I head into Red Warrior Camp after driving from Chicago and getting into Ashley, North Dakota at 3am.
The sun rose over this little town with it's history present in every sign and elegantly rusted structure and I am reminded of so many faces and conversations over the past few months. Every face presents its own history as well, with its own rusty parts, those in need of repair and those worn proudly with pride and grace.
I have now traveled over 7500 miles and sat with hundreds of people. It is the power of our voice mixed with the convictions of our actions that will create the changes needed and a planet that leans towards love. I am feeling it every day.
The more I breathe and step into that place, I step forward and meet each person with the possibility of a true connection... I see the love even in the dissidence. Each of us simply searching for a life filled with honor, joy, and some fellowship.
Just yesterday morning I was in Chicago at Humboldt Park speaking with a Latino Man about the shattering news of the 500th homicide in his city. Many I spoke with reflected on what is needed and shared intimately about their lives, about their own losses and hopes. I walk onto the basketball court or approach a group of heavily tattooed men at their picnic table and I can see their trepidation. Within moments we speak as "met" individuals with respect AND our differences.
Today, I am joining a mass of people united by a wish to create a world of more equality and opportunity by standing for the health of our land, hoping to unify people.
This is a unique group for many reasons. Native Americans are often looked on by some as the outsider, an ethnic minority, or another "other”-type group. Yet these tribes are the only people who can truly claim this land as anything other than an immigrant, producing a weighty, complex paradox to carry individually and as a people. Wisdom here seems to bubble to the top from living a life of this dichotomy.
In addition, the gathering at Standing Rock is the first time since the Battle of Little Bighorn that the Elders Tent has been erected and more than 60 tribes have come to meet in unity, putting aside their own differences in order to wage a peaceful protest.
Today, I look forward to meet all points of view.
Today, I plant my feet and join a good fight, as these people are protecting all of us and our future life on the planet.
I am honored to do the work I do. The more I travel among the many "others" of which we all are, the more I feel the same.
May your day be full of wonder... and surprise... and peace.