The Hopi Elders’ Statement

A few years ago, while living in New Mexico, I discovered an inspirational piece of writing created by the Elders of the Hopi independent nation. I kept it pinned above my desk for a very long time until I finally shuffled it around to make room for something new, but have always kept it close to hand… pulling it out from time to time to reread it. As I shared in this week’s episode of the Riverspeak podcast, the hostess of our Thanksgiving gathering read it aloud to the gathered group as a prayer and invocation. It occurred to me that I wanted to share the Hopi Elders statement here, as well, to reach an audience that doesn’t listen to the podcasts.


hopibasketHopi Elders’ Statement

You have been telling the people that this is the eleventh hour. Now you must go back and tell the people that this is the hour.
And there are things to be considered:

Where are you living?
What are you doing?
What are your relationships?
Are you in right relation?
Where is your water?
Know your garden
It is time to speak your truth
Create your community
Be good to each other
And do not look outside yourself for the leader.
This could be a good time!

There is a river flowing now very fast
It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid
They will try to hold onto the shore
They will feel they are being torn apart
And they will suffer greatly.
Know that the river has its destination.
The elders say we must let go of the shore,
Push off into the river,
Keep our eyes open,
And our heads above water.
Look around, see who is in there with you and celebrate.

At this time we are to take nothing personally.
Least of all ourselves.
For the moment that we do our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.
The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves!
Banish the word ‘struggle’ from your attitude and vocabulary.
All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner
And in celebration.

We are the ones we have been waiting for!

~ The Elders Oraibi (Arizona Hopi Nation)

Gentle reader, there is so much wisdom in that concise statement both on a personal and communal level. We are immersed in a time of global change and a Great Work: transitioning from being the single most destructive force on the planet to being a life-enhancing and interconnected one. It is through the actions of the individuals and community that the changes so desperately needed will occur. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Yes, there is much to lament, but there is much to be grateful for as well. And there is always hope. May you find both inspiration and community on the journey.