What a Great Journey…

Completing and performing the final project was a perfect ending to a perfect class. The rigorous religious discussion, trip of a life time to Pine Ridge, Bruce, and the people of the class all combined to form an experience I won’t ever forget. The final project, especially the process of putting it together, will definitely be one of my many great memories from the class.  Zoe, Mark, and I met up at Reed’s house where a ton of supplies were waiting for us to help our group complete our project (shout out and a thanks to Reed and his roommates). For me, there was a drum to play music,  of course a book to share stories in, and  WiFi for about everything else I would need. We listened and played music (Zoe playing tons of great jams in the background as Reed would follow soon after joined by Mark then my drum), talked, and enjoyed hanging out, all the while working on our book. We passed the book around to each other, each adding in personal poetry, Lakota and other poetry, antidotes, and general “words of wisdom.” I really enjoyed reading the poetry, especially poetry pertaining to Lakota spirituality because I could relate to it in so many ways after many of our experiences at Pine Ridge. One Lakota poem translated by Yellow Lark talks about a desire to find the secrets “Great Spirit” has left for us humans in nature. This connection and balance that humans share with nature became very clear to me after our experience with the Lakota. Praying and participating in a Pipe ceremony on top of Bear Butte, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, has became a religious experience that still resonates with me today. The connection I felt with my classmates around the circle, the spirit of nature, and with God engulfed me on top of Bear Butte. There’s a special spirit in that hill, just as there are many spirits throughout nature that can be felt all around us. Having the opportunity to reflect on my personal spirituality while putting together what is essentially  a book of wisdom (minus my poems) with three friends from class has became another experience along this journey I wont ever forget. Aho

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