The Story of a Flower – May 2021

From Spirit Walker, 1993, by Nancy Wood

The Story of a Flower

 

In the season of wild strawberries

I came from the earth as a flower

High on a hill above my village, with only

The Eagle, the Buffalo, the Bear and the Butterfly

To watch the petals of my spirit unfold.

 

The Eagle spoke first. He said:

Sister; you will never have wings like me,

Except in the pathways of your dreams,

Yet you will fly to the top of the sky

Because I give you the Gift of Courage.

 

The Buffalo spoke next. He said:

Sister; you will never survive a long time like me,

Except on the trail of your memories,

Yet you will see a thousand winters go by

Because I give you the Gift of Endurance.

 

The Bear spoke next. He said:

Sister; you will never know the secrets

Of the Four-Legged Animals, since you are only a flower,

Yet the knowledge of all creatures is yours

Because I give you the Gift of Wisdom.

 

The Butterfly spoke next. She said:

Sister, you believe you are very important,

Because the creatures have given their gifts to you,

Yet here on this hill you will always be at home

Because I give you the Gift of Humility.

 

So I have lived for many seasons,

Among the Eagle, the Buffalo, the Bear and the Butterfly,

Watching the birds go by, speaking to rain and sky.

My colors have been the colors of the rainbow.

My beauty has given joy to all who see me.

 

To bloom even when there is no rain

Requires the Courage of the Eagle.

To last through the heavy snows of winter

Requires the Endurance of the Buffalo.

To understand the importance of all seasons

Requires the Wisdom of the Bear.

But to rejoice when my blossoms die

Requires only the Butterfly’s Humility.

 

Earth Woman – April 2021

From Hollering Sun, 1972, by Nancy Wood

 

Earth woman with hands

That shape the bread of time.

Earth woman with

Pumpkin-seed earrings and

Bracelets of wild plum.

Your house is made of summer.

Your children are the crops

Of all good seasons

Growing strong

In the house of earth woman

Who weaves the thread of life.

When the hand of winter gives up its grip on the sun – March 2021

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

When the hand of winter gives up its grip to the sun

And the river’s hard ice becomes the tongue to spring

I must go into the earth itself

To know the source from which I came.

Where there is a history of leaves

I lie face down upon the land.

I smell the rich wet earth

Trembling to allow the birth

Of what is innocent and green.

My fingers touch the yielding earth

Knowing that it contains

All previous births and deaths.

I listen to a cry of whispers

Concerning the awakening earth

In possession of itself.

With a branch between my teeth

I feel the growth of trees

Flowing with life born of ancient death.

I cover myself with earth

So that I may know while still alive

How sweet is the season of my time.

There are those who hear the voice of wheels – February 2021

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

 

There are those who hear the voice of wheels

And call it music.

And those who hear a symphony

In butterfly wings.

There are those who ride a highway

And call it beauty.

And those who follow the straight line

Of a spider’s silver thread.

There are those who define living

As existence only

And those who cannot live

Except to define existence first.

There are those who run in circles

And those who simply run

And those who find movement

In the greatest stillness.

Go one way or the other.

Fight for wheels or butterfly wings.

Travel on highways or spider threads.

Take up the cause of movement.

Bury stillness with the dead.

Abandon home for the popular place.

Kill the roots by girdling the tree.

Those who know the greatest comfort

Take not the greatest ease.

Those who prosper most

Prosper more with less.

There are no dark times – January 2021

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

There are no dark times.

There are only people with

sawdust in their eyes.

No wonder they look at

the great rolling land and see

only doors and windows.

No wonder they look at

the tall mountains and see

only a way to make them tame.

No wonder they look at

the endless sky and see

only a journey to the moon.

There are no dark times.

There are only moments which

are discolored like

sand which is wet with rain.

There are only moments which

give pain like

the sting of a bumblebee.

There are only moments which

are as cruel as

the death of an eagle by a gun.

There are no dark times.

I know this because

Tomorrow receives the best in time

Or else it would not come.