Cris de Chisasibi, à la Baie James, au Québec ...

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I spent two days this week on a committee to address special needs in the Cree communities of James Bay. On this committee sat an Elder who said some things that I wanted to share.

“I can’t say that I understand what is happening today. Our young ones spend all night playing computer games and watching programs on television. They don’t sleep anymore. Yet, the Great Spirit made day so that we could work and night so that we could sleep. He made for us four programs and called them spring, summer, fall and winter. That is medicine, better than any other.

When I go out on the land, everything is free. Only here do I need this thing they call money. Out on the land I am free. I have everything I need. I have food and shelter and Spirit. I don’t even need to farm. The Great Spirit has everything there for me.

Now you ask what we need to help our young ones with special needs and their families. We need the Great Spirit. As long as we have that, we don’t need anything else.”

I love my job!

 

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We went walking on the side of the Great River (La Grande) that gives its name to the little community where we live. The temperature had dropped suddenly to 10 degrees and the fog was rising off the water like a scene from a dream. I held the little hand of my son in my left hand and the hand of my daughter in my right. We walked up the hill that overlooked the river and I had the sudden vision of walking in the heart of a great hall.

I felt the warmth of their little hands and something whispered in my head:

This is the gift that She gave me.

 

She…

I looked around and wondered who ‘She’ was.

Was it the great river, flowing steadily forward for millennia, unstoppable and majestic?

Was it the land of the Cree, where we had become parents and where we were living the greatest adventure of our lives?

Was it the grandness of nature that surrounded us so completely?

Was it the Great Goddess, fertile and of abundant?

Was it the Great Source from which all blessings flows?

Looking out at the grandness of nature, surrounded by my greatest treasures, it was clear that all those things were wrapped up into that little word.

She…

The one who nurtures, the one who soothes, who defends and protects and gives beyond measure.

The one who envelops you with a grandness that you can hardly bear and shows you, how to connect with everything there is to become more than you have ever imagined.

She, the wind in your hair and the smell of the times, the water flowing through your veins and through the world in a slow pulsing rhythm.

She who loves and gives back to her children the lessons they need to learn if they sit to listen.

What blessing to live in her presence.