27
Mar

What the Trees Said When They Fell - March 2017

From Shaman's Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood

 

The forest was an ancient tangle, so dense that whispers

could not be heard between the leaves, so tall

That birds became caught in branches and never reached

the sunlight, but spent their lives in the twilight

Layer where moss hung like ropes and the mist of ages

clung thickly to the air. Trees grew like sentinels

To history, older than animals, birds, or fish ever dreamed

of becoming when they were young and believed

 

That life would last forever. Those trees knew forever meant

long centuries of observation of weather, birds,

And animals, also ferns and moss, the sliding nature of

rocks embedded in mud and the temperament of snails.

Those trees grew up knowing all about one another, side by

side in a moss-green light, comforted by wind trying

To get between them and by rain falling in vertical shafts

anxious to penetrate their dry roots.

 

Those trees were necessary for balance, harmony, and beauty

in the world. All the animals and birds knew their importance

And spent their days and nights honoring their existence. Then brazen

people came and looked at the trees with calculating eyes.

They built roads and trails, then they cut them down, those ancient,

peaceful ones.

 

The trees fell gracefully, according to their nature,

one by one, with moans heard by birds and snails,

While in the river fish hid in dark pools. As the trees fell

they said: We bore witness to our time and

Each of you shall bear witness to a different time. Then,

where each tree fell, a child of destruction sprang up.

18
Dec

Earth Teach Me Stillness - December 2016

From War Cry on a Prayer Feather, 1979, by Nancy Wood

 

Earth teach me stillness

As the grasses are stilled with light.

Earth teach me suffering

As old stones suffer with memory.

Earth teach me humility

As blossoms are humble with beginning.

Earth teach me caring

As the mother who secures her young.

Earth teach me courage

As the tree which stands all alone.

Earth teach me limitation

As the ant who crawls on the ground.

Earth teach me freedom

As the eagle who soars in the sky.

Earth teach me resignation

As the leaves which die in the fall.

Earth teach me regeneration

As the seed which rises in spring.

Earth teach me to forget myself

As melted snow forgets its life.

Earth teach me to remember kindness

As dry fields weep with rain.

18
Nov

Night Fire - November 2016

From Dancing Moons, 1995, by Nancy Wood

 

The cold of winter makes a fire in my heart and fills my ears

with the music of the meadowlark. Here in my house, made

of the memory of summer and the desire for green grass,

I know that loneliness will never kill me.

Here in a room filled with sorrow for all the world in pain,

I know that fear can never blind me from seeing

eagles rising from the ashes of my fire.

 Asleep in a bed covered with longing for spring,

I know that anger never soothed my heart nor

silence solved the problems of my world.

In my dreams I see a perfect little flower, and then I know

that love will heal most anything,

my loneliness included.

16
Sep

The Solace of Wild Places - September 2016

From Wild Love (unpublished), 1996, by Nancy Wood

 

In these mountains I am made whole again
by birds and rocks and trees which speak to me
of their own difficulty in surviving storms.  The earth reaffirms
my brief connection to her holy body and in this wild place
I find a lasting grace, unheeded in the daily shove of life.
The sun kneads my back with reassurance and the stream
sings of simplicity overlooked in my struggle to be brave.
Deep in these mountains solitude soothes my rage,
and I know that no one notices my importance,
not even me.

30
Mar

The Circle - March 2016

From Spirit Walker, 1993, by Nancy Wood

 

All is a circle within me.

I am ten thousand winters old.

I am as young as a newborn flower.

I am a buffalo in its grave.

I am a tree in bloom.

All is a circle within me.

I have seen the world through an eagle’s eyes.

I have seen it from a gopher's hole.

I have seen the world on fire

And the sky without a moon.

All is a circle within me.

I have gone into the earth and out again.

I have gone to the edge of the sky.

Now all is at peace within me.

Now all has a place to come home.

 

Back to Top