Options / by Karie Luidens


Native, invasive. Sacredness, secularization, desecration. It would be easy for me to ignore all these apparent abstractions. More than easy. The now-established culture wants me to ignore them and continue consuming whatever it’s selling, “consume” figuratively or literally in the form of foodstuff. I could shrug off all this information, figure what’s done is done, accept the current state of things, and continue to purchase packaged goods and fast food like millions of others across the continent. 

But assuming I don’t want to ignore all this—assuming I want to acknowledge the world’s ugly history and the ways humans have wreaked havoc on lands and peoples for profit—assuming I want to conscientiously lead a life that helps heal the land and the people rather than perpetuate harm—what are my options?

I could renounce this land that doesn’t belong to me, and leave.

I could reclaim my true ethnic heritage and try to forge an old-fashioned sustainable Dutch livelihood… somewhere…

I could try to do right by this small patch of backyard that’s currently in my stewardship. I could acknowledge that I’m wrong to think of this dirt as dead, and instead see its potential for sacred relationships to all life—including my life. I could take a deep, cleansing breath and sink my hands and tools into caring for it anew.