I want to share with you two poems for the holiday season, both by Native American women.
These poems are in the spirit of what I think is best about Thanksgiving–our celebration of the earth’s harvest and our connection with the earth, with one another and with ourselves.
The first is a poem by Linda Hogan,
The Way In
Sometimes the way to milk and honey is through the body.
Sometimes the way in is a song.
But there are three ways in the world: dangerous, wounding,
To enter stone, be water.
To rise through hard earth, be plant
desiring sunlight, believing in water.
To enter fire, be dry.
To enter life, be food.
The second is an Osage Initiation song for women, translated by a Native American anthropologist, Francie La Flesche, collected in the poet Jane Hirschfield’s anthology Women in Praise of the Sacred.
Planting Initiation Song:
I have made a footprint, a sacred one.
I have made a footprint, through it the blades push upward.
I have made a footprint, through it the blades radiate.
I have made a footprint, over it the blades float in the wind.
I have made a footprint, over it I bend the stalk to pluck the ears.
I have made a footprint, over it the blossoms lie gray.
I have made a footprint, smoke arises from my house.
I have made a footprint, there is cheer in my house.
I have made a footprint, I live in the light of day.
These both are beautiful and complex poems. Take a few moments to read them a few times.
Start a poem/piece with the words “the way in”
Write a poem/ piece in which the first lines of each line/sentence repeat.
Write a seasonal poem/piece in which each line/ sentence takes us to a different time in the year.
Write a harvest poem/ piece. What do you want to plant and harvest?
Write a piece with the following words: milk, song, dangerous, believe, fire, enter
Especially in this busy season of over-eating and sometimes over-visiting with family and friends, it’s so important to reconnect with ourselves and take some time for our writing.
I find that when I take just fifteen minutes for myself and give voice to myself on the page (whether it’s serious our playful), I’m a better mother, friend, listener, wife, daughter, and more.
As the days get shorter and darker, it’s all the more important that we attend to the inner “light of our day”
Because I believe so much in the power of reconnecting with ourselves through meditation and writing, I’m putting together both a FREE five day meditation and writing challenge the first week of December, You can sign up to get the free audio prompts here. I hope you can join me.
I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving with time to honor what nourishes you and what connects you .