I learned a long time ago that this planet is a turtle swimming through space, on whose back has been deposited a little bit of mud from the bottom of the ocean, and from which all life has sprung. Our Ojibway ancestors and their peers among the other nations explained this in great detail, but we wrote them off as savages and disregarded their wisdom. (Yes, they are our ancestors too, regardless of how far back we have to go to find a link in the gene pool. Think about that the next time you say something derogatory about someone who does not look like you.)
My Christian friends say I put too much stock in heathen myths. I say there is no such thing as heathen. I tell them the earth is alive and I believe she has a spirit just like us, just like God. My atheist friends say there is no such thing as god.
I think they are both wrong–but not too far from the truth–in fact, they are too close. Why can’t we see our Father God and our Mother Earth better than we do? Like babies, it takes time to learn how to differentiate from the primary caretaker, to individuate into self and other; we are too close.
My cat, Moonshadow, sleeps on my lap as I write this. Like Turtle Island, he is a world teeming with inhabitants. I glimpse them briefly when I comb him, fleas scurrying deeper into his fur. Am I a god to them? No, they aren’t even aware of my presence–but they know my hand. To them my hand is the Actor of creation, the Creator and Destroyer of all that happens to them. And the cat that gives them life, upon which they live and draw their nourishment–are they even aware of its presence, its significance? If you ask the flea is the cat alive, or does the cat have a soul? What would the flea say? There is no such thing as cat? Or the groomer–what is the nature of the groomer, and what does it want from the flea? What would the flea answer? There is no groomer! as they scurry from the hand.