The Long View and 7 Generations

This is the long-view – can you feel it?

The great blessing of mountains, of trees, of many layers…. incredible shoulders, arms and fingers of snowy land, created ages ago by huge glaciers grinding the silt fine into estuaries of fertile land and waters, home to so many more-than-human beings, plants, fish, insects, trees, furred and winged friends, all of them sheltering us, creating this sanctuary, this home and nourishing food! And yet…what do you feel? Fierce protection, tender care? Ownership? Responsibility?

It’s been a while since I’ve roamed the city or the woods with my camera – too many other projects to finish – these are from 2 years ago, but this light snow is typical and could have been this year. What am I foraging here with my camera eye? What use to gather such tasty visual morsels – beauty medicine perhaps, or more?

I spend my days mentoring children and adults outdoors in Nature Connection in hopes that we are raising a generation that will soar like an eagle and have that long-view, that deep sense of place not just in their back yards, or even their bio-region, but a sense of place among a family of that stretches backwards and forwards 7 generations in each direction! Just imagine that long view! What did these scenes look like 7 generations ago? Who tended these territories so that we could walk, live, ski, grow veggies, mow our lawns, pollute and bury creeks, build over an entire life-giving estuary, consume, consume, consume, build roads, and pipes, and choke life out of our mother? What will be here, or be gone 7 generations from now? What would you like your future children to see, feel, smell, enjoy?

When you walk out tomorrow, will you be treading on the body of your mother softly? When you rise your face to the sky will the rains or sun or winds of your father be kissing you? When you board down the glorious snowy slopes, will you lean back into the shoulders of your grandfathers and listen deep to what they whisper? When you head down to the water’s edge at sunset, will you send a prayer of love to Grandmother Moon? I still remember the moment I took these images two years ago. I felt the incredible lift of the steep hill, the silent buried creeks, and the sweeping perspective looking out over the now invisible estuary to the mountain range, exactly how it felt, in the glow of early evening, as if to gather me up. I’d been seeing more and more the trees beyond the trees, and the peaks beyond the peaks. This is what happens when you being to listen, begin to look, begin to thank the land and the ancestors, suddenly your wings soar, and an invisible wind lifts you higher to gaze at the long view.

Will you join me?

Gratitude to the unceded, ancestral lands of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh , and Squamish Peoples.


Belinda White

Apple Star Photo


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