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.