The Earth Will Now Rest… will you?
I came across this Harvest prayer for the Seaconke Wampanoag people written by Michael “Tender Heart” Markley. The Wampanoag people were a thriving culture and people living in modern-day Massachusetts and Rhode Island inclusive of all of Cape Cod long prior to the sixteenth-century arrival of European settlers. Their numbers were decimated by epidemic but their culture lives on in the resilient way of life and today I’m grateful for their wisdom which I share with you, the prayer reads:
“Let us give thanks to the creator for all that is given. The harvest moon has shined its brilliance over our home and now as we store the harvest of our work the creator gives sustenance. The Earth will now rest through the coming seasons storing the energy needed to once again feed our people.”Harvest Prayer of the Seaconke Wampanoag by Michael “Tender Heart” Markley
I love reminders to pay attention to the seasons… to let our work reflect the work that is natural to each season and thus keep our life in concert with the larger rhythms of life. I believe God created and nurtured all that draws breath (and even that which does not) to live this interconnected pattern so that all creation shares breath, life, and death. God was the originator of social networking!
And the Earth is about to sleep, a type of death, that is not only natural but life-giving for the next season in the cycle. Our forebears knew to match those cycles and let ourselves rest as well… that we might be prepared to have the energy we need to once again “feed our people” come the spring. However Modern technology grants us the illusion that we are no longer bound by these rhythms, we can fight them and seem to win. Our lives would see the gift of seasons as an obstacle to overcome and keep at bay and we learn to grow things out of season and even out of place. We “extend the day” and fill up the coal tender of our lives with enough artificial energy to keep running… seemingly without end. But we are finite beings… and there is always a cost. It will be higher and higher the longer it is when it finally comes due.
You are not meant to run without end. The Earth will slumber and rest… will you?
I have been thinking lately, as Thanksgiving prepares to blend right into Advent, about how I will intentionally incorporate more rest to my days… that I will allow myself to fall back into the natural rhythm I was meant to live… and fight now more. I will be tempted to call it lazy and give it up. But I am hoping to hold to my resolve… to ask myself each day:
“The Earth is resting… are you?” And I invite you to join me in this spiritual discipline.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!