In one word, this “Riding the River” blog is about resilience — the hearty, powerful resilience spoken of by a Hopi Elder of Oraibi, Arizona in the full quote I’ve posted below. I was first introduced to this “Message for Mankind” back in 1999, when a friend sent it to me, and I’ve kept a copy hanging in my home ever since.
Even though most caucasians once thought Indigenous people were complete savages, along the way we’ve learned to pay attention to some of their wisdom.
Another indigenous people, the Maya, were so bold as to tell us, “We are passing through an era of disordered time that began in 1992 and will last for 40 years.” As stated in the documentary, 2012: The True Mayan Prophecy, (produced by Dawn Engle, Executive director of PeaceJam), the Maya didn’t predict anything unusual would happen on Dec. 21, 2012. They do view this date, however, as a midpoint in the 40-year span, and see it, astronomically and otherwise, as the beginning of a new era. The documentary features modern Maya descendants — including Nobel Peace Prize recipent Rigoberta Menchu Tum — who say that the end of each large astonomical cycle and the beginning of the next coincide with a time of transformation and spiritutual growth for humanity.
I’ve read the words of a variety of indegenous cultures who speak to the nature of “disordered time” we now live in, and also of the opportunity to embrace change and transformation. But I’m still especially inspired by the message from the Hopi of Oraibi, Arizona, back in the 1990s:
Message to Mankind from a Hopi Elder:
“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour. Now you must go back and tell the people that this is The Hour. And there are things to be considered….
Where are you living? What are you doing? What are your relationships? Are you in right relation? Where is your water? Know your garden. It is time to speak your truth. Create your community. Be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for your leader.”
Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said, “This could be a good time!
There is a river running now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold onto the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.
Know the river has its destination. The elders says we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads above water.
And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate. At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves. For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word ‘struggle’ from your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”