If you had come to Standing Rock you would have been
invited, over the loud speaker, in the cold dark of early morning to join in
prayer – not the jesus christ oh god help us or even Yahweh we adore you kind
of prayer but the Lakota prayer of honesty and truth, generosity and respect,
of love and protection of Mother Earth kind of prayer.
You would have been offered the muted white smoke of
cedar to wave onto your body while you listened to the early stories of the
eagle, the coyote song, the turtle island.
You would have been called to face the east and greet the
morning sun as she chases away the dolphin grey of the almost full moon,
claiming her place over the horizon to light and warm another day.
I remember being taught that some very primitive of
course first nation people woke up before the sun to chant the sun into the
sky, pulling her from behind the edge of the earth. I was told through chuckles that these silly
people actually believed that the sun wouldn’t rise if they failed to wake up
and chant her along her way.
What a racist, stupid white male view mocking a deeply
moving, centering, spiritual way to honor and embrace the sacred newness of the
Can you imagine what your mornings would be like if you
rose and went outside to greet the morning sun?
When did it become unimportant, unnecessary for us to
greet the sun every morning, to acknowledge her warmth and light – to begin our
day in the recognition of the immense gift of our sun?
If you were here at Standing Rock, gathering around the
sacred fire, forming a large circle of womyn, and a smaller circle of men, to
smoke from the peace pipe as you hold hands with the water protectors at your sides, who have
come from all over the country to stand against the pipeline and for the water,
you would be able to see your breath as the morning air is cold and you would
feel the ice seep through your boots as you wait for each sistar to share of
the pipe and to be blessed by the elder grandmother.
Then, if you are a womon, you would follow the healers
down to the edge of the river for a water ceremony, where you learn that womyn have
the most water inside us of all humans, making us the water protectors as well
as the creators and givers of life.
And then, you would be ready to go to one of the many
kitchens and eat a hot meal, drink coffee or tea, and find out who your