Tag Archives: Chief Seattle

Dancing with Speeches #17 Chief Seattle

Chief Seattle’s speech in 1854 in reply to the request from the chief in Washington to purchase the land.  The prophetic voice of first nations will haunt us forever until we learn the lessons aching in all the land and all the elements.  You can hear it here.

“If you contaminate your bed, one night suffocate in your own waste” is the echo we need to hear in my part of the planet.  We are considering to be home to nuclear waste and I wonder how can it be that the best idea we have for our struggling economy is to storage and hold these toxins.  David Suzuki urged us all on his last visit to Adelaide that we only take instruction from Aboriginal elders on whose land this facility is ear marked – is this any way to treat your Mother?

Before the contamination of the land, there is the contamination of the spirit and the mind that gives rise to the thought that having a nuclear waste dump  is a good idea. This is a dangerous and impure idea – one that will lead to more harm of our collective soul and the future generations of species including our own. What is it that allows our minds to go to this dark place?  Do we think so little of our selves? Can we not imagine our great grand children running around and sipping from the sun, dancing with joy of a new day?

Beyond the horizon of an economic forecast and balance sheet, lies a landscape ancient and new being shaped by the decisions of today.  This landscape will be revealed and is coming into focus right now, as we test the ideas and ponder on the thirty pieces of silver (actually $445billion apparently to flow into SA for at least 70 years if it goes ahead). The long term consequences of being contaminated by thoughts of short-term gain fuels its own cycle of destruction of spent ideas and depletes our deepest selves.  

Lift your gaze to the skies and see the stars – the Seven Sisters and Jakamurra – finding their way across the night sky to bring the new season of hope, refreshed thinking deeply connected to all those gone before who have set their eyes to the heavens and those to come who too will find their way home in the dark.

Feel the soft air of your mother’s breath as she holds you and nurses you to sleep and sings her song through the colony of casurina’s and sends a wave for the cockatoos to float down to their nests.

Be warmed from the ground up by the red sand trickling through your toes and reminding you there is no division and we all return to the earth one way or another – united even when set apart by the smallest of grains.  Yes, particle and wave are one in complex simplicity.

Follow the line of the hills as they meander between ridge and valley  calling us to the truth there are always ups and downs and each is a forecast to the other with lessons embedded for us to apply at the next turn.

Don’t be afraid to learn from the land and to ask for her help to discern and guide your steps – she is our greatest teacher, lover and mother.  If we don’t learn and listen, we may well be suffocated by waste.