becoming indigenous

becoming indigenous to a place means living as if your children’s future mattered, to take care of the land as if our lives, both material and spiritual, depended on it… our relationship with the land cannot heal until we hear its stories

– Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding Sweetgrass, 9

As someone born and raised in bustling cities, how can we take care of the land in our concrete, steel, and glass towers? We dare not even touch the earth, as asphalt rolls and sizzles at our feet. Inside hulking, chortling machines, we make our way to fluorescent square footage, where we go about our “work” – not to heal the ground, but to exploit it. We are everything but indigenous. We are foreign and strive to be alien.

I am detached, but I want to be joined.

keepers of fire and water

For all the Keepers of the Fire
my parents
my daughters
and my grandchildren
yet to join us in this beautiful place

– Robin Wall Kimmerer, the dedication in Braiding Sweetgrass

One day, I’d like to write a book, to give and dedicate to someone else. I’d like to be a keeper and a giver of the fire and of water, for “women are the Keepers of Water” and tending fires is what keeps us alive (94).