The Most Important Thing To A Nation

Trip Start May 01, 2010
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Trip End Aug 01, 2010


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Mimi's Teepe

Flag of United States  , Minnesota
Friday, July 16, 2010

Dear Nae,
  It's a great question to ponder.  Just what would be the most important thing to our nation?  Would it be the Grand Canyon?   How about the Washington Monument?   Wall street?  The Statue Of Liberty?  The shores of the Atlantic or Pacific?  Is this the reason we are feeling such  loss when seeing the effects of what is happening on our Gulf coast?  I'm sure I could go on for many hours pondering this question.  I do love being an American because our country has unlimited beauty in every direction.  If I were asked this question while standing on some unknown street in America, I suppose I would have to say that the most important thing to me would be "My right to be free".  Having the freedom to ride my motorcycle across our land rates right up there with anything I can care to "own".  The right to move about with a careless freedom would be an important thing in my pot of gold. 
  Mimi and I took a trip to a small place in south/west Minnesota yesterday that gave me a sense of what is important to the American Indian.  The town of Pipestone covets Pipestone State Park.  It is a small, plain area that has become the center of the American Indian spirituality.  IF the Christian religion could be represented by the cross, then the American Indian spiritually is definitely represented by the peace pipe.  For thousands of years and 60 million buffalo the American Indian has protected their right-of-passage.  The peace pipe has been constructed of pipestone since the beginning of the sacred circle.  It is their cornerstone to believing everything is alive-even the stones. 
  This sacred stone is not easily found.  It lays beneath several layers of quartzite.  The good thing is that many homes are make of quartzite which helps in the motivation to remove the top layers!  The stone has a red color that represents the blood of all their past relatives.  Who can know or say what is right about someone else's spiritual beliefs?  The important thought here is respect.  This sacred land is important to all tribes over many reservations.  It was an unspoken rule that all warriors lay down their weapons before entering into this area.  They worked side-by-side quarrying this prized stone.  It has a slick feeling much like soap stone and is easily carved into pipes.  The stem was often made of sycamore.  We toured the grounds and I decided to purchase a pipe.  It will remain very important to my collection of meaningful things in my life. 
I hope you enjoy the pictures! 
Love and peace to all,
Fred
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