To The Four Directions I Call
There is a tradition among many Indigenous folk for the beginning of the day. At sunrise the sacred fire is lit and tobacco shared. Words of thanksgiving are uttered and prayers sent to the four directions. It is a time of connection with the creator. I have been privileged to participate in this tradition from time to time and it has always been a powerful experience for me and sets the stage for the day that will follow. My mother had a similar practice. She did not light a fire, but would begin each day kneeling beside her bed. There, she gave thanks and entrusted the coming day to spirit.
A Time of Connection
During my vacation time I also have a ritual for the beginning of the day. I rise early, pour my cup of coffee, take my journal and pen and head to the gazebo located on the bank of the river. Surrounded by creation and cradled in divine presence I begin my day. It is a time of thanksgiving and of deep blessing.
One morning last week, as my vacation was nearing its end, I made my way to my special spot to greet the day. The air was cool and you could feel fall in the air so I also brought with me a blanket. On my bench, wrapped up, I listened as creation also greeted this new day.
The sun slowly rose casting a ray of light that blessed the land in its journey.
Two loons swam by on the smooth waters calling to each other. I wonder what their conversation is. Are they also giving thanks for this day and this place?
Then the crows take flight overhead and their voices are added to creations song. They pitch on the roof, sit a while and fly off again.
Just down the shore I see a flock of geese land on the water and they too begin to sing.
Then, all is quiet again. Not even the wind is blowing.
In the silence it feels as if all creation is drawing a deep breath, captivated, as I am, with the wonder and beauty of the earth. I sit in thanksgiving and praise, as the universe holds me in love and I know that I am blessed.
This morning, I found myself without gazebo or river but I rose early to greet this day. This time, I take my coffee and head to the back deck where I can see the trees and flowers and hear the song of the birds. I am reminded that we all return now from our various places of rest and summer slow down to begin a new year as a community of faith. Like the day ahead, what lies ahead of us is filled with possibility and wonder. I feel an excitement begin to grow as I imagine the growing, learning and becoming that will take place over the coming months.
To The Four Directions I Call
I also take a moment to call on spirit to guide us, strengthen us and empower us. I do not have a fire, and I am not kneeling by my bedside but I open myself to spirit, as the ancestors did, and to the four directions I call:
Great spirit of the East, the place of new beginnings, rest in my heart and that of my community at the start of this new season. May we be open to what is just waiting to be discovered.
Great spirit of the South, the place of warm winds and rain, nurture my being and that of my community, allowing us to grow in wisdom and in truth
Great spirit of the West, the place of brilliant sunsets and of endings, guide us through our endings and empower us to let go of those things that imprison and oppress.
Great spirit of the North, may we feel the solid rock beneath our feet and know that we are secure.
May it be so,
© 2019 Rev. Valerie Peyton Kingsbury. All rights reserved.