Earth Day the Canadian way: A drum circle and bonfire in Innisfil

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Tonight at eight o'clock EST we turned off all the lights in the house, even going so far as to unplug the TV, and grabbing our hand drums and tambourines off the wall, we headed over to next door neighbour Gary's house. There in the backyard, at the end of the garden, his fire pit was glowing and crackling with a roaring fire, while the steady sound of drums could be heard from his CD player.

Gary wore his First Nations jacket and a cowboy hat. He practically lived at the fire pit at the end of his garden, where he had built a 'man cave' out of old pieces of wood and plywood. Ever since his heart attack Gary says he can't sleep indoors. On all but the coldest nights he sleeps in the cabin, where a little space heater and the heat from his nightly fires keeps him toasty warm.

Inside his sleeping bag he says he doesn't feel the cold too much. His wife, inside the house in their warm modern home, has long since given up on trying to get him to come inside. He just likes it better out at the little cabin, where he can sit by the fire and watch the night sky and listen to his songs, he explains. And he can't breathe inside the house...ever since the heart attack he can't seem to breathe so well when he tries to sleep inside.

I had asked Gary if we could come and join him for Earth hour, as I wanted to drum for the world wide drum circle I had signed up for on Facebook, and I knew Gary would understand. The fire was warm and toasty, and my son and I sat together on the bench while Riley whittled a stick with a beautiful bone pen knife that Gary had given him last summer.

We sat and watched the fire making pictures for us while we listened to the song of the drums, the voices of the native singers touching a chord deep inside, that spoke of ancient traditions and a deep reverence for the land. The passion in the voices of the singers made me want to weep, made my heart leap, filled me with both joy and excitement.

Gary gave me a little leather pouch that had some sacred herbs inside, he explained, and told me to throw some on the fire. Asking Creator to bless Mother Earth and to help to heal her, on this Earth Day 2013, we prayed for a day when we would live harmoniously with Earth again. Riley, who at nine is already showing signs of having some special powers, suddenly said "By 2025". We wished upon the first star, Betelgeuse, which was twinkling up in the indigo sky as the moon rose up behind the tall trees between our houses. We drummed and sang, until Riley got sleepy, and I took him home to bed. It was a special hour, and was exactly what I had hoped it would be - spiritual, inspiring, and profound. Happy Earth Day to all of you around the world and may we all live in harmony and peace! Namaste!


MichelleDevlin is based in Innisfil, Ontario, Canada, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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