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.

 

Who speaks for animals who cannot talk? – September 2019

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

 

Who speaks for animals who cannot talk?

Who sees for flowers which are blind?

Who guards the river which has but one course?

Who represents the mountain in time?

Who comes here to argue for the life of beavers?

Who will tell of the importance of snails?

Who has seen the mantis shed his skin?

Who believes in butterfly wings?

I am nature’s advocate

Ten million birds

Ten million trees

Ten million animals

Ten million fish

Are mine.

I will fight you in this room

And out of it.

I will dare you to define

Progress

On the face of a dime.

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.