Recently a friend who leads rites of passage journeys and vision quests asked me to write a song for the gratitude round of a sweat lodge ceremony he was about conduct for some young men just back from their vigil. Feeling back to the many times I’d experienced the power of passing gratitude around in the dark womb of a sweat lodge, this song came flowing in. It stands alone without any of the harmonies or working it as a round, but they do add to the interest and the beauty once you get the basics learned. It is also a zipper song, where you can substitute other words for “sacredness” on each repetition. On the recording on my CD, “This Fire”, we used “Sacredness,open-ness, wakefulness, humbleness, sacredness,” so on the second repetition we zipped in “openness” as follows. “We sit in this circle, and hold this ground in open-ness, our world to bless”, then all other words remained the same until we start up again, ie. “We sit in this circle and hold this ground in wakefulness, our world to bless….etc.” This song started out its life inside a sweat lodge, hence the “sitting” emphasis. It works just as well in a standing circle, where you can then zipper in “stand” for “sit.” (or “dance” if you want to dance.)
We sit in this circle and hold this ground in Sacredness, our world to bless.
We sit in this circle and pass around our thankfulness, our thankfulness.
Oh Spirit of Life, we give our thanks to you!
Oh Spirit of Life, we give our thanks for helping us through!