The Prayers of the Earth and Those Who Come Seven Generations from Now

“Nanih Waiya,” Brit Reed, April 2022, Beadwork.

We invite you to breathe deep, connect with your own inner knowing and prayers, the life and water that are living within and around you.

We invite you to gift yourself this time to pray with us. We welcome your whole selves: Spirit, Body, Heart, Mind, and Community. This is an invitation to listen to your Sacredness, ancestors, and descendants: How do I live my life as the answer to the prayers of the earth and of those who come seven generations from now?

*We are humans.*

Humans have racialized free and cheap labour and caused destruction in our natural environments. Human concentration of wealth and power has led to socially-constructed assignments and subsequent myths of inferiority, disposability, and isolation for all of life. We dance the dance between unlearning these myths and reinforcing them.

*We are both the oppressed and the oppressor.*

Shakiya: I grew up in public housing on Lenni-Lenape land. I was taught that dandelions, my favourite flowers, were weeds that don’t belong. I was taught that some of my own identities were weeds, too. Black. Cisgender. Christian. Cross-class. Young. Woman. I now centre these identities to get to know the truth of their essence. But in my centring, I sometimes forget about the other parts of me and other beings.

*Identities are both the source of our power and our suffering.*

Marcia: Growing up in a small, white town on stolen Anishinaabe land, the child of Taiwanese immigrants, I did not see myself as anything other than “non-white” and “non-male.” Becoming Taiwanese – American – Woman led me to embody power through suffering. But exclusively centring these identities is a return to suffering.

*As long as we centre humans, we engage in power over the rest of creation. *

This does not mean that we stop fighting against injustices and oppression towards humans, but that we engage in this fight in the context of all beings. Power over is colonization.

*All Life is connected to seven generations before and after itself.*

If we do not speak up, everything changes us. If we speak up, we change everything. If we are in relationship with all beings, then how we define seven generations needs to include all beings. How do our choices impact seven generations of bees, redwoods, mycelium, glaciers, and cantaloupe?

*Spirit moves through connected power.*

Connecting with the earth’s core, the crevices of the ocean, and our wildest dreams, we better understand interdependence and cooperation with all of Life. This movement leads us to: Dance between knowing and releasing. Regenerate between power and suffering. Follow Spirals. Complete cycles. Get back on Nature’s grid.

This path might feel daunting, but just imagine, what if you already are the answer to these prayers? What if your Be-ing is the prayer? What if your Ancestors prayed you into existence, just as you are?

Knowing that you are enough: How will you live your life as the answer to the prayers of the earth and of those who come seven generations from now?

Gratitude to Ayo Yetunde, mycelium, Kessa Johnson, Faith Matters Network, Jacquline Cuevas, willow, Carol Yamaski, Grace Lee Boggs, en Sawyer, Great Lakes, Michi & Meiko Sawyer Lee, Ashley Gripper, Yacqui Rodriguez, Claire Galpern, and more.

Marcia Lee is a mama, facilitator, Detroiter, coach, tai chi teacher, and co-director of Healing by Choice! and Taproot Sanctuary.

Shakiya Canty is a daughter, sister, friend, community organizer, and farmer-in-training.

Issue 66

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 66, Fall 2022, Global Resistance and Solidarity.

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Issue 66, Fall 2022

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