An Earthen Chalice

I sometimes ponder the connection we humans have to the land. The bond is a deep one for us all. Some are more cognizant of that than others. I think the reason for this is rooted in specifics related to culture.

Recently I connected with a woman on Facebook. In a series of e mails we found out that we were related, as we traced our knowledge of family history back to the Big Island of Hawaii.

I recalled a visit I had made awhile back to a Heiau there. Temples are very sacred places for Hawaiians. As I strode into the courtyard of the Pu’ukohala Heiau, I felt history. As bare feet touched the dark brown pumice of lava rocks that had been hand carried and laid generations before by my family, from out of the inside of me came the realization of what had occurred in this place. It was as if the contact of my flesh to the rock via my feet had made my body a psychic lightening rod and my soul instantly transcended time. And I suddenly knew things about the place in which I stood.

Dark eyes watched me. Of this I have no doubt.

Our land is something special. It is why Nations revel in sovereign borders.

Last night I scrambled up a mountain path at the southern end of the coastal valley which was created by the meandering of the Santa Clara and Ventura Rivers over a period of geologically related time. The trail is called the Chumash Trail. Huffing and slogging my gear up the trail, I knew that something special was about to occur. A surface high was keeping Winter storms to the North of my home. We would get the clouds. But no storm.

I had steadfastedly turned down a dinner engagement with close friends. I had a date planned. I knew what the evening would involve even as I sat working steadily on a music video project, locked down by pixel shackles, in the dim light of my editing room.

As the sun dropped behind the Channel Islands out at sea I strode into a clearing off trail and stood gazing out at the Western Horizon.Many had been at this spot. I could see telltales in the coastal chapparal. But more than that, deeper, I could feel the past.

Scent of sage, salt laden air, the sound of a coyote, the faint sound of surf, wove a spell and I saw a door meant to be experienced by all who ventured here at that moment. But it was only me standing there. Sort of.  In native cultures around the world, exists the concept of a Western Gate. It is where one leaves the contact of dirt for another plane of existence. We all are bound to a contract which includes that leap one day.

The Chumash are largely gone today. So are the Hawaiians. But they still exist. If you listen, you will hear them, and that will instill a reverence in you that enables a culture to steer itself in an appropriate manner. I need that. We need that.

A great cause and site sent along by Skip Saenger. Wishtoyo.

Here is one of my favorite musical subjects. Jeff Buckley performing Hallelujah. Reverence. Quiet. Peace. Worship. Important things we sometimes disconnect from. The world is full of braying donkeys. Sometimes we need to step away from the herd to hear the truth that exists in the quiet.

You honor the land as it is the chalice which cradles your life and your children’s, and is that which feeds the seas. Pretty simple. Do it.

A Chumash Chalice
A Chumash Chalice
True West
True West
Chumash Garden
Chumash Garden

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