Taking on 2013 and hoping to revitalize my life

Welcoming Ceremony

Yesterday I got to participate in a Welcoming/ Opening ceremony at work.

We’ve been working in a temporary office and yesterday we moved into our newly renovated digs. To celebrate the opening of our new work space, a community elder was brought in and she performed the ceremony.

sweetgrassI really enjoyed being part of it. As a matter of fact, the elder gave me the burning sweetgrass so that I could help with the smudging. Smudging is a type of cleansing ritual. I had no idea what I was doing but everyone said that I did a good job.

Basically I took the smouldering sweetgrass around the room and held it in front of people so that the smoke would flow over them. Everyone did something slightly different but most people directed the smoke towards their eyes, ears, mouth, over their heads and towards their heart. I have to say that it was really a special experience.

During the smudging the elder was speaking in her native tongue and when she was done she translated what she had said into English. Finally she did a chant saying the word “Welcome” while beating a drum.

I really love this kind of stuff. Being part of this new cultural experience was a treat and I felt grateful that I was able to experience it. I feel a little silly in that I don’t know more about the people who I work with but I am happy to have the opportunity to learn.

Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know but it is important to keep an open mind and to take advantage of learning opportunities when they present themselves.

Comments on: "Welcoming Ceremony" (5)

  1. This sounds really interesting- such a unique experience. I think it shows how your new work experience is so personal and “human”. thanks for sharing Gwen!

    • I’m really enjoying it there Jess. It’s a new environment and a new way of doing things and I think that it is just what I need right now.

  2. I am so excited to read this, Gwen. People should do this when they move in some where, whenever someone is sick in the home, after a stressful event, or after a negative encounter. Smudging is like a spiritual bath. One may smudge with a feather, even, if the person is respectful of the bird and ask it to participate. God gives us many wonderful ‘friends’ like the plant kingdom to heal and better our lives. Blessings!

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