We were, We are, We will be…

We were, We are, We will be…this past week I participated in an anti-racism training  with the Oregon Women Lawyers. As part of our Structure for Engagement, rather than ground rules, we agreed to Reject Fear and Scarcity Thinking. One of the trainers taught us of the destruction of Celilo Falls on March 10, 1957. Nch’i Wana, known in colonized language as the Columbia River, was home to an ancient cultural and trade centers. With the construction of the Dalles Dam, in 4.5 hours this place of deep community was put under water. Tribal members watched as 10,000 people celebrated.

The destruction was, and still is, a tragedy of immense proportions. And also, tribe members today teachthey can still see, feel, and hear the community gathering and interacting at the river. This teaching of We were, We are, We will be feels extraordinarily poignant at this moment. 202 has brought so much loss, transition, disappointment, and change to so many. AND yet, without minimizing the human or economic toll of the pandemic, we are able to ask, what will we be?

How do we, on both the individual and population level, extricate ourselves from fear and scarcity thinking? As the prophet Bob Marley called out to us, how do we emancipate ourselves from mental slavery, how do we free our minds? Do we look at this time only from the limited lenses of disappointment and discontent, or can we understand that everything is always changing, that we too are that which changes.

As the holiday season approaches and as we move into the deepest days of winter, may we consciously hold the memories of our ancestors close, while we diligently work to create a more free and liberated future for ourselves and all beings.

May we see, feel, and hear the heart of humanity beating and calling forth a new way of being.

May we transform and celebrate, perhaps quietly and in deeper solitude, those true things for which we are most thankful.

May we celebrate this moment, this breath, this small offering of presence and kindness.

May we reject fear and scarcity thinking.

May we truly feel abundantly grateful, may we share this feeling, and may we understand it.
I offer this teaching from the native land of the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs. If you are interested in learning where you sit, you can put in your address here to learn more about our land.

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