The Legend of Holds the Fire

Perhaps there have always been healers and seers among the People, but one in particular is still talked about today. All the People could see she was a very special child from the moment she was born. To this day her mother says that when she was born, Holds the Fire sang instead of cried.

No one understood the language, and some said it was an ancient one from when the People were first created from the Earth.

When she was 3, Holds the Fire ran to the injured Songbird, when she was attacked by a bear. At first, Holds the Fire was pushed away, but she snuck through the crowd and touched Songbird. Everything changed from that moment. Holds the Fire’s beautiful brown skin changed to red and then orange, glowing as if embers from a holy fire.

It was in her hands. Healing was in the hands of Holds the Fire. Songbird, who had been screaming in agony and fear, immediately calmed down. Healing washed over her as waves from the sacred lake. And Holds the Fire spoke in that ancient language again, the language no one could understand.

When she was older there was much work to be done. Rattlesnake bites, war wounds and emotional trauma took their toll. And no man was brave enough to ask her to marry. Maybe she didn’t want that type of life anyway.

To this day though…..all the People know….. she is their Mother.

Writing Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed, image public domain c.1900

Note: I’m bringing an early Christmas present today! This is brand new. Merry Christmas!

Singing to the Corn

In the days when wolves were still the Elders, and when there were not many horses yet living on the Plains, the People moved west, to grow their food and for sunlight sparkling in rivers that sang.

And Buffalo Bird Woman would sing to the corn, touching tenderly each stalk. Her gentle ways, her heart for the Earth produced an abundance of food, making the People very happy.

The Earth loved Buffalo Bird Woman, and some say she is the first human….. to ever grow pumpkins.

Poetry and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

Note: Buffalo Bird Woman was a real person, and she really did sing to the corn, however the rest is fiction.

The Seeker

Prayer smoke ascended into the grey sky. He hadn’t expected the rain and it was difficult to keep the fire. Yet his plan worked of bundling dried leaves and twigs in plastic before he left.

As the sun set, the rain fell harder then suddenly stopped. Night songs began, including tree frogs and an owl. Was it worth it to come out here?

He had no choice really but to reinvent himself. So many fragmented pieces. He gathered up what he could and sought the wilderness.

Was it wrong to not care about his culture? Breaking off a piece of dried spinach, he realized it probably was. He refused to stand in line anymore though, walking into the abyss.

It was the dawn that brought deliverance. He peeled back his wet sleeping bag like layers of skin, knowing he would have a different name today.

The sun would bring a new life…..and the healing would begin.

As he stood on top of the mountain.

Writing and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

Note: This is about a First Nations man seeking a vision as part of his culture, and seeking healing for himself.

Storm in the Night

Blackfoot Lodges c. 1900

Lightening cracked open the sky, and thunder shook the earth again. The storm was on top of them. Most of the men and women were outside now, even though it was the middle of the night. The wind was getting stronger and was playing havoc with the lodge flaps, so the people were busy closing them, tightening the lodge poles, and gathering in what they could. Anything they could not grab was tossed into the air. Children were crying, mothers were screaming, and the men were busy giving commands that nobody heard.

A few of the men tried tending the panic stricken horses. Herding them into a small space worked well in spite of the noise. Another crack, and more rumbling from below. It seemed as if the earth might break open with the shaking. The men stayed with the horses as long as they could, until the hard driving rain forced everyone inside.

No one could sleep. Young lovers took advantage of the time, parents held their children, and some worried about the damage to the village. Would the horses return? They would have to wait until morning.

There was one person that was not awake or asleep. He went to live in the spirit world that night and left his body behind. Lone Horse had been an old man, loved by all the people. He had wisdom from the Creator, and usually after a council meeting people would say – “Lone Horse thinks….” or, “Lone Horse says…” Now there would be an empty seat at council meetings. It was a great loss for everyone.

His wife, Cricket in the Meadow, would not find him until morning. They had been married for more than fifty years, and the people would worry if she could survive the loss. Her health was frail, but fortunately there was still the sparkle of light in her eyes.

Their one child died at a young age from the fever. They carried this pain for the rest of their lives, but it gave them both a vulnerability, a sensitivity, that brought out love in all they did. The people would wrap their arms around Cricket in the Meadow, holding her tight, enveloping her with their love, for as long as she needed. They would get through this somehow, together.

Still, it was a dark time.

Writing Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed, Image public domain

The Legend of Wind Walker

Many say her spirit still lives on the mountain, and some have seen her spirit when the pine trees are bending. She’s an ancient presence.

Her breath to this day carries power in her songs. And her name was changed in the days when the sun became brighter, from First Woman….to Wind Walker.

It’s true she mourns her people in her songs, yet even more she sings of the healing of all nations. The victory of the Earth, over death and destruction.

Do you hear her in the wind?

Poetry and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

Acadia Returns

The fog hovered low that evening as he stood silently in the sand listening to the waves. The rhythm washing every scar of the day, the worrying.

Rocks made smooth from the ocean, he thought about her and that he might even smile, until he needed to zip up his jacket a little higher. He relit his pipe, and as he walked home he watched the sand,

surrounding his boots and then give way again and again. He pulled his hat down further due the chill, and he thought of the lamps he left on in his cottage,

and quilts hanging over chairs, and a steaming, hot cup of tea.

He wondered if her ghost would be there again.

Either way, Acadia would always live

within him.

Poetry and Image © Copyright 2021, rivers renewed

The Awakening

It was as if the two of them were floating, traveling within their dreams. In the cloud covered sunlight, they felt themselves moving high above the Earth, and heading towards the Great Sea. The sea and the sky became one, clouds and water within a mist, washing them.

They were lost in this other world, but it was not unpleasant. Floating brought peace, and there was no time here, just the moving through the mist of blue. The smell of water.

But as they moved without a particular space and time, the sun suddenly pierced their consciousness, and began shining on their faces. As they returned to their bodies, the warmth brought back their spirits, and woke them, as if from a very deep sleep.

Poetry and Image © Copyright 2021, rivers renewed

Seeing Clearly

I’m not sure when it was that I could see clearly for the first time. Yet the mountains showed me so well of how I was formed, my spirit taking shape. I began on this earth reaching up,

my hand almost touching. I wanted to touch the clouds. There were wings back then, but my brother and sister hawks were not made yet. It was later I was given a physical body.

It’s amazing what you can see…. in the mountains.

Poetry and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed

The Wind River People

In the days when wolves were still the Elders, two of the forest creatures sought their advice. They were Hawk in the Sky and Songbird. Yes, they were birds but the two of them were so very different they could not understand the love they felt for each other.

Hawks you see are not friendly to other birds. Yet when the Elders met with them, their direction was very clear. An Elder female wolf spoke it best. “It is good and natural for you to be attracted to each other…..continue as you are. Be at peace and be committed to each other…..”

This mystical union produced a great number of children. Eventually and over time some of them became humans or close to it. And this is how the first humans were formed, running wild and free, some having wings and filled with the winds of heaven.

This was all along the Wind River region, the birthplace of all creatures. And by the way, most leaders in those days whether wolves, hawks, or humans were…..female.

The Elders could see very early on that females were usually smarter, and much less prone to violence.

And the hawk on my shoulder tells me this natural order will soon be restored. Men having ruined the Earth, and in their violence….destroying each other.

Writing and Image Copyright © 2021 rivers renewed