On the Lake

Maine and More 064

When I saw the water,

I thought about our time on the lake,

up before dawn, slipping into the water,

our paddles waking up the blue,

mist,

as the sun was coming up –

warm air, comforting,

hearing a loon surprised us,

a bull moose rustling and feasting,

on the shore,

we were drifting, floating,

my mind wandering through time,

when the earth was new and fresh,

a few campfires with the first people,

“Can we go back and get some breakfast?”

your question,

shattered my dream.

You were right – I turned to smile,

you blew me a kiss,

we laughed,

and paddled, as fast as we could,

yelling, racing, and laughing,

breaking the silence of the eco-system.

I made a joke about moose,

and you lost it — howling!

We laughed so hard the canoe tipped over,

next to the shore, water sparkling,

soaking wet, we held each other,

staring,

into the light of oceans,

I love you.

 

 

 

 

Poetry and Image © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Peace and blessings to everyone.

“If you love nature, you will love people.”

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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

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

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

Sky Stands Her Ground

ShiningLight by Alfredo Rodriguez

Historical Microfiction

Her mother, Cricket in the Meadow, had warned her there would be conversations like this. Still, she didn’t feel ready, she was not even married yet. And yet here she was, with her mother, listening to this type of conversation, with Holds the Fire. It was all about her love life with her husband. Was it hot in here? She could not do it. She could not listen, so she grabbed her buffalo robe, and ran out of the lodge.

In the cold air, she could breathe again. She walked to her favorite place, near the forest, close to the horses. A short time later Cricket in the Meadow followed her there, and she was not happy. Sky was ready though, and let her adopted mother have it, before she had a chance to say anything. “Mother, it is not right for me to listen to women with these kinds of questions!” “It is too much!!” She was yelling now. It was the first time in her life she had ever yelled at her mother, but she felt she needed to. They both stood there looking at each other, not saying anything.

Cricket in the Meadow, began to soften. She knew that she clearly had made a mistake, but she wanted to put it into words, as to why. “Daughter, you need to learn these things so you can help the people, in particular, the women.” “You will be a healer.” “Women have questions about all sorts of things, and you will need to help them.” She was speaking softly now, “Daughter I will not be here on this earth for much longer.” “I was simply trying to prepare you.” There she said it. It was out now.

“No mother”, came the reply. “This is something I can only learn from experience!” “That is thefrom allposters way you learned it – and that is the way I will learn it”. Cricket in the Meadow was stunned. Truly, Sky was a strong person. She saw that now, like she had never seen it before. But Sky was not finished yet, “Mother if you leave this earth, (and I hope you don’t too soon) don’t you think the women can help each other?” “And also – if you leave this earth the Creator will still take care of us.” The anger was beginning to subside in her now, and she began to draw it to a close. Cricket in the Meadow hung her head, realizing her daughter was right, she was very, very right, and it stung.

All of her pushing to prepare Sky was wrong, because it was based in the idea that she had to be the one to do it. She had to pass on all that she knew, before it was too late. It was based in wrong motives. Her pride (the wrong kind of pride) had taken its toll on her daughter, and she knew that very clearly now. It was a long time before she looked up again. “I apologize”, was all she could say at first. She asked Sky to walk with her. It was an extremely cold day, and her mother needed to get out of the cold.

After explaining to her daughter what she had learned from her today, she apologized again. Her daughter embraced her, and told her how much she loved her, and appreciated her. Cricket in the Meadow responded with, “You were right, the Creator will take care of all of us”.

With that they made an agreement. Sky would still learn about childbirth, so that she could be a birth helper. They headed over to the lodge of Hawk in the Sky, and Redwing. Redwing was the only woman in the village that would deliver soon, and they both wanted to be ready.

 Mother and Child

Original Painting at the top – Shining Light by Alfredo Rodriguez

Additional images from Pinterest

Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Thanks for reading!

PEACE!

Sky – More to Learn

from jessicacrabbtree

Historical Microfiction

She was worried about Songbird and Two Wolves. How could two young people be so much in love and yet be so young? How did this happen, and why? Did they really understand what love was? Was it just infatuation? Sky could not understand it, so she turned to her mother for answers.

Sky, explained to Cricket in the Meadow, her concern for the young couple, as they ate their evening meal, next to the fire, “They are only fifteen, and too young to marry, and everybody says so.” Cricket in the Meadow was quiet for a while, and stirred the fire, like she often did while she was thinking.

Finally she said, “You mean you don’t know why this has happened?” Sky, responded with a surprised look, “No, why?” Cricket in the Meadow explained that there were two main reasons, and probably many more. “First, it is so that our concern for them will result in caring about them, and then praying for them.” “We should always pray out our concerns.” “It is the Creator placing the people on our heart.” “This has always been so.”

campfireSky felt stupid that she did not understand this before. It was so easy to see when she explained it that way. “Mother, what is the other reason?” The answer came quickly, “It is so that we have an opportunity to help them, meaning in some tangible ways.” Again, the wisdom of Cricket in the Meadow baffled her. She made it so easy to understand.

The next day Sky went to see Songbird, to not only see how she was doing, but to become a better friend. They worked on making clothing, as they stayed close to the fire, in her parents lodge. Her love for Two Wolves was very clear, but she also displayed a maturity, and a strength, that surprised Sky. Songbird had an inner strength, that came from a determination to love. Songbird said in whisper, so that only Sky could hear, “We are not on fire for each other, not yet.” “Holding back makes us stronger”. Sky blushed at this, but envied the young woman.

She had come to Songbird thinking she could help her in some way, instead it was Sky that was doing the learning. She left that afternoon with a lot to think about. This waiting…..seemingly terrible waiting…. was actually causing the young couple to grow and become strong. To be truthful though, she was glad that she and Wild Horse, her husband-to-be, would not have to wait long at all!herbs from google

Sky was also learning about herbs, and their uses. Everyday, Cricket in the Meadow, spent hours with her, teaching her nothing but herbs. She spread out a deerskin, and took small amounts of each herb from pouches she had stored away, and placed them neatly in piles. First came the lessons on what each herbed looked like, smelled like, and tasted like. Then for days Sky had to learn what each herb was good for. Sky knew some of this already, like all the people did, but it was in much greater detail.

The most difficult part to learn, came with which herbs should go with which other herbs, and how much, depending on the ailment. She was convinced she would never remember all the combinations! In the back of her mind Cricket in the Meadow knew she was pushing too hard, and she slowed down when Sky seemed overwhelmed. She was just trying to teach Sky all that she could….before…..well…. before leaving this earth.

Sky’s learning about helping people was put to the test one afternoon, when several of the men came carrying her husband-to-be, injured, including with a bad cut to his leg. They had gone deer hunting and a mountain lion scared their horses. Her husband-to-be was thrown from his horse (the stallion was always difficult to control) into a pile of broken tree branches. He was badly cut and scraped up.

It was Sky that cleaned the wound, applied the herbs, then cleaned the wound again, and did the stitching, as her mother watched, saying nothing. Wild Horse could see she was doing a good job. More importantly he felt her love, as she worked on him with tears streaming down her face…….

mountain lion from google

 Writing © Copyright 2015, nicodemasplusthree

Images from google. Original painting by Jessica Crabbtree

Thanks for reading!

PEACE!