Friday, September 7, 2012
Following the Salmon and the Story
On September 1, I blogged about a dream in which the word "apayo" came to me. It led me directly to the artwork of an Alaskan woman who introduced me to the Pebble Mine Prospect, one of the most controversial development prospects in Alaska's history (see blog: Where Does it Hurt?). Salmon figure prominently in her work, and were on my mind, fleetingly, the night I had the dream. The title of the first painting I saw on her site: "Our Agreement: I Will Nourish Your Future Generations as Long as You Protect Mine."
In that same dream, I was at a retreat. While I was there, a powerful storm blew through and knocked out the power. After it passed, we went outside to gather plants and flowers for the retreat leader's "Bridge of Flowers" project.
As it turns out, on Aug. 28, 2011, the Deerfield River was flooded by Hurricane Irene and engulfed the famous Bridge of Flowers in Shelburne Falls, Mass. The bridge was declared safe on September 1, a year to the day of the dream.
When I found this info on Google, a "related topic" that came up was the Salmon River, in Idaho. Thinking it an odd association, I clicked on the link and learned that the Salmon River, also known as The River of No Return, has been home to people for more than 8,000 years, including the indigenous Nez Perce tribe, which relied heavily upon the river for its abundance of salmon and other wildlife. According to Wikipedia, "The Salmon River historically produced 45% of all the steelhead (salmon) and 45% of all the spring and summer chinook salmon in the entire Columbia River Basin. The Salmon River Basin contains most (up to 70%) of the remaining salmon and steelhead habitat in the Columbia River Basin. Despite the abundant salmon habitat in the river, these fish have been declining, in large part because of the effects of four federal reservoirs and dams on the lower Snake and Columbia rivers."
The Salmon River was the site of one of the gold rushes in the 1860's, which caused a great clash between the gold prospectors and the native people who lived in the area. This is not unlike the current Pebble Mine prospect in Alaska, where wealthy corporations want to develop a gold and copper mine that could have dire environmental repercussions, and is being fought by the native and non-native Alaskans who want to preserve the Bristol Bay area from the mine.
For me, the weaving of this story through dream, research and synchronicity, is an illustration of how everything is connected across space and time.
It reminds me of the law of action and reaction, and of the myriad ways, places and species in which our actions are negatively impacting our world today and for the future.
Perhaps it is instructive, asking us to look to the mistakes of the past for solutions to the future, and to avoid making the same mistakes again and again, while expecting different outcomes; the time is near when it may be too late to undo much of the damage we've already done (The River of No Return).
Perhaps it is a foretelling of our fate if we fail to care for and respect the tremendous gifts and resources that have been given to us to pass on into the future (Our Agreement: I Will Nourish Your Future Generations as Long as You Protect Mine).
And it reminds me to pay attention to the dreams, to look beyond what appears on the surface, to follow their threads and wisdom to untold places (including Alaska, Idaho, Massachusetts!) and information.