I recall speaking to a man in midlife who had criss-crossed North America many times over the course of his life. On the shoulder of a highway, he would extend his right hand, fingertips pressing onto his palm, the thumb pointing down the road asking, “Going my way?” This wanderer and I chanced to meet at the edge of an old forest, from which the trees and birds could be heard singing in harmony. I asked him what it was that had motivated his travels. “I am in search of solitude,” he answered. He went on to say that he had yet to find it, at least not in its purest sense. If only he had stepped into the nearby forest, he would have found what he was looking for. The voice of his spirit would have immediately lent to the choir singing with vigour in the forest. And the wanderer would have discovered spiritual peace at long last.
In one form or another, people who love the land cry when they are told news of environmental disasters caused by the outright negligence of buffoons unqualified for the task placed before them or because a corporation cut corners to enlarge their already inflated profits. We cry because we feel the pain of the birds, animals, insects, fish, waters and all else of nature whose health has been forever destroyed or laid in a critical state because of what was done to them.
I wonder where we will find enough tears when we cry for and with the land enduring the fracking process. We can hardly bear to even imagine the pain fracking brings to our relations on the land.
Shale rock is more than stone. It is the place where Mother Earth stores her memories. It is a sacred place where lives the oldest of the old, the wisest of the wise, and where the most gentle and loving of all grandmothers and grandfathers wait to assist us in our circles of life. It is a place which has known the touch of the oceans and seas, the bubbles of life of fish and the songs of creatures great and small who travelled over them. It is a place where the caresses of the south winds and the healing rays of the sun have melted into them since the creation of the earth. It is a place where a line is spiritually drawn. A line that tells greedy corporations, “Do not tread here.”
I do not believe that it was First Nations protestors who brought guns or bombs to the protest site in Elsipogtog. I believe that the person who set the police vehicles ablaze was either an infiltrator or a police officer acting on the orders of his superiors. Remember Ipperwash? The police reported to the press after Dudley George was slain that the Aboriginal protester had opened fire on them first. It was all proven to be a bunch of lies.
I stand for peace and for the lighting of our pipes to protect the pure waters and pristine landscapes of our indigenous territories. Even when those who stand against us break our bones, we will mend and return to make our stand as stewards of the land. We can and will defend ourselves if we are forced to do so.