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Archive for September, 2009

Some of you may recall the posts which I have begun here sharing my experiences on San Bruno Mountain. Unfortunately, due to recent changes in my life I haven’t been able to continue this series, but I hope to get back to it and write more about this mountain and my visits to it in the near future.

I came to know this mountain as the result of meeting a very special individual at PantheaCon – Ginny Anderson. I took her workshop on “Circling San Francisco Bay” and learned about different sacred sites around the Bay Area. So far I have touched two of them… Kirby Cove and San Bruno Mountain. It is my goal to visit them all – hopefully accompanied by Ginny.

I am indebted to Ginny not only for her friendship, but also for my continued existence. She has been a source of strength and support when I was going through some truly troubled times in my life. With her background in psychology, spirituality, and ecology she has been able to combine all three into a unique healing method which reached down to the very core of my being, and helped me to find my path when I couldn’t see it for myself.

I remember when Ginny and I were hiking on San Bruno, that fragments of a song I remembered kept entering my mind. It was a song that was so appropriate to the moment, and to the woman I consider my teacher, my healer, and my friend.

Ginny has been a strong voice in the preservation of San Bruno Mountain, and in educating others on the importance of maintaining the mountain and the surrounding lands not only as a sacred site, but as the last living remnant of the Franciscan ecosystem – home to many rare and endangered species. In addition, it was also home to a Native American tribe thousands of years ago, and should be preserved in their memory as well.

But like many similar sites all over the country, San Bruno Mountain is being threatened by encroaching development. There are cities nestled right at its base, and highways which pass right by its ancient shell mounds. We are already seeing bulldozers and heavy machinery on the mountain’s lands. Time is running out, and we need to act NOW. For more information on how you can help, please check out the San Bruno Mountain Watch website.

But getting back to the song…

Trying to remember the lyrics was driving me crazy! I could remember a woman I knew back in Kansas City (when I lived there several years ago) who sang this song at the Gaia Goddess Gathering when I attended it one year. I knew that wasn’t the first time I had seen this song performed, but I couldn’t remember where or who.

So I got on the computer and did an internet search. Sure enough, I found it. The song was originally written and recorded by Holly Near, well-known in the Women’s Community as a singer and songwriter, teacher, feminist, and activist. Growing up herself in the rural community of Ukiah in central California, Holly has always felt a strong affinity for the land, and many of her songs reflect this. She has spoken of the need to preserve this land for future generations:

Mountaintop removal is devastating. Google it and you will get lots of information as well as suggested activism. Mountaintop removal has wiped out 500 mountains and destroyed historic communities. Join the national campaign to bring mountaintop removal to an end.

~ Holly Near

I think Ginny and Holly have a lot in common.

So for you, my friend… I share this song.

Mountain Song
Holly Near / © Hereford Music (ASCAP)

I have dreamed on this mountain

Since first I was my mother’s daughter

And you can’t just take my dreams away – not with me watching

san bruno and highway

You may drive a big machine

But I was born a great big woman

And you can’t just take my dreams away – not with me fighting

bulldozer

This old mountain raised my many daughters

Some died young – some are still living

But if you come here to take our mountain

Well we ain’t come here to give it

hikers on mountain

I have dreamed on this mountain

Since first I was my mother’s daughter

And you can’t just take my dreams away – not with me watching

No you can’t just take my dreams away – without me fighting

mountain and bush

No you can’t just take my dreams away

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