She held the child under her blanket close to her heart, warm and safe. The child’s eyes were watching the flames of their fire, she sang softly and then began to speak of life, and tell stories carried for generations of her Grandmothers and Grandfathers. She would say to the child, “My thoughts will always be within your thoughts. Be gentle to all life and give of yourself wisely.”When she spoke of times to come, the child listened. She said, “Hold on to what is pure, respect the Earth. Hold onto the Wisdom, it is a tree whose roots are deep and can stand through the storm. In each of us lives the child, we will always be learning and understanding how to be human. Remember these things I tell you, we are all connected. We are all of the Circle, the Circle is the Great Wheel of Life.”
My mother said, “Like you, there is a child in me traveling by the way of the Sun, towards the East I roam, with the Eagle I fly, and it taught me to see far and clear. I lift my eyes unto the mountains until I find a reflection of what lives deep inside of me. The Eagle tells me to rise above my small world and look toward the Sky Nations. Find a high place and let your eyes feast upon the beauty of the Earth Mother, the meadows of flowers and the laughter of the brooks and streams that play close to her heart. She is the true Mother and her love and Beauty is boundless. To be her child is the blessing of an Awakened Life. Seek your vision and rise above all obstacles, embrace freedom.”
“There is a child in me that is traveling South. I walk with the Wolf, I live in right-relationship with all Life. I will grow old as I move to completion and the fruits of my deeds ripen. There is a time for relating and family, to see what is in front of my nose. To experience the dance and joy of each day and its gifts, no matter how small or large.”
Sunlight through Bushes”The Child in me travels to the West with the Bear, which teaches me to look inside and know my shadow. There is a time to be alone so that you become what you are. Not the ‘wanna be’ of someone else, but you and who that is. There is a time for being joyful of who you are and love yourself.”
“The child in me travels North and seeks the Great Buffalo who teaches me Wisdom. A time to be quiet and know the Silence. To know that life begins while beneath the snow. That what appears barren is full of life and new growth. That the frozen lakes reflect the Sun as the rainbow, the promise of ancient-future. In the moment, and the moment is now. To understand that death begins with birth, and birth begins at death. There is no beginning or end, all returns to where it began. There are no dark times, only people without a vision.”
When she finished speaking, all I could feel was the warmth and her gentle strength. She whispered to me, “My son, my son I am a woman. I am half the Sky. I am a daughter of the Earth Mother, womb of life, and the rainbow is the shawl around my shoulders. Look in my eyes, the universe is there. I am Woman, Mother of Mankind on the Great Mother Earth. To deny the value of Woman, is to deny the value of your life. I am half and you are half, remember this. I encourage you to explore all your visions and dreams. Respect all life and all beings. We are interconnected – destroy one and we all die. We are one. Hold onto what is good, and you will never be lost.”
That was years ago, more than I want to recall. My mother is ageless, yet ancient. Today she is my Elder as well, therefore I also call her Grandmother. What will always remain as part of me are the memories of her and our wonder-filled moments of life, in front of a fire or together in the wee hours of a night, sunny afternoons on the edge of a stream, the excitement of a rain storm.
And the tenderness of a raindrop at the end our prayers. Most of all, our time in her home, the forest, where she spoke and all listened. Where her laughter was a signal and every part of nature came to greet us. I am sure that the world will return to balance because of Woman and her relentless beauty way. Her endurance is her strength and she keeps the gifts.
A man’s life begins in the arms of a woman, his first love of woman is his mother, her values live in him also. I remember my Mother saying, “I now live inside your thoughts, we are one. Respect all life and hold on to what is good. Take hold of my hand when you need me, even when you cannot see me, I am there.” Old woman, old woman, it was always you there in the Eagle’s eyes, your voice on the Winds. You in the majestic grace of the Deer, and the warmth of laughter in the play of the Wolf, your heart in the Bear, your faith and wisdom in the Buffalo. It was you, even when I was blind with tears behind my eyes that moved in my spirit and helped my feet find the way. My life is full, and I am wealthy in beauty and joy because you live in my thoughts and beside me. You are Woman, the Womb of Man, the promise of life to the yet unborn.”
Sin no wa.
(“Grey Hawk” in Cherokee, phonetic spelling.)
Grey Hawk is the second born child and son of Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha.
We thank him for permission to copy this article.
© 1990 Grey Hawk