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Don't Forget About the Long History


I’ve been quiet here and missing the practice of taking time each month to write about my relationship with the natural world. And, I’ve missed you. Even though this isn’t a conversation in the traditional sense, there is some energetic feedback that happens when I send a piece of writing out into the world.

The big news is that my husband and I have moved to a home next to a river in coastal Oregon where salmon spawn, otters play, elk graze, and eagles fly. Douglas fir, Western hemlock, Giant maple, Sitka cedar, and Red alder soak up the rain and grow toward the light in the dense forest. Fungi, lichen, and moss are a few of the innumerable neighbors who call this place home and thrive in the shadows. After living 19 years in the coastal sage scrub of California, there is a whole new world to discover!

We’ve been here just over a month so I’m still orienting to the four directions, the sun and moon rise, the personality of wind and rain, the height and flow of the river, and the shorter days. My intention is to come to know the land in a deeper way so that I can begin to feel at home again.

For me, part of moving to a new place is acknowledging the long history of the surrounding lands and the people who lived and are still living here. The Tillamook, Confederate Tribes of Grand Ronde, Confederate Tribe of Siletz Indians, Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla, and their living descendants, have fished, hunted, foraged, dwelled, created art, practiced ceremony, and raised their families here, by some records, for 10,000+ years.

I encourage you to take a look at this map to learn about the long history of where you live - https://native-land.ca/ The creators of this site state their mission as - We strive to map Indigenous lands in a way that changes, challenges, and improves the way people see history and the present day. We hope to strengthen the spiritual bonds that people have with the land, its people, and its meaning.

Let me know what you find out.



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Laura Long
Laura Long
29 janv.

My Corridor of Wonder is a four-lane boulevard I travel several times a week in my suburban community. The median strip is planted with Jacaranda mimosifolia, a small tree native to South America that explodes with violet blooms in May and June. One day as I drove along that stretch of road, I saw the graceful trees as a row of ballerinas performing arabesques and pirouettes as they tossed armsful of blossoms and lacy green leaves into the air. Now in winter, I can still see them, legs and arms bare, waiting en pointe for spring.

J'aime

Jennifer Revill
Jennifer Revill
05 déc. 2023

Thank you, Christina, for providing the link to the indigenous nations map. I had seen it before, but this time I noticed something I had not before: the map does not show the current state boundaries. I feel sure this is intentional; though it makes it a little difficult to hone in exactly on which territory my hometown sits on, it encourages us to think not of borders between things, but the historical and spiritual overlays of culture. My home is Middleton, Massachusetts, and the indigenous history of this region is of the Massa-adchu-es-et, Pawtucket, Agawam, and Naumkeag. I am grateful to be part of this land's history.

J'aime
Christina Burress
Christina Burress
07 déc. 2023
En réponse à

You are welcome, Jennifer! I keep returning to the map over and over. It take some getting used to for sure. I love what you say about "the historical and spiritual overlays of culture". I also think of how people moved based on the season and type of hunting. Thanks for sharing your regional names and people.

J'aime
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