Holy Land

Indigenous Peoples Day

Near my house is Willow Street.
Most of it is a mere path through the woods.
A couple hundred years ago it was the King’s Highway,
the main route traveled up the Maine coast
by the European invaders (“settlers,” we call them).
What was it before that? I don’t know.

I walk the land where I live
and offer up prayers for the Wabanaki who lived here
before the white people came.
I do not know where the holy places were.
Perhaps it’s all holy.
Perhaps it’s made so, like Auschwitz,
by the suffering that happened here.

I walk the land where I live
knowing I do not know the wisdom that walks here,
the stories the land remembers,
the people who are still here.
They are still here. I do not know them.
I must come to know them.
I must walk as if this place may be holy.

I walk in confession, in repentance, in humility.
I walk in gratitude.
I walk in beauty.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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