I Vow to Develop Compassion

shemmaho goodenough
Hugh Keenleyside Dam, Castlegar, BC Canada
2019

Story Info

I Vow to Develop Compassion

Gathering8 1.jpg

Story & Experience

On the morning of June 22 thirteen people gathered at Portuguese Point, a fishing place near the Hugh Keenleyside Dam, on the Columbia River upstream from Castlegar, B.C.   Our first activity was for each of us to familiarize ourself with the place by wandering and meandering, finding the objects who would like to be a part of an altar; the thing of beauty we intend to leave behind.  The drum called us all back and we then formed a circle. Our intention was to smudge with sage, but the wind gusted and repeatedly blew out our matches. So, we used the wind to cleanse our minds and remind us to be in the moment.  After calling in the directions, we sang “I vow to develop compassion in order to protect the lives of people, animals and plants” (by Betsy Rose) long enough to feel our energy as one with the earth beneath our feet and our surroundings. A meditative silence followed when people could look to the ridges and sky, watch the birds and clouds, and experience the reciprocity of the elements.  We had a time of singing more songs and sharing our thoughts and feelings, creating a sense of community and commitment among us. After we opened the circle, we found a shady spot to share food and socialize. Most of us look forward to the next ceremony and have a strong sense that this practice can give us strength and optimism for the hard times we are moving through. That afternoon we had a beautiful rain with a thunderstorm that started many fires.  It rained most of Sunday, so that by evening the smoke had been beaten to the ground and the evening sun shone in a clear blue sky! Shemmaho, June 24, 2019

Why this Place?

Hugh Keenleyside Dam, Castlegar, BC Canada

We chose this place because it is the 2nd big dam on the Columbia River system, which Has 72 dams altogether.  We are considered the Lower Columbia headwaters, and we are on the western side of the upper drainage.  We chose this place because it has changed what is downstream so radically, and is so in need of love and connection.  It also changed what was there above the dam before it was flooded, and is a tragic story for most of the settlers, forests, original people, and fish who were flooded out, erasing 10,000 years of growth in a few months.

RECENT STORIES

  • Elliston

Smooth Rock Croc

It was really fantastic to share this event with a friend. We saw all this construction in the town and choose that as a place to honor. We honored what came before the new building [...]

  • Coffman

Pilgrimage in a Burnt Forest

I head into the Sierras to explore the area burnt by the Donnell Fire in 2018. Wikipedia says that 36,450 acres (147.5 km2) were burnt, but I don’t have any concept of what that means. I [...]

More Stories

SUBSCRIBE

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places.

2019-06-25T09:34:06-07:00
This website uses cookies and third party services. See our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information. Settings Ok

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics to track your path through our website. To assist in protecting your privacy, we anonymize the last 4 of the IP address.

Tracking Cookies

To monitor and help enhance your visit while on the website.

Host Accounts

We offer a individuals private member access as Hosts when they register. We offer Host newsletters and the ability to manage Earth Exchange Events & Stories that Hosts will author and help manage. We ask for basic information from Hosts to join. We additionally ask the Host to provide detailed information about their events and preparations. This includes images and narratives about their event and any Stories told about the Exchange Events hosted.