WPC: One Love

The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge for the week of March 11, 2016:

One love refers to the universal love and respect expressed by all people for all people, regardless of race, creed, or color.

The Urban Dictionary

This post is late, since for me the past week has been One Of Those Weeks™, but I really wanted to share what’s been on my mind.

Recently I’ve been reading Dee Brown‘s classic book, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.  I also went to visit (for the first time) a local park where the remains of a historic Maidu village are preserved, along with an attached museum.  By coincidence, I’ve also been sorting through some of my very old photos, including some taken at the Miwok site called Chaw sé, also known as Indian Grinding Rock State Park.  All this has given me a lot to think about.

Tule house

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Soap plant

The Maidu village was perfectly located near a water source, and amid heritage oaks and other trees and plants.  All the resources — water, earth, rocks, acorn, willow, tule — and the abundant animal life meant that the people had everything they needed to live well.  They lived in connection to the earth, without wasting their resources and in full appreciation of all the earth provided to them.

Bedrock mortars

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Strap Ravine woodland

In the Miwok tribal roundhouse, they celebrated all the richness of these gifts and carefully passed on to the next generation the stories and traditions of their culture.

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This respect for nature and for each other appeared to be completely foreign to the exploring Europeans and those imbued with the spirit of “Manifest Destiny.”  Yet the tribal people whose way of life was so casually destroyed had for generations been living in harmony with the environment and not wanting or needing anything more than what life gave them.

As a result, in the past there was seemingly no room for both cultures to live peaceably alongside each other, with mutual respect and appropriate give-and-take.  These are lessons we still struggle to learn, no matter who we are; but it’s vital we find new ways to live in genuine harmony and cooperation with our environment — and with each other — as we move further into the future.

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