i am swept up in grace No longer myself but a vision I once had briefly a flash of light you created anew the stars know as does all of creation that you move among us soundlessly the gardener in his garden pronouncing everything good you are the artist painting rainbows across the sky the blue jay brushes against the sky blue look close In the blackness of the raven you hide subtle rainbows shown by sunlight you are not in the thunder but in the poetry of silence; in the sound that raindrops make or the hushed glorious way that sunbeams touch the earth at end of day in the feather softness of wings in upward rushing flight listen the music of the spheres symphony into the aurora borealis transformed dancing here below You are the graceful muted movement of deer steps in the woods you are the soundless, steady movement of color weaving through the trees in autumn the low music water makes journeying ever downriver You are. somehow your still silent voice is louder to me than crashing thunder profound in its depth and tenor Listen the wind whispers you everywhere you are I am I am
midnight intent on the road a flashpoint of light out the driver’s side window catches my eye. With a gasp I slow the truck mesmerized until a sudden bump reminds me of the shoulder and I pull to a stop a turn of the key
darkness descends. Utter silence surrounds me in the cold night Sitting in the truck bed alone wrapped in a wool blanket surrounded by the benevolent arms of creation The rustle of grasses in the wind are the orchestra of this Dakota evening the swishing of their brushing against one another a brotherhood of prairie flower, sweetgrass and thistle dancing a swaying dance filling the late summer night.
But my eyes are entranced and the swishing of the grasses fades
for the sky—the sky—wide, horizonless beckons. This night makes it easy to believe the legends We came from the stars, it is said
Then there, to the north The Big Dipper, named the Seven Council Fires.
Ancient voices whisper on the wind:
A Lakota woman went to marry a star and then fell to her death climbing down braided turnip stems as she tried to return to her village through a hole in the constellations as she fell her child was born and became the Fallen Star. And there, Orion’s belt the backbone of a bison The Pleiades, the bison’s head the stars surrounding, low on the horizon a racetrack around which the animals raced the prize to the winner a decision whether humans got to stay on earth, or be swept away by the Thunder Beings. The lowly magpie won the race and decided humans should stay
and so on earth, this human woman wonders at the magnificence of the stars humbled by the largeness of beauty and my smallness in it Gratefulness fills me as I make my prayers, and watch as they ascend to the heavens above a point of light flying swiftly to join the constellations
There is no darkness so great that light cannot pierce it, you see then
difficulty falls away in the miracle of this silent night the stars are the choir in this great cathedral Earth I heard the orchestra of God singing of glories unimaginable miracles yet to come of love eternally descending from heaven to earth weaving all humanity and the land, sea animals and stars together and back around again endlessly ascending a circle neverceasing singing the music of the spheres
and I understand in my soul, the phrase mitakuye oyas’in we are all related