When I feel the world’s harsh breath – June 2019

FromĀ Many Winters, 1974, by Nancy Wood

 

What can I do when I feel the world’s harsh breath and know

That if I stay too long in its path

My path shall be burned up also.

I must go back to the land again

And find the eagle at home with the rock.

I must climb to the mountaintop

And find the spot where the river begins.

I must lie quietly beside the earth

And find the warmth of its heart.

I must turn my vision to the sky

And find the purpose of clouds.

Then trouble seems far away

And the breath which consumes all beauty

Has passed right over me.

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.

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.