Even if my mind does not remember the stories, songs, and dances the ancestors of my path did for connection, healing and seasonal celebration, my body remembers how to listen for their voices if I can learn to hear. My dreams know how to sing if I can hold their gifts with gentle care. My soul remembers how to dance if I can learn to be quiet and to move without asking too many questions. Mine is a path of holding still under the stars, and staying alert long enough to hear the darkness between them as well.
Even if I had forgotten how to talk with my dead, the dead have not forgotten how to speak to their living. That means that as I heal my connection to my own ancestors, I am also healing my access to the wisdom that sustained them when they were alive. Mine is a path of listening to my dead and giving the healthy, supportive ancestors who did things like I seek to do them a place in my kitchen.
Even if the culture I was born into had forgotten how to learn from forests, rivers, and ecosystems, the stones, the sea and the spirit world have not forgotten how to teach humans better ways of being in tune with their presence. Mine is a path of touching bark with love, slipping into waves, and soaking the sun into my heart through the palms of my hands.
All of these, and many more things like them, are needed to do what I do. As I practice every day to be better at being who I am, I try to keep in mind that stories are very powerful. A story that says I do not have a “real” spirituality if I do not have a holy book or an elder to teach me is a powerful weapon. I can choose to pick it up and aim it at myself, or I could choose another story.
I choose instead a story that tells me everything I need to know to be the best human person I can be is already in my body, in my dreams, in the voices of my ancestors, and in the Land, Sea and Sky around me. In this story, I already know how to be what I need to be. I only have to remember the details. It might not be easy, but it will be deeply meaningful. I will also have plenty of help doing it that will aid me in staying on track should I find myself stuck in my own bias, trauma responses, personal fears, ego or wishful thinking. I only need to be willing to show up every day and do my best at listening.