Honoring the Suffering of the Ancestors

More record warm days have slowed leaf turn down; what began as a very early color season is now quite late. Today is cloudy, very warm, and somewhat wet. We will take whatever rain we are sent, and be glad for it.

We are in autumn and the spirits draw close. This is a good time to honor them, and to remember the struggles through which they persevered so that we might have lives.

Yet, it is easy to forget the suffering they experienced. It is so very tempting to ignore the pain and hardships that many of our Ancestors faced.  Perhaps it is a side-effect of the advertising driven, media saturated, world we live in that so much pain and terror is so easily erased.

How easily I forget the hardships my parents and grandparents faced! How quickly I distract myself from the immediacy of their fears, and of the threats they faced! What strange stories we tell ourselves in our attempts to imagine that our country’s past was something other than violent and racist!

Now, at this time of the year when the Ancestors are perceived as unusually close, it is good to put things in perspective, and to hold sacred their suffering. It is a boon to put their hardships in perspective so that our efforts to carry on the task of building a more just and equitable country and world are grounded in something more solid than lies and fantasy. Surely we are now called to join the Ancestors in the ongoing task of resisting the erasure of suffering.


8 thoughts on “Honoring the Suffering of the Ancestors

    1. Andrea, when I was growing up my parents and relatives would sometimes talk about the challenges they faced, usually playing them down. Only as an adult did I begin to fill in the considerable distance between what was spoken and what was implied. Now I know why they were so concerned to avoid being noticed…..

  1. Everything is going very fast in these computer times all over our world. Then one ugly act happens, all talk about it and how to prevent this to happen again, but only for a short time, then the next bad thing happens and life goes on much too fast.

  2. In my travels over the last 8 days, I heard stories of the Chippewa and Ojibwe and focused on acknowledging Indigenous Peoples Day in my mind and heart, thinking deeply about place and relationship. I felt a jolt of incongruity and pain when I heard the word “Treaty” in a National Park Visitor Center video – a word that has come to mean deception and suffering to one people and seems to mean agreement to another. That our nation is still under an operating system of deception is dishonoring to ALL of the ancestors, of all of us.

    1. It seems to me that treaties have always been documents of convenience, used by the victors to get what they want, then tossed aside. There are treaties with many groups in the US, not just Natives, and those documents are ignored when there is opportunity for the greedy to acquire more wealth. In the end, all this greed establishes the conditions for huge suffering, and as prophesy has foretold, the suffering can only grow until reparations are made to those who were harmed at the beginning of our country. Yes, this must turn so that all people and Ancestors are honored and supported. It promises to be an intense ride.

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