The tree is a ritual that grounds history at the heart of family life, revealing the duration of time, not its passing.
The photograph is a ritual that grounds history at the heart of Earthly life, revealing the duration of the hawk, not its flight.
When you are raised by the Earth, the self is an introduced technology, a handy thing that you are always looking for when you need it, over on the hall table with the keys, maybe? By the phone? Oh, heck, some days you just have to give up and leave it there. You’ll stumble on it some day. Crikes, look, it left footsteps!
I guess it was out there all along.
So you bring a bit of it home. Nice. But then what? The house is full! Hey, I know. Share it around. Here’s some of that stuff:
My great grandfather opened doorways into the Earth, very deliberately, for his grandchildren, shortly before he died in 1935. He saw war coming and wanted to pass on something else, some place to come home to or to stand in, aside from revolution. The revolution at that time was a nationalist and racist one that defined the Earth in human terms. Not only that, but in tribal terms. It was born from fear. Let us set the fear aside again tonight and welcome the miracle of life on Earth.