FIRE CIRCLE (Liturgy) AT THE LIGHTHOUSE, Part Three
The evening program at Gros Morne National Park continues.
The Sermon: None of this ain’t nothing, right?
Kevin tells the group gathered around the red blanket:
“Grandfather advised me to seek spiritual direction from an elder. Afterward, I dreamed of a large bear, but I was not afraid and I did not run. That was decades ago. Last week, I happened to drive a bear off the road with my truck, which could have been dangerous. What did the bear do? The bear gestured twice and ran off. Another time, at a zoo, a bear acted aggressively to all who passed, but not to me. The bear just gazed at me.”
Kevin raises his arms. “I don’t know, but there must be something to these spiritual dreams.”
“Now…..what’s in your bank account….the fancy yacht you own….the trips you’ve taken…. none of this ain’t nothing, right? All that matters is how you walk through the world.”
“If you miss the boat, you’d better catch the next boat.”
Kevin means it. No one stirs.
The Prayers of the People:
Kevin bends over the red blanket, picks up tobacco leaves, and hands them out to the nine of us in the circle. He instructs us to walk clockwise around the blanket and say a silent prayer for someone as we drop the pieces of tobacco into the imaginary fire (since the meeting is indoors due to the rain).
The tobacco feels dry. I wonder where Kevin got it. I picture the tobacco drying sheds in the flat fields of western Massachusetts that I studied from the car window on family trips to visit my grandparents – before interstate highways – straining but failing to glimpse the tobacco leaves through the skinny slats.
Couldn’t do it here in this shed:
Lay tobacco leaves at the base of the each maple tree In thanksgiving
“Now let’s sing Amazing Grace,” says Kevin.
A song we know! He sings it through in Mi’kMaq then in English. We nine join in tentatively but gain strength with each line. Lew’s baritone voice soars; I sing harmony.
Don’t brag about grace, he says