Songs of The Ancestors

The eastern side of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is what I consider my ancestral home with my great grandparents having settled here from St. Jean de Matha, Quebec. This land, which includes the Dryberg, Rudyard, and Sault Ste. Marie areas is like a hometown I never truly lived in but have a deep feeling within me. It is ancestral land. It holds the stories of generations and would be a part of what would sustain my parents through their life of joys and sorrows, grief and loss, pleasure, and pain. This land holds the blood, sweat, and tears of generations of ancestors. It holds our family stories, mystery, and myths. It holds a language that touches my soul with the love of generations grounding me in place.

Honoring ancestors 
blended in soil, 
mystery and memory
tell of their toil.

Feeling recognition
of self in their tale,
handed down, entwined 
in earth to prevail.

Language foreign to mine 
yet known in my heart, 
they came living and 
tending the slow burning hearth.
 
From a Huron orphan and fir trapper
the journey flows true, 
farmers, loggers, factory work too.
From Quebec, Ontario, then to the Soo

They, dreaming of me 
now I, reflecting on them, 
a great chain of being
flows on into then.

Flowing on in the children
Courage, determination,
faith, hope, losses grieved, 
finding peace deep within.

“No self is of itself alone. It has a long chain of intellectual ancestors. The “I” is chained to ancestry by many factors… This is not mere allegory, but an eternal memory.” 

Erwin Schrödinger

“The songs of our ancestors are also the songs of our children” 

Philip Carr-Gomm

“It was the kind of moon that I would want to send back to my ancestors and gift to my descendants so they know that I too, have been bruised…by beauty.” 

Sanober Khan, Turquoise Silence
 

Ongoing Resource List: Reading for Mind and Heart

  • To Bless the Space Between Us by John O’Donohue
  • Meditations From the Mat by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison
  • The House of Belonging: poems by David Whyte
  • Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness, by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • The Faraway Nearby by Rebecca Solnit
  • Soul an Archaeology Edited by Phil Cousineau
  • A Path With Heart by Jack Kornfield
  • Listening Point by Sigurd Olson
  • I Sit Listening to the Wind by Judith Duerk
  • Dancing Moons by Nancy Wood
  • The Soul of Rumi, Translations by Coleman Barks
  • Keep Going by Joseph M. Marshall III
  • Arriving at your own Door by Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
  • The Hidden Secrets of Water by Paolo Consigli
  • Conquest of Mind by Eknath Easwaran
  • Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay
  • Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn’t) by Brene Brown
  • Practicing Peace in Times of War by Pema Chodron
  • When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron
  • On Death and Dying by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
  • Unattended Sorrow by Stephen Levine
  • Joy in Loving, Mother Theresa
  • The Joy of Living by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
  • Let Your LIfe Speak by Parker Palmer
  • Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The Essence of the Upanishads by Eknath Easwaran
  • Welcoming the Unwelcome by Pema Chodron
  • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through The Ways Of Animals by Jamie Sams and David Carson
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