We Are Here

//We Are Here

We Are Here

FatherSkyClap

It’s one of those refreshingly overcast days that I love to experience once the sunshine becomes prevalent in Portland. The contrast feels so soothing.

I thought today that I would share the song that I share the most often in my classes. My intention is for as many of my students to have it memorized as possible before they move on with the rest of their lives. I feel this song pretty much sums up the grand philosophical spiritual question of, “What is the meaning of life?”

It’s a very simple song written and performed by Sharon Burch, a woman of Dine and German ancestry. There’s not too much information available about her online, but her songs carry the powerful messages of her people in praise of Mother Earth, the natural world, and family. She has three beautiful albums: Touch the Sweet Earth, Yazzie Girl, and Colors of My Heart. “We are Here,” comes from Colors of My Heart.

I include the lyrics and the link here in the hopes of this song becoming a standard for children everywhere. I have the movement directions I use introducing each verse in parenthesis. There is a final verse in Dine that I sing to the children. I learned it from listening to the recording, but I don’t know enough to try a phonetic rendering. If you listen to a recording of this song, it is very sweet, simple, and powerful to figure out and sing.

“We Are Here” by Sharon Burch – click song title for link

(We start this song in cross-legged seat, drumming the beat on the earth in front of us.)
Mother Earth says now
Take good care of me
Please do no hurt me
Hey, hey, ee-oh
Heyoh, heyoh, hey-oh

(We rise to kneeling while clapping the rhythm above our heads, in the sky.)
And Father Sky says now
Take good care of me
Please do no hurt me
Hey, hey, ee-oo
Heyoh, heyoh, hey-oh

(We do the standing portion of Surya Namaskar- Tadasana (Mountain Pose) to Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute) diving to Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) to flat back to Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) rising back to Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute) to resting our hands in prayer mudra in front of hearts standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
And all living creatures say
Take good care of us
Please do no hurt us
Hey, hey, ee-oo
Heyoh, heyoh, hey-oh

(Standing in Tree pose, we have a series of hand motions that point to the ground, cross our hands over our hearts, offer our hands to those in front of us, and then point the direction that our bent legs point. We follow our hands to stepping out of Tree pose and to turning in a circle to land back where we started.)
We are here to be ourselves
To be with one another
To be with our surroundings
To be
To be

(Same motions and movements with Tree pose on the other side.)
We are here to take care of ourselves
To take care of one another
To take care of our surroundings
To care
To care

(Same motions and movements with Tree pose on the other side.)
We are here to love ourselves
To love one another
To love our surroundings
To love
To love
To love…

(The last verse in Dine, we switch sides in Tree Pose one last time and clap our hands above our heads. I call this ‘Clapping Tree.’)

May you find this song in the Spirit of Peace, and carry it with you wherever you go.
It is an honor and joy to serve the children.
Honey in the Heart.
Namaste.

Poses featured in this song:

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Urdhva Hastasana (Upward Salute)

Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

By | 2017-08-20T21:45:43+00:00 June 12th, 2014|

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