At the Koekamp, Malieveld The Hague last Sunday, the sun is casting its last rays, slowly sinking, the fire crackling, the deep sound of the big ceremonial drum pulsing into our bones. Seventy people around the fire, one by one stepping up, stroking the Eagle’s feather, offering some tobacco to the flames and then speaking out, for love, life and Earth! The elder man says:
‘The Malieveld is my tribal ground’, I was born in this city. I’ve crossed these grounds many times, many years, but tonight it really felt like coming home, coming home on Earth!’
‘I can recite three Sanskrit poems, about love, life and nature’, the woman said while she offered some tobacco to the fire. And so the Summer Solstice Ceremony ended.
The sound and incredible energy of the drums were with me until the next morning. The mails and calls started to come in. The Summer Solstice made its shift into a new season very consciously this year. In many places around the world Ceremonies took place. In South India the DHAN Foundation had a great 21st Ceremony with Indigenous Elders from fisher folk, agriculture farming and shepherd (nomads) communities of Tamil Nadu. They collected three pots of water from the sacred spring on their land and poured the water to the sacred Bodhi tree at the entrance of the grounds. In Bark River, Michigan, Earl and Aisha Meshigaud Elders of the Potawatomi tribe conducted a Sacred Ceremony and so did Bruce Hardwick on the grounds of the Three Fire Tribe in Indiana. At the Alifuru, communities are doing Sacred Drumming for 48 hours. In France, Peter Bal and his ‘tribe’ held the Earth’s Call Ceremony, burning Sacred Fires and playing strings to tune with the Mother Earth. On the grounds of the Ferryhouse in Varik, the Netherlands, Peter van Luttervelt lit the Sacred Fire for the seventh time starting in 2013. Suprabha Seshan sang to the Mother Earth at the break of dawn at the Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary in West India. And many, many other places around the globe held their Ceremonies for Mankind and the Earth.
Looking back at an awesome day, starting at the break dawn at 5:22 and ending a little past ten in the evening. Singing and calling to the East, lighting the Sacred Fire and starting the Sacred Drumming in the early morning hours by Elders Pelpina Sahureka and Bapak Amus from Bangsa Adat Alifuru, the indigenous Alifuru people, Duane Kinnart from the Three Fires Peoples and Van Archiquette, non-traditional Elder from the Oneida Peoples started a Historic Day. The Water Ceremony carried out by the women, just the way Aisha Meshigaud and Pat Hardwick had pointed out three weeks earlier at Bark River, Michigan, appeared out of nothing at the right moment.
The drumming procession through The Hague and the Ceremonies at the Peace Palace and Peace Tree along the way were light-footed and light-hearted. Carried by the many drums, moving, meeting, sharing.