SpruceRoots Magazine - December 2000


Giving and Receiving

by Alexander MacDonald

I am very grateful to be aware of so many blessings in this life. For me, no thing is greater than the feeling of being loved and accepted by other people. I enjoyed a pronounced sense of this recently while in service to others. I had been asked to pick cedar for a ceremony and a short time later I found myself strolling in the sunshine through a forest glistening with fresh rain.

Before stepping off the logging road I made an offering as I had been taught is appropriate before requesting anything of significance from another. Smiling and feeling full of love I walked along praying that I'd be guided to the most appropriate spot from which to receive the cedar.

After half an hour of bush-whacking I emerged from the 40 or 50 year old second-growth forest and entered another section probably 20 or 25 years old. This area had been spaced and pruned a few years ago so the going was even more challenging. Yet there, emerging from the more abundant hemlock and spruce was the cedar. These magnificent evergreens had not been pruned and had beautiful long low boughs which were ideally suited for the use that was intended. I made an offering of appreciation and prayed that all of my relations would feel the love in my actions.

I soon felt I had enough cedar, so I turned back toward the road. My load of boughs was big and cumbersome. High over my head extended branches of salmonberry bushes and they snagged my load and myself. I waded on through the tangle and prayed that all of my relations would feel respected, honoured and loved by the use of these branches and by the knowledge that they are a necessary part of a very important ceremony. With an increasingly awkward load I thanked the wren and the chickadee for accompanying me and sharing their light song and I thanked the rain for its beautiful freshness and the sun for its warming. Even though my body was challenged, my heart was full of grace. I was getting close to the road and I felt blessed many times over. I knew that my life was full and complete.

A few hours later, after fashioning the boughs into wreaths and putting them in place for the ceremony, my job was done. One of my Aunties said they looked fabulous. This assurance felt good and was more than enough thanks . By being asked to perform the task I was being included and for me that is one of this life's greatest blessings.


SpruceRoots Magazine - December 2000