Spent the day in a meeting at Seabird Island First Nation, a large community which is part of the Sto:lo Nation located in the upper Fraser Valley about 150 kms east of Vancouver. I was working with a group who was in some internal conflict, and I was very privileged to be working with Herb and Helen Joe, two respected Sto:lo Elders and traditional teachers.
Herb told a very interesting story today. It was part of the Sto:lo creation story and it had to do with the destiny of human beings.
In the story, the Creator makes the earth and then creates all the creatures of the earth, including the winged animals that fly, the four-leggeds that run on the land, the animals that crawl across the earth and the animals that swim. Each of these animals were created perfectly.
When all these animals were created, the Creator looked around and noticed that something was missing. So humans were created. To do this, the Creator took a little bit from each animal and rolled it up into what Herb called “poor, weak, human beings.” The reason we are poor and weak is that we can do lots of things, but none of it well. We can fly a little, but we fall heavily to earth. We can run, but not as fast as a deer or a cougar. We crawl, but beetles and spiders can stick to the ceiling. And we swim, but nothing like a salmon. In short we struggle.
Herb finished the story by saying that it is our destiny to struggle because by struggling we learn and that is what we are put on earth to do.