My tiny hands weave together wicker branches, taller than my tiny body. Weave them in and out. Not too tight now, let them breathe. A bitt tighter, please, otherwise they won’t protect us. My tiny hands weave and weave, I wish we’d never have to stop. It starts to rain. A drop lands right in the palm of my hand. I take a deep breath. My friend calls, I hug the wicker left in front of me and run inside. We go back to being nomal children.
My first tipi stood at my nursery school. I was obsessed with it. I helped build it. Inside, we hatched masterplans about how to protect the nursery corner from the boys, it was where I sobbed when I felt alone, I shared some lunch with close allies. All that before I turned 4 years old.
I forgot about my precious tipi until today – when I drove past ‚our‘ local bonfire. It’s small. People are burning all kinds of shit. some fabric is wrapped around it. It looks like a tipi but couldn’t feel any more different. For the first time, today, I have remembered the sense of home conected to that first tipi in my life.
Maybe it is just my imaginination. My inner child that wishes all those ridiculous bonfires were tipi to hide in. Pushing down the sorrow and sadness of this absolutely horrendous day. I don’t mind the marching. It’s annoying and frustrating but eh. I detest the bonfires. Fire has always been a sacred thing to me. My father was a fire fighter. I easily get nervous around open fire. I’m over cautious creating saftey around fires. It has been drilled into me by my dad.
In Germany, bonfires are safe and mostly put up around the 11th of November – St.Martin’s day. Where everyone crafts colourful lanterns and sings songs of light and connection during the dark winter months. There’s celebration, laughter, music, bretzels. It’s similar to the traditions over here. But the energies couldn’t be more different.
On the 11th night, Belfast looks like Mordor. Like hell has broken loose on the island. Animals get burned alive because noone bothered to check their fire before lighting it. Flags are burnt. Statues of saints, pictures of others. It’s outright nasty. Somehow people are oblivious. Some are awakeing. Some fires are more eco friendly, some communities start to integrate. There’s hope?
And still, my eyes dwell up for the tree that has been badly chopped, the rubbish they have dumped on the fire space, the pollution that this will bring to the air. The birds that will suffer. But most importantly: for the example we are setting for our children. It breaks my heart.
So much so, that I feel the deep wish to travel out of body. I’ve been to a few intense places in recent weeks. Tonight I’d like to be anywhere but on this island. For the first time in 6 years, I am thoroughly disgusted with my beloved home. Not sure if I can see my future here – or bringing children into this mess.
I meditate and find Oma in her tipi. My tears hit the ground as I burry my helpless face in her lap. Her hands spread warmth and surrender as they gentle strive over my back and hold my light blond hair. She sings her songs and whispers: “ persevere.“ I am safe in my tipi. Safe in my ancestory. Held with all my despair.
In the physical, my body is burning up, my voice has gone. I’m experiencing the first intense virus since I can remember. But I won’t let my voice be silenced.
Somehow I will have to find a way out of this story of separation. Of thinking that “they“ are the enemy. That we are different at our core. Maybe the fires are their tipis. Maybe the fires are their voices screaming for other times. Who knows.
But I still have my voice. I have my hands. I have my pine bundle ready to smudge. And I have a drum.
So I do what I know best: I rally my guides, call in the ancestors, connect to the fairy tribes. And I go to spiritual war. I bless the earth, the island, with all of it’s being. I cast prayers of protection and wishes of peace.
Then I join my community. Those who create alternatives. I lead ceremony and share my gifts. I go and receive the blessings of others. I become one. And I can surrender my story, even just for one breath at the time. For I carry my beloved tiipi in my heart. And from this place I show up tonight. As mother, as protector, as healer, as wise woman, as playful child, and as the purest form of love I am able to be.
Thank you for making a difference in this world, so that hopefully my children won’t have to seek refuge in their homes and my cat can roam free without danger to her life.
I love you,