Turtle Island

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painting by Roger Creus

Last night, I dreamed of Turtle Island, which is the Creation Story  for the Ojibway/Anishinabe people. I dreamed that an enormous mama turtle made a nest for her eggs in the middle of a path under a bridge. As a group of people and I walked along the path we came across her, and I told everyone to give her space. Let her be. She needs more of our support to grow new life for our planet. The turtle knew in her bones how to lay her eggs, but she is running out of room. Humans have taken over more than they need to live and other creatures are suffering because of our ignorance and greed. 

Watching this mama turtle made me sad in the dream. I wish our human tribe would wake up! Please, don’t go back to sleep, our Great Green Earth needs us. Protect lands, stop clearing forests, clean up the oceans, rivers, streams, and love each being as your kin. We are all related. We are one big family even if we don’t always agree with each other. 

Kindergarteners learn to share, so, adults, please remember this lesson. The earth is not ours for the taking. It is ours to care for so all beings, and future generations, can thrive. We are here to be stewards for our short time on Earth. This opportunity is a great gift, so please wake up and live this dream into reality. 

Turtle Island is hurting. The animals are dying, the trees are suffering, the plants are disappearing. I call on you to re-evaluate your life. Right now. In this moment, are you fulfilling your dreams? Are you happy? Are you contributing toward building a more beautiful world? Or are you sleeping through life? 

No shame in either. Accept yourself where you are right now.

Some days I am sad and all I can do is grieve the loss of the Earth’s precious resources. 

Some days all I can offer is my love to the birds that sit on the treetops. 

Some days I sit by a river and pray for healing on our planet so all beings can be free.

Some days I teach classes about honoring the Earth and how to make herbal medicines. 

Some days I sleep-walk and forget this precious gift of life. 

Some days I write. 

Some days I sing to the 7 directions and offer tobacco to the Earth. 


However you choose to honor your birth, your walk, your expression of gratitude for the Earth, is beautiful. You are already enough, doing enough, simply by being you. 

From a mountaintop of self-acceptance, self-love, and hope for the future, some days all we can do is humbly say is, Thank You. 

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painting from Turtlegang

 Other tangible ways to care for Turtle Island:

  • Educate about protecting and honoring the environment
  • Write: for yourself, blogs, politicians, books, articles. Just write!
  • Decrease consumption of resources 
  • Grow your own food or buy from local farms
  • Make your own medicine or build a relationship with a local herbalist/healer
  • Fly as minimally as possible
  • Heal your inherited beliefs of separation, which allow you to oppress others based on your gender, class, race, sexual orientation, religion. 
  • Remember your connection to ALL. You are not separate. We are all interdependent beings. Isolationism allows for oppression of others and the natural world.
  • Join other projects that align with your heart’s calling
  • Adopt a child rather than birthing another (contentious, I know!) 
  • Express your feelings of despair, anger, hopelessness, rage
  • Pray 
  • Be generous to organizations you trust if you have excess finances
  • Love every being on Earth as much as you can muster
  • Forgive. Forgive yourself, your ancestors, your parents, your political leaders
  • Practice compassion, even for those you despise
  • Take action from love, not fear
  • Speak out, speak up, raise your voice.
  • Conserve nature’s “resources” aka “gifts”: water, oil, gas, electric, soil
  • Be open to change. Adapt. Be flexible. 

Thank you.

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