Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cleaning Out Our Houses and Our Lives


Today through the weekend, many Cherokees will be celebrating Agawela Seluutsi, the Green Corn Ceremony and Feast. Even though the corn became in June, which is “Green Corn” month in Cherokee.

In recent years, the Green Corn observance, when the corn was developed enough to mean there was a good chance of a harvest, and the Ripe Corn Ceremony, when the corn was developed enough to assure a harvest, have been combined. The months of June and July are called “Green Corn” and “Tasseling Corn” in Cherokee.

Today, Thursday is the new moon, the traditional start of the Cherokee month. In the old days, this was a time for new beginnings – one of several times in the course of a year to re-evaluate your life. People might destroy all their furniture and build new. It was definitely a time to clean out your closets and give away the things you didn’t really need… surplus clothing, food, and today, all those things that accumulate and clutter our lives. Time to give away or throw away!

Among the stress-generating things we also get rid of: debts, grudges, bad habits. In my case, about 50 pounds of weight would be good to get rid of!

The underlying teaching is to get rid of the old, broken, or unnecessary in your life to make room for the new blessings that are on the way. That includes making your home presentable and ready for company.

The harvest is almost ready, and there will be plenty for everyone. We won’t starve this coming winter. Seems assured today; but centuries ago, just getting through the winter alive was an accomplishment.

Today, we have different challenges. The economy has people worried because we need cash to pay our bills. But how much worse could it be if our nation’s crops failed? Green Corn is a reminder that Divine Providence will take care of our needs, but not all of our wants. That’s a matter of each of us cleaning out our own heart.
Witsatologi nihi, Many Blessings to You!

Brian Wilkes

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