The Covid-19 restrictions are slowly loosening in Montana. I have mostly been spending time in the forests where we live next to the tribal forest on the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Flathead Reservation. I am privileged to be here. I have been looking through some recent photographs I took of the waterfalls of the North Fork of the Jocko River.
I have also been educating myself about racism. I have much to learn. My deep hope is that the turmoil the United States is experiencing will open us to changing our ways to create a just, equitable and vibrant world. The last stanza of the Langston Hughes poem “Let America Be American Again” is, “Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,/The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,/ We, the people, must redeem/The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers./ The mountains and the endless plain–/All, the stretch of these great green states–/And make America again!”
When I read Langston’s words it evokes, for me, a perspective of our connection and interdependence. When we harm any part of the web of life we harm all the interdependent relationships. In Chief Seattle’s words (1854) “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” In addition to ending the systemic abuse and inequalities for people of color, we must include righting the wrongs of our abusive relationship to whole ecosystems. I believe they are connected.
Sunlight and water–I am grateful for what you give to make life on this earth possible. Thank you.