As we move forward to yet another season, we have the bounties shown and given to us from the previous season: summer. We have all had the opportunity to slow down the pace of how we live and do things. For once many have had the opportunity to be reflective and take in what is most important to them like family, friends, lifestyle, and identifying a higher awareness spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally.

Although, there was much said about how things have changed and when “things go back to the way they were” we were blessed with many benefits; the time to rest, to play, to think, to pray, to cook and prepare and store food in the basic ways it was always done. Eating and health that was once another thing to do has become mindful, a way to get to know oneself again.

We have had time to observe the climate and seasonal change around us. For instance, the once common deer herds have been replaced by another, the thunder and lightning storms have become more wrathful bringing with them the message that more change is sure to come. Most gardens have grown to abundance and sharing and exchanging the gifts of food has elevated to an all new level. The temperature feels hotter in the sun and much cooler in the shade. This is not to say that the breezes brought in cooler air when at most the breezes were warm and many times hot.

As we can see change is subtle but it is constant, so the power of the great mystery (that never really left) has returned at least consciously, because no one knows where we will be or what it will be like one year from now. What we do know is that our environment is speaking to us and we must respond gently and with respect.

Above all, we have had time to look inward to our own life and death. Making choices and taking risks has become a common factor on how we go about each day. On some level we have grasped how each and every day the possibility of a change in our individual life and changing world(s) is at hand.

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Most, if not all, people are beginning to understand how we affect each other on many levels such as emotionally, psychologically, mentally, physically, economically, socially and politically. These are all good human attributes and we need to take care of them in the same way that we take care of our bodies. Indigenous people, globally, understand that our bodies are made up of the elements of the earth and what happens to the earth is reflected in the people.

As you go about your daily lives, feel the energy, movement, and people around you and take care of yourself. Avoid what causes harm and give thanks for what makes our world good. As Vine Deloria once said, “the wheel of karma grinds very slow and very fine but eventually makes a complete circle.”

Vivian Delgado is a professor of Native American studies at Bemidji State University.