Many winters I have lived – July 2018

From Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

Many winters I have lived

Ever since the beginning of time

When the first snow fell

Covering the tired earth

Which played with endless summer.

Many winters I held the water captive

On the tops of many mountains

Still warm from the earth’s beginning

When the moon and the sun gave birth

To one full circle of beauty.

Many winters I blew the stars around

So that the place where each star fell

Was where a river grew

Taking as its course to the sea

The path of the winter sun.

Many winters the trees slept with me

And the animals walked on my breast

Just as the birds drew near

Seeking warmth from my fire

Which took the sting from the night.

Many winters I have been

Companion to the lonely moon

Chasing after the raging sun

Which listened to our song of thanks

Before releasing earth from winter.

Many winters I have lived

Ever since the beginning of time

When out of the melting snow

Came the first frail flower which said

I am the spirit of spring.

Of Mountains and Women – June 2018

From Spirit Walker, 1993, by Nancy Wood

 

The hearts of mountains

and the hearts of women

Are both the same. They beat to

an old rhythm, an old song.

 

Mountains and women

are made from the sinew of the rock.

Mountains and women

are home to the spirits of the earth.

Mountains and women

are created with beauty all around.

Mountains and women

embrace the mystery of life.

 

Mountains give patience to women.

Women give fullness to mountains.

Celebrate each mountain, each woman.

Sing songs to mountains and to women.

Dance for them in your dreams.

 

The spirit of mountains and of women

Will give courage to our children

Long after we are gone.

Knowing the Earth – May 2018

From Spirit Walker, 1993, by Nancy Wood

 

To know the Earth on a first-name basis

You must know the meaning of river stones first.

Find a place that calls to you and there

Lie face down in the grass until you feel

Each plant alive with the mystery of beginnings.

Move in a circle until you discover an insect

Crawling with knowledge in its heart.

Examine a newborn leaf and find a map of a universe

So vast that only Eagles understand.

Observe the journey of an ant and imitate its path

Of persistence in a world of bigger things.

Borrow a cloud and drift high above the Earth,

Looking down at the smallness of your life.

The journey begins on a path made of your old mistakes.

The journey continues when you call the Earth by name.

The Fire of Life – April 2018

From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood

 

Every day I bathe myself in light

and write my name in stars across the sky.

Every day I am the Fire of Life, burning

with the intensity of the Sun. The Wind cannot

 

blow away such passion, nor can Rain drown

the ash of love, knowing it will burn again.

Every day I bathe myself in light and dance

 

to the music that rivers make on their

way to the sea. The Earth hears my prayers

and gives my body a familiar form,

feminine in nature, strong and surviving.

 

Every day I write my name

in stars across the Universe: I am love.

The power of my flame

rises with the fury of my dreams.

Animal Wisdom – March 2018

From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood

 

At first, the wild creatures were too busy

to explore their natural curiosity until

Turtle crawled up on land. He said:

What’s missing is the ability

to find contentment in a slow-paced life.

 

As the oceans receded, fish sprouted whiskers.

Certain animals grew four legs and were able

to roam from shore to shore. Bear stood

upright and looked around. He said:

What’s missing is devotion

to place, to give meaning to passing time.

 

Mountains grew from fiery heat, while

above them soared birds, the greatest

of which was Eagle, to whom penetrating

vision was given. He said: What’s missing

is laughter so that arguments

can be resolved without rancor.

 

After darkness and light settled their

differences

and the creatures paired up,

people appeared in all the corners of

 

´┐╝the world. They said: What’s missing

is perception. They began to notice

the beauty hidden

in an ordinary stone,

the short lives of snowflakes,

the perfection of bird wings, and

 

the way a butterfly speaks

through its fragility. When they realized

they had something in common with animals,

people began saying the same things.

They defended the Earth together,

though it was the animals who insisted

on keeping their own names.