One thing I’ve learned from these years of writing is I never know what I’m going to say when I center myself before the computer. I’ve heard people say they could not not do…. I can not not write. It was this compulsion to write that made me decide to retire from work I love to do, so I would have more time to listen for what the Spirit is asking me to say and do. Being raised in the Quaker faith, in Quaker communities, I was taught to listen for the Inner Light or Spirit or God. This idea is common to religions, but Quakers focus on and practice listening for this spiritual guidance as much, as often as possible.
This morning I’m sensing a focus on children and youth. I came across this graphic:
And I was struck by what I had recently read from Sitting Bull
For us, warriors are not what you think of as warriors. The warrior is not someone who fights, because no one has the right to take another’s life. The warrior, for us, is one who sacrifices himself for the good of others. His task is to take care of the elderly, the defenseless, those who cannot provide for themselves and above all, the children, the future of humanity.Sitting Bull
This is a powerful circle–adults concerned for the children, and youth for their elders.
One of the things I’ve been learning about Indigenous peoples is that they consider children to be sacred beings, a concept I deeply related to for a number of reasons, one being my work, that I just mentioned retiring from, at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. From the time I graduated from school, I wanted to work with children, and am so thankful that happened. Specifically, related to the quote below, “At birth through their newborn cries the children sing a song to their parents and the world.” I worked in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for a number of years. I don’t think any of us, no matter how many deliveries we attended, ever lost the feeling of witnessing a miracle.
In almost every indigenous language of what is now known as the Americas there is a word for children that translates to English as sacred beings. Acknowledging in thoughts, words and actions that our children are sacred beings provides not only the necessary healthy intention and consciousness that will benefit our children; this acknowledgement reminds us as parents to once again be open with our own hearts.Raising Sacred Beings, by Anthony Goulet, The Good Men Project. August 29, 2014
For parents who struggle to see themselves as sacred beings, simply allow your children to remind you of what you’ve forgotten. At birth through their newborn cries the children sing a song to their parents and the world. At this very moment hundreds of sacred beings, answered prayers, messengers of light are manifesting in all cultures and languages. They’re all entering this world singing a song of a sacred contract that can never be broken, only temporarily forgotten. The children’s song is reminding us. Listen…
You cannot be entrusted with something you’re not
It’s alright if you’ve forgot
I’m here to remind you so that we remember together
And bring others with us on the most important endeavor ~
On Earth as it is in Heaven
I am the holy being of my mother’s prayer and my father’s song.—NORMAN PATRICK BROWN, DINEH POET AND SPEAKER
I was entranced by the idea of Holy Beings when I read the title of Joy Harjo’s book, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings.
1 . SET CONFLICT RESOLUTION GROUND RULES:
Recognize whose lands these are on which we stand.Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings, Joy Harjo
Ask the deer, turtle, and the crane.
Make sure the spirits of these lands are respected and treated with goodwill.
The land is a being who remembers everything.
You will have to answer to your children, and their children, and theirs—
The red shimmer of remembering will compel you up the night to walk the perimeter of truth for understanding.
As I brushed my hair over the hotel sink to get ready I heard:
By listening we will understand who we are in this holy realm of words.
Do not parade, pleased with yourself.
You must speak in the language of justice.
One of the main reasons I’ve been thinking a lot about youth is because of the inspiring ways Indigenous Youth are the leaders in what is happening with the Wet’suwet’en territories and their work to protect the land, and keep pipelines from being built on it..