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Lions Roar : November 2011
SHAMBHALA SUN NOVEMBER 2011 61 everyone who is “on the boat.” That includes friends and family, but also it encompasses every tree, aster bush, spider, and nuthatch, and even the bull snake that lives near my garden. Squirrels, chipmunks, birds, opossums, raccoons, and skunks are all on the boat. We share what Martin Luther King called “the inescapable net- work of mutuality.” If a bird dies on our land, we bury it. If people need a place to rest and heal, we invite them here. If it is time for a celebration, what better place than under the Nebraska sky sur- rounded by trees and water? Most of us take care of what we love and we grow to love what we take care of. Every place has the potential to be beautiful and filled with love, to be, in other words, sacred. Our resplendent blue and green planet is indeed a Noah’s Ark of sorts, only with almost seven billion people and untold more plants and animals. If we don’t sail carefully and tend to those on board, we will perish. If we do manage to keep our boat afloat and sailing forward, our world can continue, not as it is today, but rather in a more joyous, peaceful, and beautiful way. Here is a blessing I wrote for a demonstration against the pipe- line. May it be so. Blessed be the Great Plains Blessed be Nebraska Blessed be the Sandhills and the Ogallala Aquifer Blessed be our Native American ancestors who lived on this land Blessed be our ancestors who came here from great distances Blessed be the burr oaks and the cottonwoods Blessed be the big blue stem and the goldenrod Blessed be the bull snake and the trout Blessed be the monarch and the whooping crane Blessed be the deer and the coyote Blessed be our children and our grandchildren and the children and grandchildren of all living beings—the snake, the trout, the deer, and the meadowlark Blessed be those who are working to stop the pipeline and all who work to protect our glorious green and blue planet ♦ ponder the ice-fishermen with their insulated clothing, tiny-lighted huts, and bottles of whiskey. The Green Boat is a small but rich ecosystem that gives us great joy. When I return from trips, I bow down and kiss the earth. We know how lucky we are to live here. Jim and I are co-captains of this boat and it is our job and our joy to create a community of people who love and take good care of each other, no matter what. We try to share this good place with others so that it is not just our Green Boat, but the communal property of Our legislature and governor stall and equivocate, but the rhetoric of lawmakers will not protect one single calf, muskrat, or prairie orchid.