Birth Ritual – March 2019

From Shaman’s Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood

 

New being, new citizen of the world, new carrier

of cloud wisdom and moonstones, new

flame of the universe, new eyes of animals

too old to see beyond their footprints, new repetition

Of the old ideas that people thought had died long ago,

we stand before you, ready to protect your small

breath of life, ready to teach you songs, ready to

help you plow the fields cluttered with our mistakes. Your

Recent journey affirms our faith in ancient circles. You are

the voice of us who tried to change the world. You are

the continuity of seasons and migrations, the best

or worst of all that has gone before. New being,

The ancestors are depending on you to surprise them. Little one,

our prayers for you come with love and heartbreak.

The world you enter is dangerous and filled with

imbalance. Knowledge comes from experience, not from

Easy answers. Resist those who would have you blindly follow them,

dear child of buffalo and hawks, ladybugs and fireflies. Turn instead

to the rhythm of waves, the pattern of grass, the shape of clouds,

the music of raindrops, and the color of autumn leaves. Strong

Mountains and saplings await you. The tongues of animals are anxious

to speak to you and the river is eager to teach you to dance. Learn

from the vagaries of winds, the honking of geese, the dance

of trembling leaves, and the way that shadows mystify.

New being, this is all you will need to be at home in the world.

New being, this is all you will need to recognize your song.

The Marriage of Stars and Flowers – February 2019

From Shaman’s Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood

 

When stars first appeared in the sky, they were lonely, never

touching, or becoming touched by what lay beyond their isolation.

They had deep eyes with which to examine the sinews of

The universe and secret ears with which to hear the struggling whispers

of plants emerging from the earth below. After a while,

when the stars were looking within themselves for meaning,

 

They noticed a field of yellow flowers swaying in the wind of a

distant mountaintop. These flowers were patient and unresisting,

some so small that the stars couldn’t see them very well,

But they knew these living things to be mirrors of their own vast beauty.

Thus stars married flowers in loving affirmation

Of one another, expecting nothing more than recognition

of their unimportant differences.

Dancing Moons – January 2019

From Dancing Moons, 1995, by Nancy Wood

 

Deep in the sanctuary of my loneliness,

I looked at the nighttime sky where

The full moon in its own deep solitude

Suddenly began to dance across the stars.

From dark horizon to dark horizon it went,

Giving light to my silent, shuttered heart,

And to itself the promise of desire.

 

As I watched, the full moon danced the night away,

Bathed in earth’s reflected harmony. Then

The moon became two moons, multiplying on and on

Until the sky was filled with dancing moons.

Those distant orbs of spirited light vanished the moment

The sun came up, yet shadows of their beauty remained,

Reminding me of the blessings of my life.

What have I learned during this life – December 2018

From Shaman’s Circle, 1996, by Nancy Wood

What have I learned during this life of falling often on a path that

offered me direction I did not take? The language of snails.

Why did I ignore the advice of those who had lived a long time?

So that I could embrace my own mistakes.

Who was willing to accompany me on my painful journey?

Myself alone, dragging along the shadows of experience.

What shall I give to those ready to embark upon an even steeper
path?

An open heart. Resistance to despair. Laughter. Most of all,

The love of birds, animals, and spirits who watched my progress and said,

Though you have arrived, you are nowhere at all.

Wherever my eyes fall – November 2018

 

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

Wherever my eyes fall

I see you everywhere.

In the still pond gathering ice

To conceal itself from winter

You are the deep shy water.

In the slow built sparrow’s nest

Of infinite eggs and seasons

You are the mother to spring.

In summer flowers bursting

Down from the mountaintop

You are a wild and fragile dancer.

In the autumn wind at odds

With the disappearing leaves

You are the promise of next year.

Wherever my eyes fall

I see you everywhere.

You have thus become my vision

As my eyes go blind with years.