalt. I smile and thank the sky that my soul is alive. I pity the soul that is blind to the spirit of the earth because it is fulfilling, true, and free. And then, I am at peace. Because this fulfillment, truth, and freedom that is right at our fingertips and in front of our faces is what we should all strive to hang on to, and I have been lucky enough to do so.
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