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Beside Restful Waters

by Greg Hermann

-The fourth homecoming is our ancestors. Begin by reflecting on those ancestors who have wanted the best for you, including wanting you to be happy and safe. You don’t need to know who those ancestors are… Also reflect on the lineages you feel connected to, like the lineage of your spiritual tradition, or tradition of art or activism… Say welcome to your ancestors and lineages. Relax. Inhale. Exhale and come home to being held by your ancestors and lineages.

Richard Wagamese

Embers: One Ojibway’s Meditations

I don’t need to know who my ancestors are.


I spent this past Saturday with my Native American relatives. We held ceremony and spoke of our responsibility to our children, grandchildren, and their grandchildren. I experienced a move deep inside as I realized that I am someone’s ancestor. My words and actions will offer deep impact on the generations to come. We believe we will impact the next seven generations.

That is powerful impact.

Likewise, my ancestors have left deep imprints on my life. While I can only remember my grandparents, I know there are those generations of both Native and European ancestors that have left their joys and pains in my being. For example, when I was eight years old, I took my first canoe ride, alone. I didn’t pay much attention to my skill at moving the boat where I wanted and how I wanted, in and out of little inlets, under tree branches along the shore, and into the wind. I simply moved the canoe instinctively with no previous instruction.

When I got to shore, my adult friend asked who had taught me to be such a skilled canoeist. He was surprised that I moved the canoe so skillfully. Today, as I reflect, I sense the instruction of my French voyageur ancestors, and my Native ancestors who paddled the Michigan waters that surrounded me at my birth.

If my ancestors left me a skilled paddler, what impact have they left on my love of Mother Earth, or our lakes and rivers, or the intimacies of dewdrops on pine needles???????

I will inhale, exhale, and know gratitude for the pains, healings, fears and joys of my life today.


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