Posted by: rajagainstthemachine | January 17, 2010

Nahkohe Dreaming

… náhkohe is the spirit bear. She represents the Mother, earth.  That’s why our word for Mother is náhko’e

He was tall, elegant, distinguished. A golden brown braid wound its way down his spine. His eyes were piercing, set above a strong jaw. He was forged from strong things; the fires, dreams and songs of generations. The old ones. Tsé-tsêhéstâhese: like-hearted people.

The bear taught the buffalo, the buffalo taught them; the ancient ways. Healing.

We sat and listened to him, in an icy clearing. The snow had descended on the Tetons, obscuring their jagged teeth from our view. The wind ripped up the skin of the lake; an eagle above scanned the realms below for prey.

Old things run deep, through this country. They were here long before this time, and they will still be here when we are long departed.

They permeate the frozen pine needles, the stumps and twisted grey branches, pointing beyond. The sap, congealed on hackneyed trunks, resolute in their stance. Seeping through the mud that binds gnarled roots reaching down, beneath, to depths of place and purpose.

In crimson, terracota, mustard leaves blanketing once scorched forest floors. Red willow, red rocks, dust, scree, bleeding into canyons. Golden grass, windswept, on the plains. Rivers that gather up from glaciers, meandering through woods, and then breaking into a roaring charge. A thundering herd, quaking ground beneath us, tumbling over a cliff face, exploding onto waiting waters.

Old things run deep, through this country. The mountains are made of them. The winds carry their breath. The fire carries their heart. The rain carries their tears. The stillness marks their contemplation.

Learning this, knowing this – feeling it – I was healing, at last.

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