For your thoughts and contemplation as we come to the end of July, we have chosen to share a story that is part of the culminating chapter of our good friend, Dahr Jamail’s book The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption. The story is told by a native elder, Iss/Aw’te - also is known by the name Dr. Darryl Wilson - about the mountain Akoo-Yet, a mountain in northern California known to most as Mount Shasta. Wilson understands the delicate balance of all forms of life on earth and the truth of the unique and in dwelling spirits that reside within. Honoring and listening to these Beings is part of our responsibility as humans walking the planet. When we forget this, we unconsciously upset this natural harmony.
Mis Misa is a small but powerful spirit that inhabits Akoo-Yet. Mis Misa is a spirit force that balances the Earth with the universe, and the universe with the Earth. Wilson says that Akoo-Yet is ‘the most necessary of all the mountains upon earth, for Mis Misa keeps the earth the proper distance from the sun and keeps everything in its proper place when Wonder and Power stir the universe with a giant invisible ja-pilo-o (canoe paddle). Mis Misa keeps the Earth from wandering away from the rest of the universe. It maintains the proper seasons and the proper atmosphere for life to flourish as Earth changes seasons on its journey around the sun. The mountain, the story tells us, must be worshipped because Mis Misa dwells deep within it. To climb the mountain with a pure heart and real resolve and to communicate with ‘all of the light and all of the darkness of the universe is to place your spirit in a direct line from the songs of Mis Misa to hataji (the heart) of the universe. While in this posture, the spirit of man/woman is in perfect balance and harmony.’ For as long as Mis Misa’s instructions are followed with sincerity, society will be sustained. Its inhabitants will survive for the long term. ‘The most important of all lessons, it is said, is to be so quiet in your being that you can constantly hear the soft singing of Mis Misa.’
However, the story also warns that by not listening to Mis Misa’s song the song will fade. Mis Misa will depart, ‘and the Earth and all of the societies upon Earth will be out of balance, and the life therein vulnerable to extinction.’
The song and spirit of Mis Misa is there should any of us choose to be still and listen – as are the songs of the tens of thousands of other beings that surround us everywhere we live. Be still, listen and you will hear the songs of All Our Relations. The songs that hold the delicate balance of life and our deep interconnectedness.