“Bless the Water when you drink, when you wash the dishes, when you clean your house, when you bathe. Bless the water in every thing you do.”
Grandma Agnes Pilgrim
According to the Lancet (British Medical Journal), 65% of the carbon emissions which create the current Climate Emergency are from North America and Europe. 3% of the carbon emissions are from Africa. Yet the people, animals and plants of Africa suffer the most from our indulgences. For a major medical journal to comment on the Global Climate Emergency is a red flag to all of us that we need to change the way we live.
Clearly, global warming is a disease of self-gratification. We want to fly to distant lands for fun, to visit family and friends, to attend conferences. We drive gas-guzzling trucks which are status symbols much more than necessities. We play riding all-terrain vehicles, motor cycles and snow mobiles. And, of course, we shop, shop, shop. Our entire way of life has been one of instant gratification. With 8 billion humans on this planet, we are now in crisis. The land is getting hotter, the trees dying, crops failing, fires increasing, the soil turning into dust. COVID saw a drastic reduction in carbon emissions as people stayed in touch electronically to visit, conduct business, and explore the world. Clearly, it is time for a re-think.
The Seventh Fire
First Nations people have long understood the pollution problem. But the affluence in North America and Europe lured people into a false sense of happiness and security. With an excess number of 90 degree days in October here in Oregon and madrone trees splitting horizontally due to thirst, we can no longer ignore our situation. The prophecy of the Seventh Fire reminds us that it does not have to be this way.
Originally, the prophecy and the Ojibwa migration story were closely linked. However, the last half of the prophecy appears to apply to all peoples in contact with the Anishinaabe. Consequently, with the growth of the Pan-Indian Movement in the 1960s and the 1970s, concepts of the Seven fires prophecy merged with other similar prophetical teaching found among First Nations People of North America forming a unified environmental, political, and socio-economic voice towards Canada and the United States. The Seven fires prophecy was originally taught among the practitioners of Midewiwin.
“It is this time that the light skinned race will be given a choice between two roads. One road will be green and lush, and very inviting. The other road will be black and charred, and walking it will cut their feet. In the prophecy, the First Nations people decide to take neither road, but instead to turn back, to remember and reclaim the wisdom of those who came before them. If the light skinned race choose the right road, then the Seventh Fire will light the Eighth and final Fire, an eternal fire of peace, love, brotherhood and sisterhood. If the light skinned race makes the wrong choice of the roads, then the destruction which they brought with them in coming to this country will come back at them and cause much suffering and death to all the Earth's people.”
Seven fires prophecy is an Anishinaabe prophecy that marks phases, or epochs, in the life of the people on Turtle Island, the original name given by the First Nations people of the North American continent. The seven fires of the prophecy represent key spiritual teachings for North America, and suggest that the different colors and traditions of the human beings can come together on a basis of respect. It contains information for the future lives of the Anishinaabe which are still in the process of being fulfilled
The Zen of Simplicity
In my own life, I have chosen a more Spartan road. Eating simple food. Keeping my carbon footprint down, and helping the plants and animals around my home to survive and thrive.
Here are some examples of what I do to reduce the impact of carbon emissions. Perhaps something will resonate with you as well:
Acclimating to the weather. i.e. learning to tolerate cold and heat just as the wild beings do.
Choosing to use my car only to work, obtain food, and supplies.
Reading more and watching a screen less.
Only using electricity when necessary.
Supporting the four top environmental groups which, in my opinion, are pivotal is fighting corporate greed and saving life on earth: Greenpeace, The Center for Biological Diversity, World Wildlife Fund and African Wildlife. There are, of course, many environmental groups which are doing good work. But the power of the Petrochemical/Plastics/Pharmaceutical and related Processed Food industries is global. It takes a tremendous amount of force to push against this evil of our time.
Whenever I sacrifice some comfort of convenience to save carbon I think of my beautiful daughter. She will be more likely to survive this time because of my choices.
Thanksgiving Dinner Health
If you choose to eat a large meal on Thanksgiving, here are some tips to keep your body healthy.
Eat early, especially if it is a large meal.
Take a walk after eating. Watching others exercise (i.e. Football), doesn’t count!
Chew your food at least 30 to 50 times to allow the saliva to help digest your food and promote peristalsis.
If you are eating meat, consider making a bone stock with the left overs. (See Sally Fallon “Nourishing Broth.”)
Personally, I have decided to eat very little on this day and instead give my animal friends a feast. A nice block of molasses and seeds for the deer, home-made suit and good quality seed for the song birds and woodpeckers, sharing some of my walnuts with the squirrels and putting out organic grain for the wild turkeys. Watching them is more pleasurable than stuffing my face. What would our world be like without them?
Needless to say, we cannot change the world, only ourselves. The outcome of choices of the majority of people will determine the fate of all life on earth. If our wells fail, our river runs dry, our food becomes scarce, our properties worthless, perhaps then more of us will understand what is at stake. Let us hope our friends and neighbors wake up soon.
“Singapore is intent on transforming itself into a city within a garden. All new buildings are asked to replace the greenery lost on the ground due to their construction with an equivalent amount of plant life above the ground. The city has dozens of buildings designed specifically to be covered in plants, including a hospital that is reporting better recovery rates. Singapore is linking all its park lands with green corridors and has turned 100 hectares of prime land on its shoreline into a water reservoir and garden.”
“Everything is set for us to win this future. We have a plan. We know what to do. There is a path to sustainability. It is a path that could lead to a better future for all life on Earth.”
Sir David Attenborough
“A Life on Our Planet”
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The care I have received at Ráven's clinic has made an almost unbearable situation bearable and allowed me to hold a job and continue on with my life. She and her staff work with you at any time you need them. They are amazing.