So, 4:40 a.m. and the coyote’s were here in the park singing. It was easy to hear the different voices of the adults from the juveniles. I was a bit surprised as this is the first time I have heard them on my trip and they were so close to the motor homes. Obviously it was too dark to see them though it was very clear at how near they were by listening to them vocalize to one another. Actually it was rather awesome.
A walk to the beach revealed how the past storm had changed the actual location of the mouth of the river. And it was amazing to see how the strength of the storm had chopped off the end of the sand dune at the waters edge where it had been a smooth walk before. The day was clear and sunny with just a bit of a breeze. The fishermen were out in full force and practically standing shoulder to shoulder with their fishing poles in the water in hopes of a salmon or steel head snatching the offering at the end of their line.
The Yurok tribesmen were fishing with nets and being a bit more successful than their counterparts with poles. They also fish with nets along the river upstream from the mouth of the river where it meets the ocean. What they catch sustains them through the cold and rainy winters here. It is interesting to watch them as they perform the practices of their ancestors. They must be a very hardy group of people to live in this area all year.
The path one walks through their ceremonial grounds (to get to the beach) felt a bit more sacred this time. I was unsure why. I had a plastic bag with me and picked up trash left by non-thinkers along the way. Fishing line, candy wrappers, cigarette filters, plastic water bottle, etc., were among the things people have left behind on these lands. I find it difficult to understand how people can do this.
This tribe has been here long before anyone else ever came to this land and the tribe has revered the land and all around it and continues to care for it still. They allow non native people the passage through their ceremonial grounds, asking only that it be respected. So, either people are unable to read the sign at the grounds entrance or choose to be disrespectful. Very confusing.
Then there are those who complain that the Yurok people are allowed to use nets to fish. They actually are angry. I can’t help but wonder if these people understand what the settlers did to the indigenous peoples way back when. The murdering of the tribes members, the disrespect for their way of life and I am certain other horrible atrocities to these gentle Natives must have been awful to witness. I, for one, am glad these Native Americans have survived and are able to live in peace on the land. I can only hope that sometime others will understand their plight and have compassion for the trials the tribes withstood so long ago and the difficulties they probably endure even today.
I get quite emotional about this even now and figure I have lived may lives as a Native American (or, possibly on the side of the calvary/government) and this is why I feel so strongly about how mistreated they were. Even now, they are on reservations in some of the most desolate areas in this country. What used to be their country. I have only traveled through some of the reservations to clearly see the poverty that exists there.
They have been stripped of their way of life and originally were forced to become civilized (seriously?) in the settlers way of thinking. I wonder who anyone is to think their way of living is required by any other. The Natives were killed by settlers intentionally spreading disease and were driven from their homes and lands by those who looted and killed and stole. The settlers and the government did a huge injustice to all of the people living in this country before they arrived.
And treaties were made with the Natives. At whose benefit? Certainly not the Natives. Yet the Natives, seeing a greater truth and expressing a greater compassion, gave way and made peace with these greedy intruders. So many Natives attempted to run to avoid conflict, only to be hunted and killed.
Ah, what a different way of life things may be now had the Natives been able to better defend their lands. What would it be like now if we all lived on the lands and took care of the earth, only used what we needed, and looked after and took care of all of our family members. What would it be like if we stopped clear cutting the forests and stopped depleting the oils and gases inside of the earth and stopped fracking and stripping the land of all things that nourish this planet?
What if we were to strive to assist the birds and animals and fish and insets, etc., so they all flourished? The big what if! What will it take for the people of today to wake up and realize our responsibility? I see it that we are here to take care of this planet and all things of nature. That we are here to take care of each other and live with love and compassion in our hearts. So, when do we start? Now!!! I, for each moment of each day, do my best to live with compassion, love and sincerity. I do my best in all things related to caring for this amazing earth and all of nature. That is what I am able to do. My part.
I imagine there are those of you who may be offended by my rant here. There are those who may be sympathetic to my views. I am simply expressing and emoting and doing so just for me. I feel I will dig deeper into this issue since it has apparently touched a chord inside of me that seeks better understanding. I ask forgiveness of the Native Americans for the misdeeds of my forefathers. And I trust our current leaders and those populating this country now will find peace, compassion, love and understanding of the the past regressions. I trust we will all recognize the great task we have before us so we can truly make this a great country where all may live in peace and cooperation.