Pay It Forward
Have you ever stopped to contemplate what legacy you will leave behind when you rejoin the world of spirit?
As I find myself segwaying into my elder years, I think about what my life will have said to others while I was here. Spiritual development contributes to the impact one leaves behind. I’m not referring to how much stuff or money one will leave for their loved ones, but what actions and words said to others while here.
Most importantly, I think about what our words and actions will inspire in others.
This ceremonial gopher robe has 53 gopher pelts. It is smaller now than when it was first made; because of its age and wear and tear it has gotten smaller over the years. It could have taken a couple of years to gather enough gopher pelts for this robe, then they would all have to have been tanned and sewn together with sinew. What does this act of love in creating such a robe teach us? It speaks to the value of patience, of focus, of self discipline to complete a task that takes so long you might want to give up sometime. The offering of sharing this robe with others in a sacred way reminds us of our purpose that is meant to be fulfilled. Everything has a soul. This blanket has a purpose; how do we know this? It’s here! It was created—that’s how we know it has a purpose. It is all meant to be because somewhere in someway it will fulfill its purpose to humanity.
This robe was gifted to the sacred bundle Walking With Our Sisters by First Nation from Tagish Yukon in Whitehorse and will travel with the Sacred Bundle. The Elders/Grandmothers in each community that it goes to decide through consultation where and how it will be used in the ceremony. It’s now being used to hold the space for the Sacred Grandmother pipe, which came from Flin Flon Manitoba. It also holds the place for the Swan Fan and other sacred objects that also came from various communities. It is surrounded by vamps that represent the missing and murdered Aboriginal women and children. The Bundle will travel around and fulfill its purpose in this way until 2019. This robe has been used in only three ceremonies. This demonstrates the significance in sacredness of the robe. Much like the Chilkat robes, it is only brought out at special occasions like potlatches.
This gopher robe made so many years ago was made by a native lady; it would have taken her two years to complete the task. She never gave up and stayed on path with its completion, knowing in her wisdom she was making this blanket for reasons unknown to her at the time. In First Nation culture we are taught to be mindful and think on good things when preparing food, or making a robe such as this.
Our Elders teach us that words carry medicine; another way of saying that is that words carry a “vibration.” The value of choosing our words consciously is deeply valuable to peace and joy in our world. I have yet to meet a person who does not remember harsh words that left an imprint on their soul and impacted years of their life. On the positive side, words can leave an imprint that means much to the receiver at the time when they needed them most. We have been educated to use our words in domination language, but when we speak in partnership to all it totally changes our connection to others, to the animal kingdom, and to the earth. We leave a legacy of healing and contribution rather than destruction and pain when our words carry the vibration of love, peace and joy.
May we all become more aware of what legacy we will leave behind. The robe is now spending time with hundreds maybe thousands of different souls to bring comfort, acknowledgment, respect and healing, by a grandmother who cared.
Love and Light to all, Leslie.