There is a low grade fever in the country, it isn't a virus, it is rage and an unsettling dissatisfaction and mistrust about wrongs that lingers. The dialog in the book are the same words I hear in casual conversations, on the radio or even in memes on social media, depicting the attitude so far off the scale from peace and comfort not to register.
There is a danger to this much unease. As a member of a tribe like many who were edged out, wiped out, removed, this dull consistent "wang" does not bring comfort and joy. As a country that was torn apart when this rhetoric grew too great to contain erupting into the Civil War. It seems to be building, the urgency of grievances, the fear of COVID, the overwhelming un-grieved deaths, and a general disregard for the sameness that can and has brought us together to form a union in the first place.
I am concerned and long for peace in the valley, cum-by-you times, a rearing up of patriotism is needed, a call to the alter a pulling together to find our core beliefs are real, they are solid and we need each other to be strong. Leaving me hoping that Kindness can return, civility and respect with it.
Because we have work to do. As a people who inhabit this one precious planet, we as a species have brought it to the brink with those same characteristics that are tearing our nation apart. We have been told for the last decades that the planet is heating, the climate is changing and we have done little personally to address it. But now all hands on deck, we must do it now. As native people we have always been instructed for our actions to be for the betterment of the seven generations to come. All of us need to put aside thoughts that have however been ginned up and begin the collective effort to save this place for the little ones to come.
All of the countries in the world will be meeting in a few days in Glasgow, Scotland to determine what all of us will have to do. There have been massive changes our peoples have experienced as they leaped from one era into the next, there are expenses, there will be great differences, but we can try them on we will purchase new and more efficient vehicles. The tractors running now on diesel that take me to the far reaches on my property, at this time of the year in search of the jewels on the prairie: the wild plums, well they will probably become extinct, relics in the near approaching future. The new efficient tractors are coming. And that fossil fuel? It will be left in the ground. And those old wells will be capped and the methane they are emitting will cease to heat up our planet.
We will survive, thrive and come home to fresh baked bread and try that wild plum jam you have made for the treat you didn't know you needed to experience. You will then be like me with big eyes this time of year, watching them as they desire to be taken from the tree, just waiting there for you to gently touch them so they can leap into your hand.
This will be a time when your grandchildren's grandchildren will talk about the great shift, when the people of the earth SHIFTED everything and began to save the place those kids will love and wake to find the wild plums coming on just when they are supposed to and the blackberries in their time and the wild strawberries before them. The skies will be clear and the smoke from the fires only a story they heard once.
Clear your head of the dialog that causes dysfunction and get on board to the place all of us need to be headed. Your grandchildren love you already, but theirs will honor you.
Myself, I am heading into Vinita to see the train that brought what ushered in the first big change, taking us from walking, horseback and buggies.
Now let's see together what comes next and get on board.
(The Big Boy stopped in Vinita for about 45 minutes Aug 12 as part of its 2021 Big Boy Tour. It was the Union Pacific steam locomotive which was actually built in 1941 to conquer mountains while carrying equipment during World War II )
Respectfully submitted ~ Rebecca Jim