April 14, 2010

Under the Treaty Elm

“We meet on the broad pathway
of good faith and good-will;
no advantage shall be taken on either side,
but all shall be openness and love.
We are the same as if one man’s body
was to be divided into two parts;
we are of one flesh and one blood.”

Earlier this year our Yearly Meeting was presented with several gifts at a celebration commemorating the promise of the unbroken Treaty of Friendship made between Pennsylvania Proprietor and Friend William Penn and Lenape Chief Tamanend. The 1682 treaty, believed to have been made under the Great Elm at Shackamaxon along the Delaware River, represents what many people feel is the best of our human spirit. On March 6th, just after Worship in the manner of Friends, our Yearly Meeting and the Lenni Lenape Nation were gifted talking sticks from the PYM Indian Committee, specially minted coins from the Penn Treaty Museum, and offsprings of the Great Elm by Haverford College.

The Great Elm blew down in a fierce storm on March 5, 1810; Haverford College was gifted a scion of the elm and planted it on campus, where it became known as the Penn Treaty elm. This past weekend we looked to celebrate and remember the promise of this unbroken treaty among citizens of the Earth while planting the historical seedling at 4th and Arch Meetinghouse.

D and the talking stick

Preparing to plant
(click on the picture to see a larger version)

"Tucking in" the tree

It was a wonderful way to honor a historical connection, and also to remind ourselves of the all the work that is still in need of our hands and hearts.

(Maybe my favorite part of this story,
after the fact, is that D,
in telling folks what we did this weekend,
would sometimes begin,
"So, do you know about William Penn?"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

so glad to see you're back!! Nice story; nice remembrance of times past with relevance to the present.