A beating heart.
Present from the very beginning of life.
Early creation within the warmness of mother’s womb.
Protection, attachment, and connection through heartbeat.
Constant beat of creation, life, security…everlasting bond.
Beat that brings comfort to a subconscious and cellular level.
Rhythmic constant within the roots of Indigenous music.
Just listen to the drum.
Its beat connects you to your origin within mother.
Connection back to Mother Earth.
…to our animal and plant relatives.
Gilakas’daxla nułnamyut (Welcome All Who Are One).
Song of the universe…
Connecting us to the intergalactic energy of spirit and time.
Time deconstructs, opening the veils to our past.
Our ancestors hear the rhythmic beat, spirits become one…
Back to mother’s womb; our first aquatic home and sense of love.
Heartbeat of life and the cells of the ancestors create baby.
Baby’s placenta forming the tree of life, a direct connection to family.
Everyday the heart beats.
From the author:
Yo. Nugwa’am Willow Irene Hunt-Scott. Gayutlan lax T’saxis. Gayutlan lax Taku River, Atlin. I have Kwakiutl, Tlingit, and Scottish roots. My mother’s family, Dixie Hunt-Scott, comes from T’saxis (Fort Rupert), a coastal community located on northern Vancouver Island. My father’s family, Victor Scott, comes from Taku River Atlin, northern British Columbia, near the Yukon. My maternal Scottish heritage is tied to the Clan Fraser of Lovat, of the Scottish Highlands.
I grew up in my mother’s community of T’saxis until I was 10 years old and it is there that I learned to see the world through a Kwakiutl lens. Kwakiutl people are one of many sub-tribes under the Kwakwaka’wakw nation of Kwak’wala speaking peoples. I am not a fluent speaker of my language, so this has been a challenge to fully understanding the complexities of my culture. But, I did grow up hearing bits of Kwak’wala and it was the intention behind the words that was of real value to me. In the Kwakiutl epistemic system, the life that covers our Mother Earth is seen as an extension of our family, rather than as a resource to be exploited for capitalistic gain.
Gilakas’daxla nułnamyut. This is a Kwak’wala expression I learned from my Auntie Trish, which she told me basically means “Welcome All Who Are One.” I feel that this is the equivalent to saying to “all my relations” when introducing yourself. Not only are you welcoming people, but you are also welcoming to all the other living beings with spirits…the animals, insects, plants, etc. We are all in a great web of life and connected to one another, so we must respect, love, and acknowledge our family.
My earliest memories of love started with a heartbeat. I feel that love is the connection between living beings that creates a direct bond. For me this started in the beginning of my life within the womb of my mother. We were not able to talk face to face, but the sound of her heartbeat that gave me life was constant. That rhythmic beat connected me to her and I knew I was safe. She gave me life and brought me into this world. Just listen to a heartbeat; there is something about it that goes beyond explanation, because you know that without it, nothing would exist. It is the language of the unspoken word that resonates at a deeper level of your being. When you can connect deeply, the relationship is everlasting.
My sense of love is also rooted in Mother Earth. If we do not treat our Mother Earth lovingly, she will not support our life. This connection is deeply intimate. Many people have become lost from this connection and deny the importance of love for the mother. I only hope that these ideologies of disconnection shift drastically and quickly, because when we harm the Earth, we hurt ourselves at the same time. We were created to love and to share our love. May the younger generations kindle this love, living in connection with Mother Earth.
Artwork submitted by the author.