The Breath of Fire – February 2022

From Sacred Fire, 1998, by Nancy Wood

 

The sacred mountains call to me when life becomes

too hard to bear

and all that stands between me and despair is

a little waterfall. With each mile I climb,

my sadness melts away

and I feel my old self returning.

The sacred mountains cure my anger

and replenish my will to resist

those who would diminish me.

 

In wildness, I am made whole by beauty.

In wildness, I am humbled by majesty.

In wildness, I am content to find

eternity in a buttercup

and courage in a drop of rain.

I give to you this life – December 2021

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

 

I give to you this life

which is not the only life I have.

I am the forest living and dying.

I am the melancholy of falling leaves.

I am eternity in green.

I am water flowing strongly

Not in the lifetime of one man only

But down the rocks of generation

Across old deserts of humiliation

I run in anticipation toward the sea.

I give to you this life

which is the outer garment only.

I have clothed myself in riches

Sewn by hands in praise of home.

I am made of pollen and wings and bone.

I am wind reflected in moonlight.

I am ice crying out for food.

I am fire embedded in stone.

I am fields released by sun.

I give to you this life

claimed by what I do not own.

 

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.