Friday, July 23, 2010

The Indian Way

I have had amazing teachers from all over the world, but my favorite teachers are the everyday people who teach just by being who they are. I think of Ronnie, our Navaho guide for out vision quests in Canyon de Chelly. Ronnie died last year. But I cherish the memory of finding her and her partner Eleanor in my driveway one night after work a couple of years ago. I live 3 miles up a dirt road about 25 miles from Santa Fe. They did not have my address. They were five hours away from Chinle, their home. I asked how on earth they had found me! Ronnie replied, with a smile, "The Indian way. Can we have some lemonade?"

Over lemonade I learned about "the Indian way". " First, we went to the gas station down by Pecos," Ronnie told me. I replied that I don't do business there. "Yeah, they told me" Ronnie said. "so then I went to the post office, only it was closed". "Then what?" I asked. "Well", she answered, "we looked at a phone book at the store and found out you live on La Cueva Road."

By now, I was starting to wonder why she didn't just call me on her cell phone. "That's three miles of dirt road with twenty houses on it". I said. "Yup" Ronnie said. "So we remembered you had a green Isuzu." I replied sarcastically, "Oh sure, you drove into every driveway till you found my green Isuzu".

"Yup" said Ronnie. "That's how we found you. The Indian way". She and Eleanor both found this story...and my disbelief....hilarious. As they drove away to a family reunion in Oklahoma, I stood in the driveway (next to the green Isuzu) feeling stunned and grateful....that they had bothered to visit me, that they had taken the time to find me "the Indian way". That night I dreamed for hours of beautiful multicolored Navaho sand paintings...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Riding out the Great Turning

Watching ecocide in the Gulf
and the woodcutters thinning the forest above my house
I wonder if we'll make it

Then I realize we won't.
The glaciers really are melting
And we are past Peak Oil.

My neighbors are cutting down the trees
because they need to sell the wood this winter.

I ride my bike up the mountain every morning
bring tobacco offerings for the tree spirits
Apologize a thousand times to Mother Earth
Say "good morning" to the guys with the chain saws.

In the old ways of the Maori,
If a tree was taken to make a canoe,
15 seedlings were planted in the same place
and a young man would camp there for three months,
making prayers for the new trees
until they were well rooted.

Advice for the Journey

Although the Way is not clear
You are not alone.

You will hear a sound
One long note, a mysterious bird calling in the night
The same note, over and over

Follow it.

Take only what you need
Leave everything else behind.

Travel fast and light.

Carol June, 2010