We need LOVE

Bird Droppings March 2, 2022
We need LOVE

Sometimes we so easily use the word love. It gets used daily by many folks, yet do we truly have any conception of what we speak. I was just in a conversation, and the word love came up, and I responded that we each have our understanding and definition of love. For many years, one of my favorite actors has been the late Chief Dan George. He was a very devout man with a strong faith and belief. I want to share with you a passage in his words.

“My friends, how desperately do we need to be loved and to love. When Christ said that man does not live by bread alone, he spoke of a hunger. This hunger was not the hunger of the body. It was for bread. He spoke of a hunger that begins down deep in the very depths of our being. He spoke of a need as vital as breath. He spoke of our hunger for love. Love is something you and I must have. We must have it because our spirit feeds upon it. We must have it because, without it, we become weak and faint. Without it, our self-esteem weakens. Without it, our courage fails. Without love, we can no longer look out confidently at the world. We turn inward and begin to feed upon our own personalities, and little by little, we destroy ourselves. With it, we are creative. With it, we march tirelessly. With it and with it alone, we are able to sacrifice for others.” Chief Dan George

I will never forget this great man for his role as Lone Watti, sidekick to Josie Wales, played by Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josie Wales. I read an email on our high school group website several years back, and I recalled this message from one of my former classmates. He spoke about his father and father’s death 46 years ago and how he remembered now that his father was always older than himself even though he was 56. I was thinking back to my father, who was in his eighties when he passed away, and yet if I were asked to recall an image, it would be in Pennsylvania many years ago. I was maybe twelve or so, and my father and I raced around the house. So many years ago, and he was younger than I am now at that time.

It has been a few years since I closed a portion of a year of graduate studies at Piedmont College. We were sitting around a room reflecting, a potent tool for teachers and non-teachers alike. Dr. Julie asked us to respond to cards we had written nearly a year previous. There were twenty in our cohort group. One by one, she would read the cards we wrote those many days ago. We were to reply with our thoughts today. Had they changed? What was different? As a rule, I tend to be very monastic. I do little socializing outside of the family. For the past few years, my spare time has been spent in graduate school, but even aside from that, I tend not to seek other companies. But in reading and communicating that day to responses and often tearful ones at that, so much had happened within our group in a year. I go back to Chief Dan George’s words:

“With love, we are creative. With it, we march tirelessly. With it and with it alone, we are able to sacrifice for others.” Chief Dan George

It is so easy to say, love. But it is far more challenging to show it truly. We went from various sundry individuals to a very creative, tireless, and willing to sacrifice for others cohort. Was it love that bound us together? I put together a slide show for a presentation. I said in my ten-minute talk such things as friendship, philosophy, and cohort, all significant words in and of themselves. But as I look at the effects of a year’s interaction, I believe Dan George had it right; it takes love.

I was sitting outside, wondering about the next few hours and moments, thinking about the days ahead and beyond. It was quiet outside, with virtually no sound and no breeze so still. I could hear my breathing and almost hear the smoke from my sage and sweetgrass floating off towards the sunrise. It has been many years since a friend left me a gift of a smudge stick, essentially incense, made of sage and cedar, which got me started. I was watching the smoke waft; for lack of better terms, it would go up and then circle and then almost pause with no wind or air current; it hung near almost in a protective sort of way. I would blow on the embers and, in doing so, move the smoke.

I started writing this today before I went outside, but as I thought, love is like that smoke; it is awaiting our interaction, acknowledgment, and acceptance. However, it is through our example others that we can experience love. I am wandering a bit, pondering as usual. Please keep all in harm’s way on your mind and your heart’s namaste.

My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,

Mitakuye Oyasin

(We are all related)


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