We invite you to be part of Our Mother Earth Foundation. Our purpose is to create sacred space that all beings can visit. I believe that humans, especially those of us in Western culture, have taken much from the Earth, and this is our attempt to give something back. We believe that enabling the Earth to regain her original nature will demonstrate our appreciation for her wonderful gifts and will benefit all sentient beings everywhere.
My name is Russell A. Myers, Jr., but most people call me Rusty. I am also called Baldeagle. How Rusty a former banker, became Baldeagle with a heart-felt quest to form the Mother Earth Foundation is a long story.
In 1992 a series of dreams and visions pointed me toward the land that my great grandfather had homesteaded in Smith County, Kansas. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was to do other than be there around the 6th of August and pay close attention. At my cousin’s suggestion, I made my camp site on a ridge where the Pawnee Indians used to camp.
At dawn on the morning of August 6, I was awakened by the crows. They seemed to be saying “Wake up! Get Up! Go out! Discover the gift of this day! Give this gift!” Startled by this realization, I watched the sunrise and the experience filled me with wonder and awe.
I sat and waited. Growing impatient, I heard a rustling in the grass and stood to investigate. Amazed, I watched as a coyote walked straight toward me. It stopped, looked at me intently, turned, ran a short distance away and then ran straight back toward me. It repeated this several times as if it wanted me to follow.
I followed the coyote to the top of a ridge where it looked at the sky, then to the west, and then at me. I followed suit by looking first at the sky and then west. I noticed when my gaze fell on cultivated land, I felt sick to my stomach and when I looked at land in its natural state I felt entirely peaceful. As I panned across the landscape, I jerked between these powerful feelings of illness and peacefulness.
Once again the coyote looked at the sky and then disappeared into the tall grass. I immediately became aware of a magpie circling above. It seemed to say “Pay attention to these spirits!” I heard barking coming from the east. I saw another coyote on the ridge of the hill, walking back and forth as it was barking. Again it seemed to want me to follow. When I reached the spot where the coyote was, I had an open view to the north. Just as before, as my eyes focused on cultivated land, I felt ill and when I focused on native grassland, I felt peace. The coyote was moving back and forth and barking. I followed it to the next hill east, the highest spot I had been while following the coyotes.
The coyote was just ten feet from me. Clearly a male, he remained intently focused on me for what seemed a long time. I began to lose track of time. Then very slowly he raised his head to the sky and made a complete circle with his head. He slowly lowered his head and returned his gaze to me as if to say, “now do you understand?” I looked around in a full circle and once again the same feelings I had when I looked west and north came over me. The coyote nodded his head and vanished north into the tall grass.
I waited for what must have been more than an hour. Many thoughts went through my head and left me thinking I did not understand what had taken place. I began to walk back to my campsite. Many hours had passed and I had no food or water. I was exhausted. Walking west and reaching the bottom of the hill, I realized, “The coyote wants me to give the land back.” As that thought came to me, I looked down and in my path was a fresh wild turkey feather. I felt this feather was a sign or affirmation that this is what the coyotes wanted me to do. I had the thought this feather was a pure gift with no strings attached.
As I continued back to my camp site, I struggled with how to give the land back. Who was I giving it back to? How much land was involved? When should I do this? All these questions were in my head. I noticed to the north a dead tree rising out of green grass in the middle of a circle of lush green trees. I felt drawn to the dead tree.
As I approached it, I noticed in the center of this natural circle was a pile of logs, which looked like a natural altar. I had stumbled across something very sacred and powerful. I was overwhelmed by the energy of this place. I began to dance around this altar, and as I danced the answers came to me in a flash.
I was called to see to it that land was returned to the care of our mother earth. This land was to be placed in the care of beings other than the human. I understood that this would signal all beings that we humans are grateful for all the gifts we have received and that this would benefit all beings everywhere. These lands would provide a place where humans could give up control and join the community of beings—the soil, stones, trees, grasses, shrubs, weeds, flowers, two-legged, four-legged, winged, crawly, finned, and all the other beings. I was aware I was standing at the center of this land that was to be given back. I grew tired and laid down in the grass by the altar. I realized I had received the teaching I had come to receive. I felt reborn.
I also felt exhausted and thirsty. Reluctantly I started to walk toward my camp where I had water. As I headed back to camp, I was overcome with weariness and doubt. “This was too much for me to do. I was the wrong one to do it. No one would understand.”
I remembered that I had been praying for guidance to help me find my path. To answer the question “What was I meant to do with the rest of my life?” Since the answer was right in front of me, I decided to give it a try. As I was having this thought, a new turkey feather was in my path. It was clear to me this was a sign encouraging me to begin.
Now twenty years later, I am aware I must try harder and use my experience in building community to aid me in this quest. I am very aware this is not about what I know or I don’t know. It is not about what I will learn or not learn. It is about trust. It is about faith. It is about following my call. I must not believe that I am doing it. I must have no attachment to the outcome. I must seek no return.