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Quiet Day- October 2, 2021

Welcome to Quiet Day!

If you are at Caroline Furnace:

You are welcome to spend as long as you like today in prayer, meditation, and solitude. We invite you to walk the trails, sit by the lake, Passage Creek, or the spring, rest at a campfire circle or the steps of St. John’s Chapel, or pray the labyrinth.

If you are at home: We invite you to spend time today in prayer, meditation, and (hopefully) solitude. We invite you to walk your backyard, neighborhood, or nearby park, sit by a calming spot, or rest in a comfortable outdoor space.

During our quiet time today, as we prepare to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day on October 10th, we celebrate the gifts that Native peoples bring to our world. At the end, please find the Caroline Furnace draft Land Acknowledgement as we attempt to recognize the Native Peoples who occupied this land.

Opening Prayer:

Lakota Prayer

Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery,

teach me how to trust

my heart,

my mind,

my intuition,

my inner knowing,

the senses of my body,

the blessings of my spirit.

Teach me to trust these things

so that I may enter my Sacred Space

and love beyond my fear,

and thus Walk in Balance

with the passing of each glorious Sun.

- Found on:

Scripture Reading: Psalm 24:1-5

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,

the world, and those who live in it;

for he has founded it on the seas,

and established it on the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?

And who shall stand in his holy place?

Those who have clean hands and pure hearts,

who do not lift up their souls to what is false,

and do not swear deceitfully.

They will receive blessing from the Lord,

and vindication from the God of their salvation.

Contemplative Reflection:

There is a road in the hearts of all of us, hidden and seldom traveled, which leads to an unknown, secret place. The old people came literally to love the soil, and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power.

Their teepees were built upon the earth and their altars were made of earth. The soul was soothing, strengthening, cleansing and healing.

That is why the old Indian still sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly. He can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.

- Chief Luther Standing Bear

At first glance, his words may seem to communicate something mystical- and in fact it does refer to something very deep- our ability to come in touch with our true nature when touching the Earth- but it’s also referring to something very concrete which we can easily do in our everyday lives: Touch the Earth.

You’ve probably heard someone- a friend, or loved one perhaps- mention before that being in nature helps them clear their mind and think more clearly.

This isn’t just hearsay, you can test this for yourself. On an especially hectic day, go to a nearby park or hiking trail and take a moment to relax among the trees or walk the trail and feel as your mind begins to clear and your stress and tension begins to dissipate.

No matter what you believe or don’t believe about the healing and demystifying powers of being close to the Earth, or why exactly you think a natural environment clears our mind, it can’t be argued that being close to nature has an impact on our well-being.

And this may even extend to the physical body. The practice of “earthing” is the act of walking barefoot or placing our bodies on a natural surface, and while the science is still young there’s been promise in the findings to support that connecting directly with the Earth in some way can result in better sleep, less pain, reduced stress and tension, and improved immune function.

-written by Matt Valentine

Closing Prayer:

Take a slow, deep breath. As you inhale, realize you are receiving God’s Divine Breath as a total gift. Exhale slowly. The Spirit of God, she dwells in us all that we may live. Amen.


A Chinook Prayer:

May all I say

and all I think

be in harmony with thee,

God within me,

God beyond me,

maker of the trees.

- Chinook prayer, Pacific Northwest Coast

Caroline Furnace draft Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that Caroline Furnace occupies the land of the Eastern Siouan-speaking ancestors of the Monacan and Manahoac. This is the land of Iroquoian-speaking ancestors of the Page Culture and the Tuscarora, who joined the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (also known as the Iroquois Confederacy by the French and the League of Five Nations by the English), and Algonquian-speaking ancestors of the Keyser Culture.

The Shenandoah Valley region has a complex and longstanding Indigenous history. From Dr. Carole Nash:

Our current understanding of Indigenous cultures of the Shenandoah Valley points to complex interactions between different groups across thousands of years. Because there have been no identified Indigenous communities here since the early 18th century to claim the Valley as their ancestral home, the process of writing a Land Acknowledgement Statement is different than in locations with a strong continuity between past and present Indigenous peoples. Thus, it is very important that the information contained here explains not only what is known, but how it is known...

...When the English settled Jamestown in 1607, Indigenous families had been in Virginia for 500 generations -- at least 15,000 years...

...Given the complexity of cultural interactions during the Contact and Historic Periods, Indigenous peoples of western Virginia, like those of the Shenandoah Valley, were displaced.

Evidence of Indigenous history in the region includes the Paleolithic Thunderbird site in Front Royal, petroglyphs on the south end of Short Mountain, fish dams along the South Fork of the Shenandoah River, and human movement and settlement along the Great Valley for thousands of years. Fort Valley is believed to have served as an area for upland camps for seasonal hunting and gathering in the warmer months.

The Monacan Nation (now headquartered in Amherst County) is one of the few American Indian nations that remain in their ancestral homeland. The traditional territory of the tribe and its allies covered more than half of the state of Virginia, to include most of the Piedmont region and parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Additional Resources:

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