ARTICLE 5 minutes

Two ants inside a flower

June 21, 2022

The Harmonies of Creation

Add to favorites

Our place in creation begins to make sense when we experience kinship—our dance of connection with every living thing.

By Sherri Mitchell

We are part of a uni-verse, a collection of individual notes in one continuous song; the song that sang all life into being. This song is the foundation upon which all structure is built. If we listen closely, we can hear this creation song echoing in our bones. It exists in a vibrational frequency that emanates throughout the entire universe and resonates deep within us.

Each individual soul carries its own unique vibrational tone that is built upon that universal tone, and that individualized tone carries the seed of that being’s life path. When that seed is planted, even before the first shoot comes up through the ground, the vibration of that tone exists within it. This tone sets the rhythm for the new life that is being cultivated; it is that individual being’s creation song.

Weaving Layers of Sound

As Indigenous people, we are taught to live our lives in a balanced rhythm with the harmonic frequencies that surround us. This is why our teachings rise out of an oral tradition. Our history has been passed orally, not because we lacked the ability to translate our words into written form, but because we have always realized that our words have an alchemy that is capable of creating form. As we speak, we are weaving layers of sound that merge into harmony with the entire creation. 

For me, being Penawahpskek means that my roots are embedded in that land and nourished by the waters of the Penobscot River. We are deeply entwined—me, the land, and those waters, and I am tied to the generations of others who have their roots embedded in that land... 
Sherri Mitchell

Sacred Instructions

We also understand that the way that we speak to creation defines the place that we hold within creation. Our language creates a sense of kinship with the world around us. When I am asked who I am and where I come from, I am able to answer with one word, Penawahpskek. I was born and raised on the traditional homelands of the Penobscot Nation. This land has been occupied by the Penobscot people for more than ten thousand years. For me, being Penawahpskek means that my roots are embedded in that land and nourished by the waters of the Penobscot River. We are deeply entwined—me, the land, and those waters, and I am tied to the generations of others who have their roots embedded in that land, past, present, and future. 

The relationships that exist between people and place are often memorialized through defining words that merge into story. In order to fully recognize our place in creation, we must realize that our stories are not the only stories that are being told. Every living thing has its own creation song. In order to live harmoniously with the rest of creation, we must be willing to listen to all of the harmonies that are moving around us. 

Kinship With the Entire Creation

The only way that we will be able to hear these harmonic vibrations is to become multisensory beings. We must tune in to our ability to see beyond the physical reality that surrounds us, and awaken to the vast unseen world that exists. When we live as multisensory beings, we find that we are able to comprehend the language of every living thing. We hear the voices of the trees, and understand the buzzing of the bees. And we come to realize that it is the interwoven substance of these floating rhythms that holds us in delicate balance with all life. Then, our life and our place in creation begins to make sense in a whole new way.

I remember my first moment of conscious engagement with this dance. I was a young woman, in my early twenties. It was a warm early-summer day and I was seated in a meditative state in my back yard. At that time, I was learning how to track energy. For several months, I had been deepening my ability to see the life force that permeates our world. As I was sitting there, I noticed a tiny ant crawling across a blade of grass. As I watched the ant move along, his little body began to light up. Then, the blade of grass that he was walking on lit up. As I sat there and watched, the entire area surrounding me began to light up. I slowly raised my eyes and the entire field became illuminated, as did the trees standing on the other side of the field lining the forest. I sat very still, quietly marveling over this newfound sight, afraid to move and lose it.

When we go into ceremony, our origination stories begin in the stars. When we enter the lodge, we learn that our original instructions are contained in the essence of those stars.
Sherri Mitchell

Sacred Instructions

While I sat there observing my newly illuminated world, I noticed something intriguing. The field of light that I was seated in was rising and falling in unison. As I watched the Earth breathe around me, I felt my own breathing fall into harmony with it. Everything became sharper, all of my senses came alive. While I sat there breathing with the world around me, the firm lines of my being began to fade.

I felt myself expanding and merging with all that I was observing. There was suddenly no separation between me, the ant, the grass, the trees, and the birds. We were breathing with one breath, beating with the pulse of one heart. I was consumed by this achingly beautiful and complete sense of kinship with the entire creation. This single moment of open awareness allowed all of the teachings that I had been raised with to sink deeply into my heart. I got it.

Remembering All of Who We Are

We all originate from the same divine source, and we will all return to that source when our learning is complete. During our journey, we will have many of the same experiences, seeing the world and one another from multiple angles and through multiple lifetimes. Sadly, there will also be times when we will lose sight of this basic fact. During those times, we will become lost in the unfolding stories of our own individualized realities.

This is an idea that still seems fantastic to many people. But it is a belief that has been held by Indigenous people since the beginning of time. Our songs, stories, and mythologies all speak of our interrelatedness. From birth, we are taught to be aware of the expanded kinship networks that surround us, which include other human beings along with the beings of the land, water, and air, and the plants, trees, and all remaining unseen beings that exist within our universe.

Our challenge is to remember all of who we are. We begin this process by expanding our awareness to include the entire creation, just as I did that day in the field with the tiny ant. 

Adapted from Sacred Instructions. Copyright © 2018 by Sherri Mitchell. Used with permission.