Neill and I spent the long weekend in Miamisburg, Ohio so that I could officiate a dear friend’s wedding on Sunday 10/10. While there we discovered the Miamisburg Mound. The Mound is 65 feet tall and 800 feet in circumference, standing atop a 100 foot high ridge along the Great Miami River. It is believed to be one of the burial mounds of the Adena culture and served as a cemetery for generations of ancient people. At one point, it’s estimated that 10,000 Native American mounds and earthworks existed in the central Ohio Valley alone. Though now just 1,000 remain. Here’s what floored me—the estimate is that mounds like the Miamisburg Mound were created 2,000 to 2,800 years ago. Yes it is that ancient, as the Adena culture transformed into the Hopewell culture around 400 C.E.*
It is important in most cultures that those who have died are honored. This doesn’t always look the same. But somehow when one stands in front of a structure like the Miamisburg Mound it’s all the more apparent that we are connected to one another and we need each other. How many people were remembered by their loved ones and buried here? How long did it take for this mound to become the sheer size that it remains? How many times was the earth lovingly packed down again to keep making space for the next loved one to be honored and remembered by the Adena people?
In our church we commemorate All Saints Sunday on the first Sunday in November. We honor those we have loved and lost in the last year. It’s not necessarily elaborate. The way I was brought up observing All Saints was simply naming each person and then tolling a bell after each name was read. It’s an important way to honor our own loved ones in this time and place (and in a culture that too often doesn’t want to talk or think about grief, dying, or death.) Consider this week’s thought a gentle remind to email Nicole with names of loved ones to be remembered this year. And keep in mind, we may be walking on the sacred ground of all those who came before us far more often than we realize.
*”Miamisburg Mound,” Ohio History Connection, https://www.ohiohistory.org/visit/museum-and-site-locator/miamisburg-mound
Photos by Rev. Lauren Lorincz
Thursday Thoughts 10/14/21