Native Hearts Returning
To the North and East a deep shimmering bay, surrounded by steep cliffs tapering to sandy dunes and endless sea. To the South and West, islands near and far, warmer waters that stay through the tidal flow. Throughout all, great marshes and cedar swamps the birthplaces of the abundance that exists on tidal flats, in brackish ponds, kettle ponds and tidal rivers. Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket Counties. Natocke, Coonamesset, Wequassett, Shawme, Cataumet, Cummaquid, Tonset, Monomoyick. The names roll off the tongue in strange syllables but remain in the mind as it searches for meaning.
It is a time of transition in which we live on these lands; we begin as a culture and individually to remember. Remember what you say? Our bodies remember, our cell memory reminds us of the connection to the Earth and Sea as the source of our sustenance and the Creator as the source of our knowing. Many traditions have spoken of this time of change. The Mayan Calendar, the prophecies of the Inca and the Navaho, Hopi, Lakota, and Tibet. They speak of an awakening of the Native Heart, of knowing that all life comes from the Earth and a respect for its diversity. Of a uniting of the Eagle and the Condor, the heart and the mind functioning together. Of choices to be made for our survival, the survival of the human race, for we know that the Earth will survive.
We have such gifts here on these lands of rhythm and balance, tides and moons so visible on the horizon. What a treat it is to stand on the beach and watch the sunset and the moonrise simultaneously over the land and the sea. To be conscious of the cycles of cold and heat, green and gray, mist and wind.
That “all spirit arises from the land’ is a common theme of indigenous cultures, we are now ‘going green’, its hip to be conscious of your food and where it comes from, to conserve energy and gas, locavore was the word of the year in 2007. These all show movement toward the change in mindset and awakening of the native heart.
The original inhabitants of this land knew its rhythms; they had winter camps and summer camps. Our ancestors always looked to the next season and provided for each member of the community for survival alone was improbable. We have learned isolation, disconnection and the hoarding of material goods, but most of us couldn’t feed ourselves from the Earth for a day let alone a season. Farmers and farmers markets are now rising to the forefront. Those of us who have worked the land for years are ready to offer its bounty and teach those who are willing to reconnect. Edible landscapes need to replace the costly ornamental expanses of most yards. Learning to ‘put food by’ may become a necessity for some and our version of ‘victory gardens’ will become common.
Southeastern Massachusetts is home to the ‘people of the dawn’ or ‘people of the first light’ the Wampanoag. With our native hearts awakening, will we be part of bringing the wholeness, wisdom and light to our home, this fragile spit of land, or will we remain in the dark. Will we be part of the solution or continue to be part of the problem. Will we learn to be in harmony with the land and live from the land in sustainable ways or will we continue to rely on fossil fuels, produce flown in from other continents, and overflowing land fills. Awaken…, breathe deep…, awaken your heart.
Cedar Spring Herb Farm, 159 Long Pond Drive, Harwich, MA 02645