There is much to make me weep this week. The news for Standing Rock and the Keystone pipeline has not been what the water protectors had hoped for at the end of the environmental impact study. But there will be no impact study. The powers that be have decided to go ahead without it, as if that would be an inconvenience to the river of money to come flowing down the pipeline. It is hard to fathom how it is that we do not see the need for a shift in the way we walk upon the earth.
Today feathers are falling. It is the end of the season when the birds that winter in Mexico and New Mexico will migrate north again. All the many thousands of Sandhill cranes and Snow geese begin the annual passage to their spring homes to mate and nest and raise their downy feathered little ones. I return one last time this season to my beloved refuge on the evening of the full moon and immediately notice how empty the fields are now. Only a day before they were full with cranes. Did they know by the nearly full moon rise the previous night that it was time to leave?
How do they navigate the changing of the seasons, by light, by stars, by the angle of the sun? Who is the leader, who calls the flock to organize as one?
I pick up feathers from a crane whose body I witnessed here just after it been killed a few weeks ago. It's body torn into pieces. Only the wings are left intact now. It is the way of nature, the beauty of it collides with the destructive forces in the chain of life and death. Within the cavity of the open chest I saw its exposed organs, it was difficult to take in what had happened. Of course there is a difference between what is destructive in the natural order of things and that which is destructive in ways which are not. One is sustainable the other is sacrilege. There is an indigneous story that I have heard recently told by a Native American woman in regard to Standing Rock, she said, the elders have forewarned that when the time of the black snake comes, it will be the end of the world. Are we in that time? Are running rivers of oil the great black snake? I do not know but, I am grateful the birds fly, that they can rise above, traverse the borders, immigrate north and south, over the freeways and industry and return to miraculously make nests again.
On this evening we hope to see the full moon rise with a rare lunar eclipse visible in North America. I know it will rise over the horizon at 5:38 but we must wait while it clears the mountain between us. As the first bright curve appears over the edge of the crest, I cannot contain my enthusiasm. I scream out, "here it comes" like an excited child; I am so thrilled. We are blessed as there isn't any cloud cover at that moment and we can see the golden planet in all her glory against the cobalt sky. More than I have ever noticed before, the gentle shadows of the eclipse are giving the great disc dimensionality. It is electrifying! Only now when I see the photos my friend Elise shot do I register how intense the contrast of the deep blue is with the yellow moon.
There is much to take in. Over our heads the Snow geese are flying in from the fields with the few remaining Sandhill cranes forming a moving pattern like a floating fishnet on the ocean of sky. A rapture for all the senses! How I want to make these precious moments last. How I long for the world to be at peace in all ways, in the most positive expression of evolution, honoring the web of life, like this display of wonderment. Let us hope to receive a new vision. Let us treat the earth as if we recognize that it is a sacred honor to be here.
Photo Elise Varnedoe, 2/10/2017