Saving Sister Highlands

I watch the Hiawa resin become a boiling liquid uniting tobacco and sage, nourishing a lovely orange flame. Nestled within the shell given to me on the South March Highlands by Charles. The local and Rupununi Medicines meld into an aromatic honouring of the Full Snow Moon and of the Land. It is now midnight. A year ago at this time, I was hoping to steal a few hours sleep before meeting with over 20 people, pre-dawn, to surround the cutting machine at the Beaver Pond Forest.

I have just attended a meeting about the South March Highlands (SMH). I like that the meeting is on the full moon. Those working to protect SMH noticed good things often happened for the Forest on the full moon. Good seeds were planted at the meeting, seeds that will grow up strong and help to save this beautiful Land.  The loss of the Beaver Pond Forest part of SMH was a heartbreaking defeat.  But there is much to Celebrate, too.

After the meeting, Martin kindly takes Kurtis and I to the work-site where we took Action a year ago.  Over the summer, the Forest was recovering.  But just over a month ago, the site was stumped.  I go deeper onto the Land than my friends, searching for something. All is still, brightly lit by the moon, and strange.  I follow the icy machine path through tall snow-topped piles of shredded wood that had once been stumps.  I realize I’m hoping, irrationally, to find the Five Trunked Tree.  I turn back to rejoin the others.  Such a beautiful, clear, full moon night, and our Sacred ground freshly wounded.  Again.

Kurtis is interested in trying a tree-sit, and I suggest he do it in solidarity with the proposed Occupation of the Land threatened by the Expansion of Highway A5, near Wakefield.  Which reminds me of Albert Dumont‘s Ceremony a few days before, in honour of the Tree “who’s seen 300 Winters”.  I bounced ideas off Albert that the Gatineau Hills and the South March Highlands were two high points, back 10,000 years ago when the Champlain Sea covered the Ottawa Valley. So I feel protecting one benefits both. And that we should build solidarity between these Movements.  My first visit to the 300 and 200 year old trees, I was delighted by the Tree Art – and all the ribbons. Reminded me of going out under the Dec 2010 full moon to tie the first wave of Prayer Ribbons on the Trees at the Beaver Pond Forest.

Resistance is Beautiful.

Each of us has unique gifts to give this world, and in these particular struggles, a unique and important role to play. Together, we form a wondrous web of light, a web of light that shines in defeat and in victory. A web that stretches from the Highlands to the Gatineau Hills to the Hiawa Trees on Surama Mountain, and beyond.  Let’s help each other shine bright!

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