CARE AND FEEDING OF SNOW AND EARTH
by Woody Vaspra, President, World Council of Elders
Since the Dawn of Man, our ancestors of this magnificent abundant planet
honored and celebrated the land that nurtured and gave them life. As they evolved, they took on the duty of being caretakers of the lands
they occupied. Both the nomadic and non-nomadic peoples learned how to live in harmony with Nature, as well as the spirit world - their beloved
ancestors and Nature spirits who looked after them - through ceremonies that also honored the Creator, Mother Earth, Father Sky, and all living things.
In many regions of the North American Continent, maintaining this delicate balance affected the amount of snowfall on the mountains and plains, which
was critical to the rivers, streams and lakes feeding the plants, trees and animals, their food for survival. Knowing that Earth, especially Her
precious water and snow, has consciousness, ( proven by Dr Masura Emoto in
"Messages from Water" ), our ancestors also prayed for, celebrated and gave thanks for these gifts, through snow, rain and harvest dances.
They also purified their bodies and spirits with sweat lodges, and helped
rebalance Earth's energies that affect the weather with medicine wheel ceremonies, (like the "phenomenal" 2004 multi-cultural Big Bear one), remnants of
which are found around the world (Celtics/Druids, Sami/Vikings...)
While the American Indians and world Indigenous Peoples remembered and continued these traditions, many modern peoples have strayed from these earth-honoring
practices. They developed technologies that extract stockpiles of our precious resources from above and below the earth's crust to create
goods and commodities for our civilization without replenishing them. In this race for growth and profits, integrity with the land was lost, and
an economic plan full of short cuts, (instead of seeing how each decision affects 7 generations), led to contamination of most our drinking water
and agricultural lands, which affects our health and ability to make wise decisions. Inspite of our Indigenous way of "taking what we need and
leaving the rest for future generations," and a growing trend toward Natural or Green Capitalism, the dominant culture is taking our global village on
a dangerous downhill course toward the depletion and fouling of our children's resources.
Our reliance on burning fossil fuels is a major cause of pollution and global warming. Because they are also the lubricants of Earth's continental
plates, we are seeing more earthquakes, which cause Tsunamis. Overpopulation, according to your "Earth Watch," is another cause of heating up the atmosphere,
which is melting our glaciers and permafrost, which is already displacing our Eskimo/Inuit villages. Americans can learn from the Europeans that
overdeveloping mountain communities can disrupt the natural snow cycles, which is critical to the clean water supply for many regions.
Bombs and digging into Earth also effects earth's energetic acupuncture points, or ley lines, which affects precipitation. That is why in Hawaii, most
construction companies show reverence for Mother Earth by calling on our Kahunas to ask for permission... We are happy that more and more ski
areas, production companies and sports events, are calling on our traditional Elders (often with our dancers) of the region to ask permission, for blessings
for the safety of participants, and to partner with us to solve environmental challenges.
In unity we can offset this global warming by swiftly adopting clean alternative energies, such as wind
and biodiesel, led by Aspen SkiCo, Willie Nelson, Morgan Freeman and his fellow Choctaws, to "keep winters cool."
Many ski areas have found that in giving gratitude for
snow and rain, Creator and Mother Earth often bless us more.
As a result of all this disruption of Nature's cycles, Earth is starting to dramatically purify Herself at great loss to people. These times
were prophesied thousands of years ago by our ancient Elders. "We are at environmental crossroads," says Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the Lakota keeper
of the White Buffalo Prophesy Pipe. But we each have a unique gift and a choice to help heal our Earth Mother, for if She is healthy, we
are healthy... If we don't, it is the human race that will become extinct, as our planet will go on with or without us as it has for millions of years.
"Instead of focusing on our Gross National Product, let us now focus on our Gross National Happiness," the Indigenous people of Bhutan say.
We applaud NSAA's Sustainable Slopes Programs and your outreach to our youth, (to carry this wisdom for future generations), our families, and Elders,
who can gladly help you remember... God bless this bold bridge
between our cultures, assisted by the Olympians, so that together we can
set an example of a saner, happier way, starting with the care and feeding of the sacred snow/water. By remembering our responsibility to
honor and care for our planet, we can together win this race to create a sustainable, abundant snowy future for all our children to enjoy, thanks
to this wonderful gift of skiing from our Sami (Laplander) brothers and sisters.
All My Relations!
Woody Vaspar, (Hawaii)
NVF exec board, pro baseball & football player, Viet Nam pilot