By Tyler Ross
” I focus on my breathin’ and the universal sound
I let it take me over from the toenails to the crown
Of the body that I’m in till they put me in the ground
And I return to the chorus of the universal sound….
And I’ve seen His wondrous grace
I’ve sat there on a barstool and I’ve looked him in the face
He seemed a little haggard, but it did not slow him down
He was hummin’ to the neon of the universal sound…”
Every year at this time, it seems there is something spiritual happening. From migrations with butterflies and birds to the start of the bugling of the Elk, to the first glimpse of a leaf beginning its journey back to the ground. Its something that I long for and want to hold on to every single year.
As I write this, I am reflecting on what all I have been privileged to experience and see over the past few weeks. See, for my job I have to do some training’s and then some more training’s and then even more. Its “gubment” life and is what it is. A few weeks ago I went through a technical training that focused on Soil Health. The science that we have observed shows us the benefits of viewing the soil as a functioning ecosystem and how when we focus on it, how well it sustains the new life of plants and other biota that we as humans rely on. A really cool thing to learn about and even cooler to see implemented. Ill nerd out on Soil Health later.
But the training that I had that shook me the most was about how we work with other communities and user groups with my job and my federal counterparts work. The training I went with was focusing on the Native Tribes and their people here in our country. I was privileged to meet some awesome folks who are tribal members of different tribes across our nation, as the facilitated and instructed the class. From their history to their culture to their stories I was hooked. But the part that I could not get enough of was when they spoke of their faith. See, we have such a odd view on that in the world we live in. Faith has been perverted and twisted into a bad word and viewed as oppressive by a large majority of the population. But with the people and communities I learned about last week, it is a part of their day to day and even hour to hour. I wont delve into many of their beliefs because it is a privilege that is given by each tribes elders on what can be shared to folks outside of the community. Not in a “us vs them” or “outsider” sense, but more of a respect of the integrity of their people.
One thing I will talk about is how many of the tribes speak of Creator and the charge that was given to them for how they interact on the landscape and with each other. Its primal and a feeling that you feel to your core. The feeling that you get when you look at a creek bottom after the leaves have fallen and the deer trails are popping. The feeling you get when you are on a ridge looking over Creation. The feeling you get when you hear a turkey fire off with a gobble that shakes not only the hills, but your being. The feeling that starts stirring and keeping us up at night, or causing us to stare out the window as we begin to prepare to participate. That feeling comes from the same place and may even be the same thing as when you are with the one you love. Hear your childs first laugh, and even their first cry. The feeling you get when you are with your tribe and your people. The feeling I felt when I watched a Godly woman raise her hands in joy while tears streamed down her face praising God for the good news of a premature baby being alive and well. The same feeling one gets when they have to let a love one pass and think of the times with them. I cant help but think it is a primal connection we all share.
That same feeling is currently pulsing from my heart through my fingertips as I write this. See, in a few hours, I will climb into the back seat of a Suburban and head West with 3 of my best friends; 3 of my brothers. We started the planning for this awhile ago and as the day draws near to where it is actually about to happen, that primal feeling of love, anticipation, excitement, some anxiety and some others is radiating throughout me. I cant contain my excitement. I cant relinquish my nerves. I am getting ready to go and interact on the Creators handiwork. Its time. Its happening across the land. Man, I wish I could bottle this up.
As we head out, I cant help but think if those who came before and those who will follow behind. I hope those that follow keep this flame burning. I also hope that I can honor those who came before. The best way I know to honor an icon and innovator from our community that just passed is to do my part to make sure that 4 Kuiu Icon Pro 5200s are hauling Elk out of a canyon. Rest easy Mr. Hairston.
I hope you all have a great start to your season and have the time and ability to light that flame in someone else.