Tuesday, February 1, 2011

We Ran Together Then

Lying quietly in summer's open field, eyes half closed against the sun, the hot yellow grass molds the majestic shadow of buzzards wing. How low will they drift, how near will they circle before they discover we are pretending at death and at last moment glide away?

If we had seen an eagle circling, or even ravens, we wouldn't have been so bold. We were small enough, we thought, to be carried to a high sky world and raised as eaglets or fed to eaglets. We couldn't agree on the intent of ravens. We were different, even then.

Beside the field, a thin river resounds on the rocks in its bed. A low wind shimmies down the willows along its bank, slides beneath the dead dry leaves at their feet and begins to spin. It spins skyward, it churns earthward, a dusty whorl of leaves and wind.

We jump up chasing, laughing, mocking. It spirals back and pulls us inward, keeps us running takes us reeling, dizzy in its wayward spin. Grabbing hands we leap together, headfirst blindly towards the river yelling, "Save us! Save us! Save us from this crazy wind!"

The leaves scatter freed across the water, stick, and become little islands for bugs. We drop between them into the one pool where the river is over our heads. We know the river. We know it loves us. It keeps our imprint at its side, the running tracks of an earthbound wind.

I remember the summer we were watchful of eagles. I remember each of our sun streaked faces. And I remember, we were barefoot when we ran. But I cannot remember...were we spirit or were we creature when we went running on the whirling wind?

(A childhood keepsake for Kathy - for all of us - and our summers together on the riverbar at Redwood Creek) Note: I made the large muslin doll. The Teddy Bear, Charlie, was a gift for my first birthday. The little doll was made years ago by a member of the Blackfeet Tribe.

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