In the beginning…
…I returned to creation during those first days of the pandemic. Sunrise, clear blue skies, gentle hugs of the breeze, warmth, sunsets, and stars. I worked in my vegetable garden and I spread seed for floral surprises throughout the spring. On my knees, hands in the dirt, planning, planting, and praying, questioning. The future seemed unclear except in the Sacred.
Earth, wind, and fire…
…are elements needed for life. Earth to grow, wind to provide power, and fire to warm or refine. I was drawn to praying with a candle on my bedroom window sill. Lights out, except for the dancing flame, I observed quietly, prayed without words, and focused on the power of the Spirit to know my heart and to speak my prayers in my stead.
Understanding those who came before…
…gives understanding to the pull to be close to the earth to commune with God. Not believing in a structured temple, the Indigenous in the Americas worshiped in nature with respect to water, air, sun, moon, and stars. The large sky above them, the dwelling place of the Great Spirit. How we often look to the beauty of the sky, either by day or night, and fixate on the Holy. Peace is found, especially in troubled times.
“In developing an Indigenous knowledge framework, it is important to outline our holistic approach which underscores the interdependence of all things in the universe; spirituality is entrenched all aspects of a ‘way of life.’ Indigenous epistemology incorporates mind, body, and spirit as facets of being that seek balance.” (Anderson and Young, 2019)
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
Psalm 4: 3-4 (NRSV, 2019)
Unsure of what would be ahead of us, I knew the power of the One who set nature and all its beauty in place. Surely we would see both death and new life. I would be comforted through things I had moved to a lower priority in life. Would this be a beginning, a return to a simpler way of living?
Women and Religious Traditions. Leona M. Anderson and Pamela Dickey Young. OUP Canada. 2015.
NRSV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible. eBook (Kindle Locations 71693-71698). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.