The salmon come home, but they do not come home alone.
Sure, they have each other …
… but that’s not what I mean. They come home to the ancestors. Have a look:
There are ancestors here at Vancouver Island’s Stamp Falls for many animals, and many combinations of animals and people. The human, fish, and animal morphs above, or the big cat and human morph below. For instance.
A snake-human. Even that.
A whole crowd, really. Are they in the stone? Are they in the observing mind? Yes. It doesn’t really matter. This is the Stamp River Canyon.
See who your mind can reveal from deep within you below. It is to this energy of revealed form that salmon return. “Words” and “thought” are songs, but our minds come from the earth. They are bodily organs. Like touch. Or breath.
Raven is waiting, too. He is a whole collection of people, really. Not all people are human. Some are stone.
And dog. He is the first to welcome the salmon home. Ignore the German photographer. Dog is.
Lizard waits, too.
It is not fantastical that a people who lived on this land for 10,000 years or more would develop their spiritual technologies out of the forms of the land, or would read the land out of the forms of their stories. It is not fantastical that man whose ancestors were indigenous to Bohemia and the Rhine would know this stone. Everywhere that the people of the Pacific Northwest fished for salmon or made camp, these figures appear. I could lead them to you here, or in Germany, and help you to see with indigenous eyes. To such eyes, thought is a form of spiritual technology with no boundaries between spiritual and physical life. Here’s fox. And friends. The mind sees what the ancestors know. They are within, and without, and it’s the same space.
One crosses back and forth. One enters
One comes back in a different form.
So many Canadians worry that talk of indigenous rights means a lack of rights to anyone else. This is hardly the case. Canadians have every right to Canada. Canada, however, is not this land, and, speaking as a Cascadian, a man of the North Pacific Slope, neither do Americans, who have laid their country over this land as well. They have every right to this country, but it does not make them this land.
I have often heard it said that the first peoples of Cascadia (or elsewhere in North America) have no more or less right to living in this place than any of the newcomers of the last 150 or 500 years, because they, too, claimed this land from others. It is a spurious argument. They came as people of the land. They listened. This is what they listened to.
Most newcomers listened to this:
They did not listen. They saw, and built a place to continue that seeing, with windows, and walls, and a deck that allows them to be outside and inside at the same time. They came to retire from work and struggle.
This is not the place for that. If one believes it is, then one does not live here, and one has not spoken with the ancestors.
Dead or alive…
…they have much to teach yet.