The Healing of the People and the Earth

Woman in Blue

Historical Microfiction About First Nations People of the 1700’s

The snow was melting now and the people were beginning to heal. The long, difficult winter was fading as a memory. The first sprouting of flowers could be seen, peaking through the ground, sometimes coming up through the snow, determined to make an appearance. There was no holding back their life. It was time to live again.

The people felt the same way. They had experienced great sadness, but there had been joy too. There had also been tremendous victory over fear. Sky, was especially grateful for the freedom from fear that she had experienced, even though thinking about the victory, brought back memories of Cricket in the Meadow. The people had also won a victory over the spirit of war. Relying on the Creator, they had come together and been moved by the Great Spirit. The Ulani warrior (and the hunting party he was part of) had vanished. There was peace, and there would be peace, and everybody knew it.

mother and toddlerOn a very practical level the people were busy, and humming with new life. Young mothers, including Redwing, were busy with their children, and the men were hunting. The people were growing and needed to be fed! The pregnant women were busy also making plans, making clothing, and comparing notes with each other. There was more time spent outside, and even talking became an outdoor activity, as long as there was a fire close by.

There was a large fire built almost every evening, in the middle of the village so the people could be together more as a group. On one warm evening they were all singing, when they noticed two points of light in their midst getting larger and taking shape, turning into people – or rather the spirits of two people. It was very brief, but the people were surprised when they saw the spirits of Lone Horse, and Cricket in the Meadow, standing with them and singing too. At the end of the song, the spirit couple waved goodbye, joined hands as they turned, and then disappeared into the night. Sky mentioned, she thought the two of them wanted the people to know they were at peace. No one ever saw them again.

Thunder Speaking was actively seeking wisdom from the Creator on how to help the 4 remaining Ite people, find their way out of the Great Mountains. His people had been devastated by war and sickness, and the White Wolves said they were looking for him. He needed to help them but he did not know how. Should he follow the same path that he praying by the creekhad used, when he came to the Tsi village? How would he ever find that trail again? He decided to seek the advice of men he looked up to, like Standing on the Mountain, Bull Elk, and Seven Hawks. This was too big for him to handle alone. He would often go into the woods to pray.

A number of the women of the village decided to surprise the men one day. Since it was early spring they decided it was time for a Jingle Dress Dance, which was thought to bring healing and restoration. It was the right time. They decided to dance first thing in the morning, which had never been done before, but they wanted the village to wake up to the sound of their dancing. Each woman would dance around her own lodge, and then they would dance in the center as a group. They did need to tell a few men, so they could have the drums ready.

As the women began to dance that morning, there was a feeling of joy, of good things coming in the future, and that they were seeing another day, with the sun shining. There was hope. It was good, and right, and everybody knew it.

Blessings to everyone and PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

top image from pinterest/additional images from google/video from youtube

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The Rain of Sorrow

pouring rain

Historical Microfiction About First Nations People in the 1700’s

Note: If you are grieving over the loss of a loved one, or have grieved recently, please do not read this. I would never want to cause anyone more pain.

There was the good kind of rain of course, the kind where young couples would snuggle closer, and fall back to sleep. But that’s not what this rain was. This rain was the kind where the clouds hung low, heavy with the weight of it, where the air was thick, and refused to yield. At times the heavens were released, and the rain pounded the village, only adding to the feelings of foreboding, and sadness.

It rained, a cold rain for days. It was too warm to snow now, yet it was still cold enough to be miserable. The people were miserable but not because of the weather. Cricket in the Meadow was sick and it appeared to be her heart. Just like the clouds hanging over them, they felt the weight, the sorrow of it, and at times their grief was released, in great torrents, when no one expected it. Many wept.

It had been two weeks since the birth of Redwing’s baby. There had been two weeks of joy and happiness. There had been singing, and several of the men had brought back fresh food from hunting. Sky now realized her mother had not been giving into the pain, so that the joy of the birth would continue. up into the heavens

After two weeks though, Cricket in the Meadow collapsed. She and Sky had been visiting Bull Elk, and Holds the Fire, and their family, when it happened. Cricket in the Meadow stood up to leave, when she grabbed her chest and fell. They did manage to carry her to her own lodge where she was attended by a number of women and men.

That’s when the weeping started, and the pain, and the grief that seemed to never end. They were losing her, and did not know what to do. Sky, was not surprised but was grieving too. She knew her adopted mother was a tough person, but the two of them had talked a lot for the past two weeks. Her mother had prepared her well. Still, the pain was intense. The clouds rolled in and the rain began.

from wyomingpublicmedia.orgTheir lodge was filled with people during day, unless someone wanted to be with Cricket in the Meadow, to speak with her privately, only for a few minutes. Two Wolves said he wanted to be the keeper of the fire, and with the help of Songbird, they began the difficult task of keeping stacks of wood dry enough to use. They began using lodges that had previously kept winter supplies, in order to dry out some piles of wood.

Four days after she had collapsed, Cricket in the Meadow stopped talking. When that happened, the people gathered quickly to her lodge. Those that could not fit inside the lodge stood outside, using buffalo blankets as protection against the relentless rain. It was love that brought them there, and they wanted to be as close as they could. Several hours later, Cricket in the Meadow stopped breathing, and her spirit soared into the heavens. She was being held at the time by Sky, and by her side was Thunder Speaking, who also considered Cricket in the Meadow, his adopted mother. In fact, who did not consider her their mother? They all did.

The grieving was intense, even though they had been expecting the end. The rain poured, but gradually it lessened. It seemed like never before had the people cried so much at one time. They loved her, with a great love, and they needed to let all of creation know it. rain

It seemed like a long time, but at some point it did stop raining, and Standing on the Mountain moved through the crowd. He briefly mentioned, in a gentle way, that they needed to prepare her for the burial grounds.

During the preparation time, the people made themselves ready, by changing into dry clothes if needed, and by pulling their hearts back together, long enough to function. Two Wolves and some other young men were asked to build a large fire in the middle of the village so that the people could sing some songs later.

They did carry Cricket in the Meadow to the burial grounds. There were no speeches. A few expressed their love, but most remained silent. It was their custom to sing back at the village, and when they returned there, they gathered around the large fire, in a circle.

redwingRedwing’s newborn was fussing, so she took her into their lodge to feed her, as the people began singing. They started with the “Goodbye Song”, which was sad, yet beautiful. As the people continued singing, Redwing was only half listening. She was still filled with the joy and wonder of her little one. A song came to her, and she began singing it, but it was not a mourning song. It was a song about…..spring!

Something urged her – prompted her – to stand up and share the song in her heart. It was a song about new life! She had never felt this way before, but after the feeding, she covered herself, and stepped outside the lodge.

The people were quiet now, and standing around the fire. So she sang softly at first, and then as her confidence grew, her voice got louder. The song went like this:

Spring, spring is coming my people….

my people….

Spring is coming to our hearts….

Spring is coming to the earth….

Spring, spring is coming my people….

my people….

 And that is how it went. She repeated the song twice, and at the end of the song, she knew what they should name their little girl. She held the baby close, and whispered into her ear……your name….. will be “Spring Song”…..
flowers

Blessings to everyone, and PEACE! 

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google

Lakota Lullaby

Lakota Pipes

If you’ve never heard the Lakota language, or First Nations music, this short video has both. It is a lullaby, and a paraphrase of the words are, “go back to sleep my good son, the night is a good night, go back to sleep”. There are other versions out there but I liked this one because of the combination of music and video. There is also a beautiful flute solo in the middle of the song. Just beautiful!

Blessings to all of you, and PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

image from pinterest/video from youtube

A New Life in the Village

from pinterest - mother and child from the Crow Nation - photograped in 1908
from pinterest – mother and child from the Crow Nation –                                photographed in 1908

Historical Microfiction About First Nations People in the 1700’s

It was a difficult labor, which began early in the morning. Redwing was quickly surrounded by her friends and loved ones. Holds the Fire, who she now called “mother”, was there with Bluebird. Cricket in the Meadow, and Sky came running when they heard the commotion. Redwing was not only in pain, but her water had broken. Through the contractions Redwing was praying, she said, “I was never good with this part.” Holds the Fire, quickly responded with, “Daughter, none of us are good with this part.”

Hawk in the Sky was there too, but he had no idea what he could do, or should do. He hated seeing his wife in such pain. He felt he was of no use, but Holds the Fire assured him that being there, and holding his wife’s hand, was really all that she needed. So he did hold her hand, and spoke gently to his wife. She loved him for it. Once in a while he would go outside for some fresh air, and to get more wood for the fire.

village at duskWhen Cricket in the Meadow examined Redwing, she found that the baby was in the wrong position, and could never be born in this way. Her daughter Sky launched into action in two ways. First she took out her sack of herbs and mixed an herbal drink, that would help Redwing to remain calm, and it may even help with the delivery. Secondly she began praying, this was going to be a fight and she knew it.

Several women came in and out of the lodge, so word spread quickly that the baby needed to turn. Their love for Redwing turned into prayer. The herbal drink did help Redwing to relax, but did not put her to sleep. Cricket in the Meadow began talking to the child softly, through Redwing’s stomach. They all believed that the child could hear them. Then she began massaging gently Redwing’s belly, so that the baby would move into the right position. They all knew that if they were to put a hand inside, Redwing would most likely get a terrible infection. Sky, and Cricket in the Meadow, took turns talking to the child, praying, and massaging.

After hours of this, they knew time was of the essence. They did not want the child to die inside of Redwing. Sky, began to make smoke so that their prayers would drift up into the heavens. What else could they do? Cricket in the Meadow suggested to Sky that they needed another herbal drink, but they would have to be very careful with using the right amount of each herb, or it could do more harm than good. So they both measured out the herbs, and then double checked them again. They were exhausted, so they wanted to make sure they had it right. herbs from google

It was after the second herbal drink that Redwing felt the baby move in a big way. What a relief! The baby moved one way and then another, until finally their head was in the right position. A short time later the child’s head began to show. It was Sky that helped the baby the rest of the way. It was a girl! A beautiful baby girl was born! Sky, and Holds the Fire quickly wrapped the child to keep her warm, and placed her on her mother’s chest. Both mother and father were weeping from joy. No matter how many times they had seen it, they were all amazed at the miracle of a child being born.

No one saw her, but Cricket in the Meadow, quickly retreated to the other side of the lodge, holding her chest. This birth had taken a lot out of her, and she was in pain. She started having visions of her dead husband’s spirit. She wondered if she would be joining him soon, but she said nothing. She did not want to ruin the joy of the moment.

Once the child started feeding, everyone relaxed. Hawk in the Sky and Redwing, had several names picked out but could not decide at that moment. It was not long before Redwing drifted off to sleep, being held in her husband’s arms. The other ladies left the lodge, exhausted and happy.

Sky did notice Cricket in the Meadow, was especially tired. Was that a cringe of pain? She quickly asked, “Mother? Are you alright?”

mother and child

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google unless noted otherwise

Redwing

The Finishing Touch - Painting by Alfredo Rodriguez
              The Finishing Touch – Painting by Alfredo Rodriguez

Historical Microfiction About First Nations People in the 1700’s

It was not easy, being married to the man everyone thought of as their chief. She had a great love for Hawk in the Sky, but the people often came to him to solve their problems, or to simply ask his advice. It all had to do with his father, Standing Bear, having been chief, and everyone expected the same from his son. But Hawk in the Sky was different. When his father died, he changed the way the Tsi people were governed. He thought the people should be ruled by a group of leaders, and so now the people had a group of elders, known as the council. The people saw the wisdom in this, and their respect grew even more for her husband.

There were many times, especially in the winter, where the people from their village would come to their lodge in the middle of the day to talk. They would leave, and then another group would come in the evening, eat with their family, and talk until late. This made it difficult for the couple to have time together, and Redwing always felt like she was not able to get her work done. from bccoon via google

Hawk in the Sky had ingenious ways to deal with the problem. If he saw his wife getting flustered, or disappointed, he would get a knowing smile on his face, wink at her (without anyone else seeing), and then keep the conversation short. There were times he referred the people to Standing on the Mountain, their spiritual leader. For sickness issues, or if there was a need for medicines, he would refer them to Cricket in the Meadow. If nothing else worked, he would say Redwing wasn’t feeling well today (she was pregnant after all), so they should come back tomorrow. It worked.

In addition to being a respected leader, he was sensitive to what she needed. Often, after the people left, he would embrace her, stroke her hair, and talk softly to her. If there was one thing he had learned, it was that his wife needed more holding when she was expecting a child. She loved him for it.

closeup from googleWeather permitting, he would often take their two boys outside. They were five and seven now, and old enough to start learning the bow (small ones of course). Their father had always been an excellent hunter, but they had heard many times, the story of his killing the bear that attacked Songbird. Hawk in the Sky’s arrows had been so swift that day, and so strong, the huge animal was defeated very quickly. The two boys wanted to be heroes like their father, brave and strong. At other times he would take them to feed the horses, or he would teach them about tracking animals in the snow.

It was during these times that Redwing could be alone if she wanted, or more likely, spend times with her friends. Sky and Cricket in the Meadow were frequent visitors. Sometimes Cricket in the Meadow would examine her, to see how she and the child inside were doing. She was so grateful that both of them would be there during the birth as helpers.

She loved Sky as a sister. The two of them could talk for hours, about anything. Ever since Sky’s healing from fear, she had been a powerful force for good, among the people. She also loved to hear Sky talk about her love for Wild Horse! Redwing, and Cricket in the Meadow would lovingly tease her and say things like, “Oh my, is it hot in here?!!” Three of them would then burst out laughing.

Some of her favorite times though came with Holds the Fire and her daughter Bluebird. The Grie people had been an incredible blessing to their village, and now it was true that they would stay here. They were two different peoples, with different languages, yet so much alike. Redwing loved the beautiful, rich, blue colors the Grie were so famous for. Holds the Fire was fond of wearing a dark blue color, that the people loved.

Redwing loved the way Holds the Fire carried herself, and how she respected everyone. She came to be like a mother to Redwing. Redwing felt she could trust her so much, that one day, when the two of them were alone, she asked Holds the Fire an important question, as they sat around the lodge fire.

With tears in her eyes, Redwing asked her, “Would it be alright……I…..well……would it be alright if I called you……. mother…..?” Holds the Fire was stunned, but did not hesitate, “Yes….yes….it would be alright…….daughter” as she wiped the tears from her own eyes.

Redwing closed her eyes in a prayer of gratitude, and was thinking……..life sure was good……in the village….

from diabetesnd via google

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google unless noted otherwise

The Seeker – The Conclusion

sunrise in the mountains

Contemporary Microfiction About First Nations People

Over the next several days there was no lightning from heaven. He spent his days walking, and praying. When he got too cold he went inside his lodge. No one had been on the mountain in a long time, so there was a lot of firewood handy. He was lonely, but that was to be expected. He had even turned off his cell phone. No one knew he was here except for his father and mother.

from pinterest
from pinterest

Something did take place though in a quiet way. He had a peace he had not felt before. If for no other reason it was good that he was here. His father had been right, he needed this. He always knew that nature brought healing and peace, but it was just head knowledge, an intellectual understanding, without having the experience of it.

As a result of the healing and peace he was feeling, his heart was moved. He began longing for his people. He wanted to be with them, and a part of them. On one cold night, he sat just outside the lodge, and looked at the stars, and at the valley below. The moon was ¾ full, and gave him some good light over his surroundings. He found himself praying for his people, his tribe. He had never done this before, and he prayed to be one with them, to have a strong sense of community. He knew the Creator was doing all this, and he was glad for it.

It was that same night that he heard the drums clearly. He knew the sound was not coming from the valley, or from some distant place holding a powwow. He could hear it though for sure, although he did not see anything. He heard songs that he had not heard since his Grandfather’s time. His Grandfather died when he was seven, so it had been ten years since he heard them. Yet he could hear the drums, and the singing softly. These songs made him long for his people even more.

While praying the next day, he began seeing glimpses of his Grandfather, not clearly but more like a shadow. He was not scared. In fact, he took the occasional visits as encouragement. He did not know how he knew it was him, but he knew.

After nine days on the mountain his father came, checking on him. He was concerned because usually a vision quest was about seven days. “I’m fine, give me one more day father.” “I will be down tomorrow night”. His father was satisfied with that, and had to hold back talking further with his son. He could see there was something different about him. His father turned to leave, but Johnny called to him, and said, “Father – thank you.” “You’ve given me a great gift!” At those words, his father headed back down the mountain with tears in his eyes.woman and horses

There was a vision. It seemed minor, after all he already received. Late that night he woke up and saw a woman dressed in white. She hovered inside the lodge, surrounded by horses, the moon, and stars. She said, “You need to be a part of your people.” “You need to sing and be a drummer of songs”. Then she used a word in his tribal language he had only heard once or twice before, and it meant, “One – who – calls – for – singing.” This was an important responsibility within the tribe, and one of great honor. And then suddenly, she was gone.

Was all this his imagination? He did not think so. One thing was for certain, tomorrow he would come down off the mountain a different person. He would be the man he was meant to be.

Thanks for reading! I have included a video that I really like. It is one of men drumming and singing, and one of the best I have seen! These men really pour their hearts into it! For me it is a little strange seeing the mixture of cultures, that is short haircuts, and modern clothing, while singing a traditional song, but I love both the singing and the drumming. Sing it brothers!

Blessings to everyone, and PEACE!

Images from google unless noted otherwise, video from youtube

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

 

The Seeker

ranch in the mountains

Contemporary Microfiction About First Nations People

Why should he even seek a vision these days? He was seventeen now , enjoying his job on the ranch, and maybe he would have his own ranch someday. Yet every day, at the breakfast table, his father asked him to consider it. “Dad, you work in a bank!” “What good has your vision done for you?!” He knew he was raising his voice, and needed to cool it. Besides that, his mother gave him one of those, “You better knock it off”, kind of looks, as she stood over him with the frying pan, putting eggs on his plate. Johnny looked at his father and said calmly, “Dad, we might as well all be Christians”.

“Son!” His father was raising his voice now, “We are Christians!” “Just because we practice the traditions of our people doesn’t mean we don’t believe in God”. He knew his father hated this part of the conversation. No one said anything, as they ate their eggs, beef bacon, and toast with lots of butter. To top it off, was his Mom’s coffee, some of the best he had ever tasted.

His father finished eating first, and made one more comment as he was getting up from the table. “You need to think about the spiritual side, son – and you need to be connected with the people”. Johnny said nothing, but he finished, thanked his Mom, and headed out the door.

highway drivingAs he was driving to work that morning, he glanced over at the mountains. They had been calling him for a while now, he just wasn’t telling anybody. He didn’t see the need for the supernatural, not these days. It was all about working and making money. Ok, and besides that there were girls, and maybe getting married, but there just wasn’t a need for the traditions, or to “hear from the heavens” as some put it.

Driving the old pick up into the gravel lane of the ranch, for some reason made him think of his Grandfather. He had been a medicine man, who was loved and respected by all the people. He also hated their last name of Caldwell, and he refused to use it. He was Bear Medicine, and would not accept any other name. He also refused to call Johnny anything other than the name he came up with…..what was it……it was…..something to do with a hawk but he could not remember.

As he parked the truck and jumped out, he decided he would ask for some time off to go on the vision quest. If his boss said yes, he would go, and if not – then so be it. He had a good day at work, feeding several herds out on the range using an ATV. When he did finish for the day, he asked his boss for the time off, and explained why. His boss said yes, and the same thing his father had said earlier, “You need to be more connected with the people…”. Johnny laughed and told him he sounded like his father. Privately though he was starting to get the point.

from pinterest
from pinterest

A day later, he knew it was crazy, but he was in the mountains. It was only early spring, so it was still cold. His father had insisted on a buffalo lodge, instead of a nylon tent. They had a small one, and he would be able to build a fire in it, and would be warm. It took him hours by foot, to get about half way up Cougar’s Paw Mountain, where he found a good spot that was open, but bordered by pine trees. The trees would protect him from the wind. There was no sense in going any higher, it would be too cold there anyway. And the view from here of the valley, was spectacular.

After he had set up the lodge, he wasn’t really sure what he was supposed to do, other than pray, and fast. He would be drinking water and that’s all. He sat in front of the lodge and just took in the view. He was feeling calm already. There was a presence here…..what was it? He could sense it – he just didn’t know what it was. Was he sensing the earth like his Grandfather had talked about? He took several deep breaths, and could hear his heart beating…….or was it…… drums he was hearing?

 

drums

The conclusion of The Seeker, very soon!

Thanks for reading!

PEACE!

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

images from google except where noted