Friday, September 3, 2010

The Geography of Hearts

image from wonderofcreation.org

He sits,
peaceful, unhurried,
humble, wise,
arranging his medicine
on the prayer cloth.

Carefully,
he places them:
the rock, the antler,
the abalone shell,
the sage,
the eagle wing,
the tobacco,
and the pipe.

We sit in a circle,
silent,
waiting.
I feel the stillness
deep within.
Thoughts are
suspended.
Waiting is
what is
happening.

Then, around the circle
he walks,
holding the abalone shell,
using the eagle wing
-the entire wing of an eagle -
to blow the sage-smoke
over us.

Each in turn,
bathes in the smoke,
lifting it
to our faces,
over our heads,
down our arms and legs,
over our shoulders.

The medicine man
returns to his
prayer cloth.
He sits.
Slowly, he fits
the pipe together,
tamps the tobacco
down,
lights the pipe
and draws.
He points
the stem of the pipe
and breathes
a stream of smoke
Above
towards the sun,
Below
towards the earth,
in each of
The Four Directions.

The pipe passes.
One by one,
we breathe in
the sacred smoke
and pass it on.

When it has passed
full circle
he dismantles it,
puts his medicine away:
the rock, the antler,
the abalone shell, the sage,
the eagle wing,
the tobacco,
and the pipe.

Then he brings out
the drum.
Its beat
reverberates
through my
innermost being
and I am
spiritually filled.

I know in one
of my many lifetimes,
I have been First Nations.
My soul is First Nations now -
it is many nations,
for in all my lifetimes
I have been
many people,
and in this lifetime
I understand
that geography
of hearts.

I am connected
forever
to that day
to that circle
to that sacred place
and to the larger circle
of humankind
that we all are.

The medicine man
is singing,
each word a prayer
and a blessing
with which
our hearts
are filled.

When he brings out
the feather,
he tells us:
"Your greatest pain
is your strongest
medicine."

He looks straight
into my eyes.
He knows.
I understand.

His words are
medicine,
and his life
a gift to others.

On this day,
I dreamed
the Rainbow Race
is rising
all over the earth.
May the Human Race
arise and claim
the thousand years
of peace
we are
awaiting.

6 comments:

  1. So beautiful!!!
    Love and blessings to you,
    Kathleen

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  2. This is so wise and wonderful!
    Geography of hearts..you wove it so well~ Stunning! I know I have
    Indian in me-I have always been drawn to this culture, but never close enough to it, to be part of the circle. It pains me what they have endured~

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love the simple words and clear description, which give the poem great beauty and depth.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! I am speechless. I feel I was with you there and I am also spiritually filled. Your greatest pain is your strongest medicine..wow.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hello Sherry.
    Your words are themselves calming to my soul.

    Lovely expressions to read this evening.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Thief In The Night

    ReplyDelete

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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!