Sunny view of the Mississippi River in St Paul, Minnesota

All Gift

My family occasionally prays down by the Mississippi River with the Nibi walkers, a group of Indigenous women and other water-tenders.  Water is life, so we plant our feet in the sand and offer thanks.  One morning, the Anishinaabe elder Sharon Day translated her prayer for us:  “Great Spirit, Gitchi Manitou, have pity on us.” …

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Black and white photograph of person facing away in ocean

Relax! Relax! Relax!

At my daughter’s swim lesson a few years ago, an enthusiastic teacher stood hip-deep in the pool with a plastic clipboard, laminated sheet, and wax pencil.  The eight-year-olds water-wheeled by, chins awkwardly raised above the surface in desperate attempts to doggy paddle their way through the crawl.  As they passed he shouted, “Relax! Relax! Relax!”  …

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