River Invocation

Abundant source of life that nourishes and sustains your people
Waters that constantly move and are never still
You link us all to the past, the present and the future.

Europeans came to claim you and name you as their own.
They came on big ships and brought strange ways
They insisted on curious ideas about ownership of the land around you.
You know no one can own you any more than someone can own the sky.
The land owns itself and we are but temporary guests and stewards.

These occupiers are willing to use violence to claim
            what was originally a gift exchange.
They put up no trespassing signs and harm those who cross lines.
They have little appreciation of native plants, animals and foods
They have poisoned your waters through reckless industrialization.

The old ways are forgotten by these squatters.

But your ancient covenant partners have not died out.
They remember the old ways.
They hold in trust the knowledge and memories of the before times.
They hold in trust the language of the indigenous peoples.

They remember.
They will endure.
They will not abandon you.

(c) Sam Trumbore (2021)

* Mohican name for the Hudson River – waters that are never still

Part of October 10, 2021 service titled: Climate Change, Pipelines, and Indigenous People