One Tribe Only

When my husband and I lost our home five years ago, our grief was a universe. One day, while mourning, a nuthatch flew into the bedroom and landed on my bed. I was sitting up, feet under the covers and he landed on my toes. He looked at me. I moved my foot a little.

He looked at me. I stopped moving my foot. I waited.

Three or four minutes later, he was still there looking at me. It seemed there was something he was trying to say. I said, OK, move when I have told you why I think you have come.

When I got to "do a shamanic journey" he flew out the window.

I journeyed on why we had to lose our beloved home. This is what the spirits had to tell me:

What you are feeling is what indigenous people feel when they lose their home and in years to come, there will be many who lose their homes.

You must remember that all land is sacred if it is loved.

There is One Tribe Only. All of the separations you people create -- race, religion, nationality -- do not exist in reality. They are ways you try to divide life into little boxes. But there is no little box. You, the land, the people, the animals -- all one. One Tribe Only.

You now know this pain of loss so that you know how others will feel. The whole world will feel homesick soon. Once you all embrace each other, the pain will be gone.

Years later, I still contemplate this teaching, and with every passing day, its wisdom becomes more grounded. We all look at our differences too often, and our oneness too little. I honestly feel that this is the conversation we need to be having, and when someone tries to change the conversation, tempting though it may be to get distracted, it does not serve to engage, but to keep quietly living in unison.

If we all stopped fighting, would the silence heal us?