They also serve. . .
“Have you been around
Have you done your share o’comin’ down
On different things that people do
Have you been aware
You got brothers and sisters who care
About what’s gonna happen to you in a year from now.”
– The Guess Who
Today I find myself thinking about service. Not an uncommon thought for anyone who’s chosen a spiritual path. We open ourselves every day to the will of the Creator and the service of All Our Relations. Sometimes we struggle with the expression of that will, or the demands it places upon us. Maybe we’re tired or pressed for time. Maybe we’re lazy. Maybe the weather doesn’t agree with our plans. But still, eventually, we tighten our belts and do as Spirit asks.
I think of Miguel, who travels annually from his home in Peru to honor the lakes, rivers and mountains of Pennsylvania. His cheery smile plays across his youthful face like sunlight. Whether fixing a wall to earn his fare or raising his sacred pipe in prayer, he is a man of both humility and dedication.
I think of Morningstar who left her home in Australia with $250 and a passport only to stand at the ends of the earth – shaman, ceremonial tool maker, teacher. I remember her smiles and straight forward manner, the sleepy twang of her accent as we drove her to her next stop that evening in June after birthing medicine pouches. Just a few days later she was taken from this world when a tree limb fell on her during a severe thunder storm. She was hosting a drum birthing in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, and continued to speak through our drums and our hearts as we gathered afterwards to celebrate her life.
I think of Grandfather Eddie who stands each morning in the Medicine Wheel and raises the sacred pipe for All Our Relations. Friend, Elder, tireless dancer, water pourer; his prayers in the lodge are a lesson for us all.
I think of the other Elders I’ve met along the way. Their words and their stories serve to inspire us and keep us on the path. They’ve opened their homes and their hearts to us, and continue to do so with generosity and grace.
In the presence of these incredible beings, I also think of those who serve in simpler ways. The worker in the tollbooth who smiles when she hands us our receipt. The stranger who holds the door or waves us into a line of traffic. The coworker heading up the Thanksgiving food drive.
Service exists beyond our ability to measure it. Whether knowingly or not, each of these has become a vessel for Spirit. A little light can go a long way during the holidays which, for those without friends or family, can certainly be a dark and lonely time. . .