Ocean Sunrises

Dawn has arrived, sunrise is coming, the tide is coming in. I’ve come to the ocean to greet the new day.

The water is as calm as I’ve ever seen it here. The calm comes gently into my being as well.

I offer a greeting to the ocean and the land.

For a time I am present to all around me – the water and rocks, and also the shoreline behind where I sense plants, houses, people and animals. I expand and become part of the sky, the shoreline across the bay, and the pink in the eastern clouds.

I offer gratitude and offer a handful of cedar, sage, and tobacco to the water. I remember and speak for the people and situations for whom I am guided to pray. I ask for help to be a good person today.

Suddenly there is a shift. It’s a different surprise every time. The day becomes brighter, the colours more intense. There is a new level of aliveness, an instantaneous lifting of energy, a delighted anticipation in Nature of the possibilities of the coming day.

I stand in that energy for a moment, then turn toward my new day. All is well.

Another time, the wind is stronger. The waves are big enough to be dangerous. On this day I go to a rock that juts up not far above the highest of the waves and I watch the water surge below and around. Occasionally I am wetted by the splash of a larger wave.

The surging and receding of the water is like the movement of flame. Water and fire both dance in their own ways and teach in their own ways.

I have a deep and respectful relationship with both. Fire has honoured me with my sacred name, Shku-dempseh, which translates approximately into English as “Keeper of the Fire for Dancing”. I have learned to make fire with sticks. Many times I have invoked the power and blessing of fire in ceremony.

Water has welcomed, taught, and supported me throughout my life. I love to be on water, in water, and under water. It has given me food. I have gone into water to do ceremony at all times of the year.

Every morning on the shore is different. Not just in the infinite variety of water, light, and wind that draws so many to the ocean, but also in the ways all of that wildness touches me, the ways my prayers are heard and answered.

What about you? There is nature where you live – beside the ocean, in a high-rise, on a farm. Nature is close by, even indoors. Birds, plants, and insects are all part of a world that yearns to be seen by humans. Your privilege, your right, your responsibility to yourself, is to greet and acknowledge that world.

The only person who can give you permission, the only person whose permission you need, is the one you look at in the mirror.

Do something to greet that world today, tomorrow, and the day after that and the day after that. It will change and enrich you.

March 16, 2021

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