I hadn’t thought of autumn as being profound until I discovered Joseph Marshall's words: "Autumn is a very profound season." He’s a Lakota teacher and author, who grew up, as I did, in the 50s—we're kids of the Atomic age. But his home was on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. His latest book, the one with this profund phrase, is called To You We Shall Return: Lessons About our Planet from the Lakotas.
His people go back in North America, 10,000 years. So do their stories. They were “born” from a hole in the earth in the Paha Sapa—Black Hills—from the cave now marked as Wind Cave.They knew the secret to survival was adapting. They didn't ever try to change or control anything on earth. One of their funeral prayers goes like this: "It is your embrace we feel when we return to you."
The The Black Hills take on a heart shape (looking at it sort of sideways) in this NASA satellite image. "The Heart of all Things, The Center of Our World" Marshall says, is an outcropping duplicated no where else on our planet except in New Zealand. What makes it so special? It's made of granite and granite carries an electrical charge so it's a type of a battery and generator. It's the core of an extinct volcano rising up from a sea of prairie grass. A metallic cauldron filled with gold, silver, uranium, copper, lead, lithium, bentonite clay, limestone, basalt and sandstone. No wonder it's an alchemical sacred place, coveted by all.
That word, by the way, means “Having intellectual depth and insight—difficult to fathom or understand.” At least according to Webster. I look at my dead flowers and all the beige fields around us,and try to focus on their "intellectual depths." I talk to my son about the continuing dreadful radiation stories coming out of Japan. I think: fall/fall-out.
Maybe after I post this, I'll drum for awhile, just to hear Grandmother Earth's heartbeat again--to know it will all be all right. All be well. "The land," Marshall says, "gives birth to who and what we are."
Needing joy in my heart, I turn to another image which one of my Sophia Sisters sent me the other day. Who could not feel JOY by looking at this? Sorry, I don't know where it came from originally, but it IS profound!