Mt. Grinnell – Glacier National Park
my habit of a morning is to pour a cup of coffee and step out the front door to acknowledge my relatives and the dawning of the Morning Star. Rain, shine, snow, fog….those few moments are not just habitual, they’re medicinal. “Good morning my relatives. I am here. I am glad that you are here.”
I have come to realize that binesiwag have different ways of speaking during these hours. The voice is different. The language is different. I hear more voices during these morning moments than I hear later in the day. Their conversations are more joyful, to me. Although sometimes I do hear what I perceive to be anxiety. There also appears to be an ease, a peace but a gentle type of urgency underlies their conversations.
I do not know their languages yet, but I still hold curiosity and a desire in my heart to learn. I believe that helps me stay connected, grounded, and humble.
I also believe that their numbers are dwindling. I do not hear nearly as many voices as I did when we first moved here, almost 10 years ago. That may be due to the neighbor who felled two trees that were a hazard to the home. I doubt if any meaningful consideration was given to the bineswiwag homes that populated the trees. Their voices are fewer. I’m aware of their absence, even seven years after the felling.
Our community recently lost some of our gull relatives to a mysterious disease. Most of these birds were found paralyzed or dead on port properties and other properties surrounding the water front. The experts are all baffled. They appear to be relying heavily on western scientific methods to figure out what was killing and making them sick. I wonder how much we could have learned from them by knowing their language.
I think on these things a lot. I hope that we can find a way to choose the right path for the next evolution of life on our Mother. Listening, and being able to hear, are key elements in that hope becoming reality.