Chief Seattle of the Suquamish and Duwamish tribes sometime around 1854 gave us these prophetic words that live on today:
“When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear. When that happens, the Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them.”
When I read this last week for the first time, I was intrigued by all that it was saying . . . what Chief Seattle was saying to the people of his day when he was still alive. The Earth wasn’t sick at that time, and the animals were still present and roaming—not disappearing from view, except for the bison as we all know. But somehow Chief Seattle was able to foresee the state of affairs of what we are now living today.
The Native Americans truly believed that they were of the Earth and that the Earth was forever their home. And when they died, they would walk the face of the Earth on their lands in spirit form. They believed in acknowledging all of life, and that the Great Spirit lived in every creature, twig and leaf, drop of water, and stone. They were of the mind to keep in balance with Nature because they knew they were of it, and without that balance they would lose their way. Every living thing is a strand on the Web of Life, and in this way all life is connected, and all forms are needed for the Web of Life to be complete and whole. Biodiversity is Life in abundance, and they treasured it all.
They gave thanks to the deer and the bison for providing a meal for their people. They were in genuine reverence and gratitude for these other forms of life that came to them, providing their people a way to carry on, and they took the time and care to say their thanks from the depths of their soul and set down an offering to give something back, a reciprocal blessing. They took care of the Earth, their Mother home, and She took care of them. They knew a common language with all living things that has been lost to us for many generations, many of us never having learned it at all depending on the cultures we came from and what we were taught to believe. But those Native Americans could hear the song in the trees, and in the waterfall. They called the deer and the eagle their brothers. They were in intimate relationship with all that is.
Chief Seattle also said this in his great speech given in 1854 in response to our government’s letter to buy his peoples land:
“We may be brothers after all. We shall see. One thing we know, which the white man may one day discover—our God is the same God. You may think now that you own Him as you wish to own our land; but you cannot. He is the God of man, and His compassion is equal for the red man and the white.”
I look around me today and see nature disappearing from view. There is always another new development breaking ground for a set of new businesses or a new community of homes. There aren’t as many stands of trees between the rural towns as there once was. The farmers basically grow the same two crops every year: corn and soy beans, and the world population continues to grow. Consumerism and the economy and how stocks are trading are the focus of the day for many. . . maybe even the Gods some pray to.
It isn’t the same world that was here a century ago when my grandparents were alive. This is a different world . . . one that is becoming more and more imbalanced, even as we continue to thrive and have our lives here. And it is because of how we humans have changed the natural “face” of the earth, that many species are becoming extinct at alarming rates. But somehow I have a deeper understanding within me that possibly it could be our own imbalanced state of being that’s behind much of this current state of affairs. As within, so without. Our world is now mirroring this back to us in alarming ways, even with the corona virus that is ravaging people worldwide.
But . . . who are the ‘Warriors of the Rainbow’ that Chief Seattle spoke of and where are they? Are they coming soon? It seems we need them. I believe that I’ve seen some of their faces and heard their voices speak in documentaries and on the news about the fate of our earth home with great concern. They are the ones who have been born into their roles and are standing firmly and speaking out loudly now. Maybe you are one of them. Maybe you are a Warrior of the Rainbow Tribe. Please use your voice well, and help save our Earth home. ~ Patty Lynn Kyle
(Scientists estimate that 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct every 24 hours. This is nearly 1,000 times the “natural” or “background” rate and, say many biologists, is greater than anything the world has experienced since the vanishing of the dinosaurs nearly 65m years ago.Aug 17, 2010) UN Environment Programme: 200 Species Extinct Every Day, Unlike … www.huffpost.com