I am expanding my writing to embrace both seeds and sacred sites - two of the ways I continue to explore the meaning of place. For the last 40 years I have been a lawyer defending sacred places for traditional native people and a farmer and seed saver- but it has always been about the land. In that time, I have had the honor of working with traditional place-based knowledge keepers and the challenges of being a witness to both the destruction of sacred places and their renewal by indigenous people.
There really is no separation between us and the land. That we think so is the delusion that causes both us, and the land, such ongoing despair.
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The photo is of a human figure on a rock in the Plumas National Forest, Northern California. The many petroglyphs I find there are a strong testament to the persistence of the human presence on the land. It was most likely done just after the glaciers retreated in the Northern Sierra, about 10,000 years ago, which allowed the ancestors of today’s Maidu to travel through the area.