by Tina Belle Isle
Have you heard the wind whisper your name? Do you know of the animals that walk in your dreams? The ones who can follow you from that world to this? And when you speak to them, they will answer? Do you hear the words of the ancestors when the Eagle cries? Let me tell you of my journey since I walked with you here for the first time last summer.
I walked with the world to and fro never knowing I was lost until I saw a black bear that ambled and muttered "Wake! Awake!" I stared after her quite puzzled until I saw a larger brown bear. She stood at the forest's edge and waved, and I followed her to Neah Bay.
At the clearing's edge I heard a chickadee sing. "Have you heard the news? Hear it here! Hear it here!" and above me soared Eagle. To avoid being impolite I spoke to her, discussing the beginning and the end, the middle, the circle and its center. She alighted to a branch and replied, "The beginning is our past, the end is our future, and the middle is adjustable to find balance. The circle is our creator, and its center is us here and now." And with that, she was gone.
I turned and saw beaver. This is the flute beaver made. When he gave it to me he said, "The best gifts given are those that ask, No Reward." From the center of the clearing, I could see many paths and wondered which one to choose when a golden eagle landed on my flute and said, "Choose the path of wisdom for there you find honor."
I walked this way some distance with a she-wolf by my side and asked her, "Why do you cry in the dark?" She said, "Do you remember when Man and Wolf shared the first fire?" I offered him my protection and in trade I asked that we always walk side by side. In bond I gave him a pup, and in like he accepted and raised her as his own. Along the way he did forsake our path and now, I howl at the night for the pup and the promise forgotten."
Further on the trail I met buck and doe; they gave me these pieces of hide and said, "Take only what you need and you will always have enough." Crow gave me these beads and said, "Humor gives life color," but not wanting to pluck one of her own feathers, she gave me one of Raven's, telling me it was her own.
White dove gave me these feathers and said, "Peace is only found when your path is walked in love." Just then I heard the distress cry of rabbit and ran to her aid, only to find a great horned owl feeding three downy chicks. They turned to me and in unison asked, "Did you give my thanks with morning's first breath?" "Yes," I solemnly replied, "for the morrow is promised to none."
Red-tailed hawk gave me this feather and said, "Surviving is a struggle, but living takes courage." Of all the people I had met, I had hoped to speak with brother Heron, and found him fishing a small pond. But when I approached, he flew away saying, "Patience isn't perfect, until it's practiced."
May all our endeavors be for the sole purpose of bringing glory to God. Blessed are they who come in the name of the Lord, and blessed are we, for we are the Lord's shepherds who lead not with a rod or a staff but with a flute, for we are the innumerable melodies that are a reflection of the virtues and names of God. We are the mines rich in gems if ye but knew it. Today let us dust off these gems and make a joyful noise unto the Lord, for tomorrow is promised to no one.