To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival.
Survival is a relationship.
It is an intimate connection that all living things have with their environments.
Indigenous cultures thrived for millennia on this planet because of the ecosystem-based relationships that they cultivated with their surrounding landscape.
Men and women were part of the flora, fauna, mountains, and rivers all around them.
The dawning of the agricultural age about 10,000 years ago changed many of those integral relationships. Farming and homesteading began to create food surpluses, which allowed humanity to create a different type of culture, one based on ideas instead of ecologies.
With the discovery of fossil fuel in the last hundred years or so and the inventions of fossil fuel-based technologies, even the relatively young way of life called homesteading and farming were abandoned by most for the comforts of this new modern lifestyle, based on the factory and the machine, metal and oil.
Men and women became cogs in that machine. They bled for the machine. We all continue to bleed for the machine.
But the indigenous spirit lives on.
Above my desk my girlfriend hung a painting by a friend of hers who has passed on. In it, a White Buffalo grazes with a sun and moon, butterflies and turtles. It is titled “Pte’ Nagi’ Gli — Dawn of a Miracle”.
The White Buffalo is sacred to many native people. It is a symbol of renewal, what is needed to began again on the right path with Nature.
“…the reason for this harkens back to many years ago, when the seven sacred council fires of the Lakota Sioux came together and camped during the summer. The people were starving because there was no game. Two young men went out to look for food for their people in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Along the way, a beautiful young woman dressed in white appeared to them, saying, “Return to your people and tell them I am coming.” When she presented herself to the Lakota people with the sacred pipe which showed how all things were connected, she taught them the mysteries of the earth. She taught them to pray and follow the proper path while on earth.
Then, before leaving, she rolled upon the earth four times, changing color each time, turning into a white buffalo calf before she disappeared. As she left, great herds of buffalo surrounded the camps. After that day the Lakota honored their pipe and buffalo were plentiful.
The Lakota and other tribes believed that a white buffalo is the most sacred living thing on earth. In addition, many buffalo change colors as they age, and those colors must be interpreted by a holy man.
The American buffalo or bison is a symbol of abundance and manifestation, and the lesson learned by the Lakota that day is that one does not have to struggle to survive if the right action is joined by the right prayer. The birth of a sacred white buffalo is a sign of hope and an indication of good times to come. For many American Indians, the birth of a white buffalo calf is the most significant of prophetic signs, equivalent to many Christian signs such as weeping statues.” -source
The time of the White Buffalo has come.
The Earth is exhausted. We have exploited her for far too long.
These last few hundred years we have poisoned her waters, filled her air with smog, and killed off thousands of species that were once plentiful and abundant.
We have created deserts where once lied oasis.
But instead of stopping, we say “We’ll fix it, we’ll fix it, we’ll fix it!”
With our ingenuity we think we can fix all the problems that now face us. And granted we are an incredibly ingenious species. We can go to the moon and beyond if we wish. But we cannot do that without a functioning and healthy planet.
The planet is our collective body, and we must stop shooting the heroin of cheap and plentiful fossil fuels into our veins and begin to collectively create a healthy lifestyle to replace our current ways, which have led us down into a life of isolation and illness.
What the White Buffalo teaches us is that all things are connected; we are never alone when we are in Nature, we will never hunger or freeze to death if we cultivate a respectful relationship with out environment, culture comes from our environment, not the other way around.
We must learn from the White Buffalo if we are to survive another ten years.
A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.
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