Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Inspirational Snippet: Thanksgiving for Water is Life

Dear Everyone who reads my page, yep even you, the ones who quietly remain behind the scenes without commenting or posting, but observing; I ask you to take seriously this time on our planet. 

We are approaching Thanksgiving  tomorrow and most of us learned in school about the Pilgrims and our first Thanksgiving; we even had school plays depicting it. (And yes, I know all the details are inaccurate depending on where you went to school and who told the history.)  The First Thanksgiving Celebration in America was in 1621 when the first harvest of the pilgrims was successful due to the assistance of the Native Americans teaching them how to cultivate the local land and crops. The true history behind Thanksgiving has become distorted as a result of egoic interpretations of history, but I'd like to emphasize that the most important message of that first Thanksgiving is it was one of the sole representations of harmony between European Colonists and Native Americans.  The celebration showed no distinction between cultures/religions/differences instead the focus was a common bond: celebrating harvest because that is something they did together.  Without the help and support of the Native Americans, we likely would not be here on this land because our American Ancestors would not have survived.   It brings tears to my eyes when I think that we can celebrate this holiday and not recognize the fact that the Native Americans are why the European Settlers survived and yet we don't hold them in high regard. (I am not saying everyone--when I say we, I am referring to the collective because I know in my heart I hold them in high regard--they are, just like everyone on this planet to me, my family.)

Many of you know that  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (and no, not because of the food); it is my favorite holiday because I think of the meaning of celebrating harvest, showing gratitude for a year of growth and hard work, and most importantly, a time to bring people together in unity and oneness regardless of their religion/culture/background etc.  That is my interpretation of what Thanksgiving is.  What is yours?  What do you bring to the table this year for Thanksgiving?  When I ask that, I am not referring to the food you create, the decorations you put out, but what do you bring with you?  Yes, many of you bring gratitude, but that is often from a self interested perspective.  Many participate in donating to food banks/shelters/community kitchens.  Please do not get me wrong, I feel it is very important that you recognize what it is you are grateful for and to give your time to helping others, but this Thanksgiving I ask you to broaden your horizons a bit.  I ask to you think back to the first Thanksgiving, what must that have been like? The Native Americans could have chosen to turn a blind eye to the foreigners (pilgrims/colonists/settlers) and not taught them how to cultivate the land and grow a harvest, but they didn't; instead, they helped them in their time of need.

This brings me to today and what is happening RIGHT NOW.  I ask for you to look deeply at the situation that is happening here in America.  In North Dakota, The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has gathered in protest  as Water Protectors along with several thousand others from every walk of life.  Not only is there the largest gathering of Native Tribes from around America and the world ever, but there are also non-Native American supporters globally joining in to protect the water.  Why are they called Water Protectors?  They call themselves Water Protectors because they are not only trying to protect their water supply, but the planet's water supply.  The are trying to stop the building of the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline.  The destruction of the earth and her waters is a very REAL DANGER, one which we have already seen taking place in other parts of our country, our world.   These people are living by their truth--they recognize that we must overcome violence/fear/suffering/pain with peace/love/compassion/truth.  The Water Protectors have been demonstrating their concern through peaceful gatherings and prayer, expressing their First Amendment Rights, but they have been met with some very real violence at the hands of a militarized police force, hired  private contracted mercenaries and a state and federal government turning a blind eye on this.  I don't wish to go into detail, you can always look this up on alternative media because mainstream media is certainly not providing information on what is happening there or you can contact me and I will provide you with resources, but the point of my writing today isn't about the violence.  It is about this Thanksgiving.   

I ask you to look into your heart beyond your family obligations, last minute errands and cooking this Thanksgiving and think of  America's First Thanksgiving  and recognize that these are the people who have helped our Ancestors create the country we are living in now, without them we would not be here. I ask that we as a people do not turn a blind eye on them. I ask that we support them and honor them for what they are doing, for their standing up is for ALL OF US.  By the way, the immediate impact may only appear to affect the Standing Rock Sioux, but the greater implications involve anyone living around the Missouri River or connecting to it; not to mention the greater impact of the earth's water supply. Please provide support to this cause by joining them in North Dakota, or by prayer and/or donation, but by all means by starting the conversation at the Thanksgiving table-it is the most important cause of our time because as the Standing Rock Sioux say: Water is Life.

Let's be thankful for one another and remember we are all in this together.  We all want water.  We all want a safe planet.  We all want to share in the earth's abundance.  Most importantly, we all want to live life fully.   Start the conversation about the Standing Rock Sioux this holiday, you will be surprised not only how misinformed many have been, but how many people can recognize that we are all in this together. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

Love and light,
EstaRa April

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