My family lineage can be known through the stories we repeat, through written records and research that my parents compiled, and through newspaper clippings announcing births, baptisms, marriages and burials. These clippings are kept between the covers of our old German Bible. My brothers and I are the fifth generation of German Lutheran immigrants who came to the USA in the 1700’s. Such a short space of time in contrast to Ben’s knowing that reaches so far back before words were scribed on paper.
A few years ago, curious to know more, I began to push further and further back into historic records starting with the names of towns and geographic areas where my relatives lived. I found stories of wars and conquering heroes, the exodus of peoples, the building of new communities. All are historic facts but still do not give the kind of knowing that Ben has.
I pushed further, not sure what I was looking for, yet sensing that I had not found some essential pieces of me. My friend, Lois, librarian in Deming WA, encouraged my search and pointed me to amazing resources. I discovered that on the very ground that my German Lutheran relatives inhabited, Druid communities flourished as recently as 1,000 B.C.! The people were healers, mid-wives, medicine people, honoring the cycles of nature, passing their knowledge on to their children. When Judeo-Christian communities expanded into these regions, Druids, Jews and Christians co-habited side by side.
At last, I had found my missing parts! Christianity, while being centuries old, is still relatively young in the history of time. Many Christian practices, ways to worship, and dates of significant events trace their origins to earlier peoples and beliefs. Some of my wonderings have always been about those who came before Jews and Christians and why I feel so close to God in nature. Like me, perhaps some of you have also wondered. Imagine my surprise to read that Martin Luther himself said, “we find God in nature!” He, indeed, experienced a transformation in nature, as did St. Francis, Saul/Paul, Moses and Abraham. We are all kin to our pagan relatives with their reverence for rocks and trees and water, their celebration of sun and moon and stars, their appreciation of all living creatures.
We, from the very beginnings of “we” are sacred creations of God, made of the same substance as our earth, our solar system, our universe. We are Star People, children of our Mother Earth and Father Sky, offspring of the Universe and of Love. Today is Mother’s Day. I am thankful for my children and grandchildren who carry our particular story into the future. I’m grateful for my parents who gave me strong roots and restless curiosity. I so appreciate the Grace of my inheritance and the friends and relatives who help me to know who I am. And today on Mother’s Day, I’m happy to celebrate the day by acknowledging that “I’m as old as dirt!”
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