We are all part of a uni-verse, a collection of individual notes in one continuous song, the song that sang all life into being. If we listen closely, we can hear this creation song echoing in our bones. It exists in a vibrational frequency that emanates throughout the entire universe. This resonance is the voice of creation, the voice that first spoke and brought all life into form. Each individual soul carries its own unique vibrational tone, and each tone carries the seed of that being’s life path. When that seed is planted, even before the first shoot comes up through the ground, that tone exists within it, and this vibration sets the rhythm for the new life being cultivated; it is that individual being’s creation song.
As indigenous people, we are taught to live our lives in a balanced rhythm with the harmonic frequencies that surround us. This is why our teachings rise out of an oral tradition. Our history has been passed orally, not because we lacked the ability to translate our words into written form, but because we have always realized our words have an alchemy capable of creating form. Our language is the vibrational expression that gives form to the animate universe. Every vocal expression released creates its own unique resonance. As we speak, we are weaving layers of sound that merge into harmony with the entire creation. This harmonic symphony brings into form the reality that we see before us.
We also understand that the way we speak to creation defines the place we hold within that creation. Our language creates a sense of kinship with the world around us. When I am asked who I am and where I come from, I am able to answer with one word, Penawabskek. I was born and raised on the traditional homelands of the Penobscot Nation, which is located in the waters of the Penobscot River. The Penobscot people have occupied this land for more than ten thousand years. For me, being Penahwabskek means that my roots are embedded in that land and nourished by the Penobscot River waters. We are deeply entwined – me, the land and those waters, and I am tied to the generations of others who have their roots embedded there, past, present and future.
When I define myself as Penahwubskek, I express how my deep connection to that place makes the distinction between the land, those waters, and who I believe myself to be indistinguishable. This one simple statement begins to paint the picture of the basic worldview that frames my reality. Though this worldview is personal and unique, people across the globe share the framework that forms it.
The relationships that exist between people and place are often memorialized through defining words that merge into story. As indigenous people, our lives comprise these words and the stories they illustrate. These words and stories paint a picture that brings into form all the elements of our existence. They provide a clear view of our unique cultural landscape and offer us a defined sense of place within the world. But, we must also recognize that our stories are not the only stories being told. Every living thing has its own creation song, its own language. In order to live harmoniously with the rest of creation, we must listen to all the harmonies moving around us.
The only way we will be able to hear these harmonic vibrations is to become multisensory beings. We must tune in to our ability to see beyond the physical reality that surrounds us, and awaken to the vast unseen world. Then we can begin to see beyond sight and hear beyond sound. We see the underlying structures that support our world, and life begins to take on new shape, new meaning. When we live as multisensory beings we find that we are able to comprehend the language of every living thing. We hear the voices of the trees and understand the buzzing of the bees. We come to realize it is the interwoven substance of these floating rhythms that holds us in delicate balance with all life. Then, our life and our place in creation begins to makes sense in a whole new way. Our vision expands to see the overall order of our path, and our hearing tunes in to a whole new source of information. Once we become attuned, we can integrate this information into our physical experience and harmonize our entire being with the vibrational reality that surrounds us. Then we will witness the perfect orchestration of divine order. We will recognize that when the trees breathe in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, our lungs mirror that movement, by breathing in the oxygen that is generously given and releasing carbon dioxide back to the trees. When we merge our internal rhythms with the rhythms of creation, we develop grace in our movement, and without thought or effort we are able to slide into the perfectly choreographed dance of life.