A Message from November Wind

Carol A. Hand

The si-si-gwa-d speaks on a drear rainy day
warning that the first winter storm is coming our way
Dark times ahead will test each spirit
I know many others can sense this, and fear it

The winds remind us we are all peoples of one earth
sharing one race, human, from birth
Though we view different skies
we can all learn to distinguish truth from lies

If we listen with open hearts and remember, we’ll realize

kindness, compassion, love and joy are all real
Reaching across differences will help us all heal
for ourselves, all life, and our blessed earth home
and stand together, each one centered in Nature,

not quite alone

***

Drawing by Carol A. Hand
Drawing by Carol A. Hand

***

Note:

Ignacia Broker (1983, p. 135) writes that “si-si-gwa-d” is “the sound trees make” (Broker, 1983, p. 135).

“The trees are the glory of Gitchi Manito [Great Spirit]. The tress, for as long as they shall stand, will give shelter and life to the Anisinabe [Person] and the Animal brothers. They are a gift. As long as the Ojibway are beneath, the trees will murmur with contentment. When the Ojibway and the Animal Brothers are gone, the forest will weep and this will be reflected in the sound of the si-si-gwa-d. My grandmother told me this is so, and her grandmother told her. When the forest weeps, the Anishinabe who listen will look back at the years. In each generation there will be a person who will hear the si-si-gwa-d, who will listen and remember and pass it on to children. Remembering our past and acting accordingly will ensure that we, the Ojibway, will always people the earth. The trees have patience and so they have stood and seen many generations of Ojibway. Yet there will be more, and yet will they see more.” (Broker, 1983, pp. 32-33)

It is foretold that there is hope for all of us if we learn to respect each other, live in peace, and collectively take care of the sacred earth we all share.

Work Cited:

Ignacia Broker (1983). Night Flying Woman: An Ojibway narrative. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press.

***

 

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19 thoughts on “A Message from November Wind”

    1. So true, Rosaliene. The willow in my front yard was here before I was born (almost 7 decades ago) and has lived through so many changes. I hope it will outlive me, too. I do my best to take care of it and mourn whenever it loses large branches in the often gusty winds. ❤

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  1. This is beautiful, Carol. I’m an alien and I don’t “feel” these things of earth. At least the earth itself does not talk to me but what your people hear, I am told about from other sources that match what you say. I don’t do hope either, that being an earth thing, but I can see it being a good thing for gentle and sincere Earth people, as long as they realize it is they who are manufacturing the elements that comprise their hope. It isn’t magic, it is a very difficult work of weaving waves of energy that must have the power to overcome man’s destructive artificial technology and associated lies its proponents tell about life. I will be leaving this place soon (relative term, I’m not terminal or anything, just a bit eager that’s all) and for me it’s just like the end of a job. I need a vacation! There are some peoples’ words I will take with me and yours will be of those. They are not loud words, just well crafted for open minds.

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    1. Thank you, Sha’Tara. I am deeply touched and honored by your words. And saddened as well. It is difficult to be an alien in a world that rarely if ever really feels like home. Yet here we are, in another time of repeating cruelty and chaos, another time when transformation seems a fragile but temptingly imaginable possibility. I’m grateful our paths have intersected. Miigwetch. ❤

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      1. I am grateful also. For what it is worth, I will be returning to this world, your world, several hundred years from now, your time. I have seen it. It will be a much more difficult time than now, unless one looks to the (current) Middle East situation as the norm for the earth of then. Some people will survive the downfall of technocracy and will try to rebuild according to more natural ways. Resources will be scarce, especially of trees and water. The unwarranted unbalance forced upon today’s earth, still ignored by most, is going to extract a terrible price from its survivors. The vision however is mine alone; it is not written and any other future is still open to man.

        As you truthfully wrote: “It is foretold that there is hope for all of us if we learn to respect each other, live in peace, and collectively take care of the sacred earth we all share.” That remains fully valid. The operational word is “if.”

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  2. Beautifully written Carol. When I was young I would take shelter in the forests and hills. I was often asked if I wasn’t afraid for the forest was filled with many ‘wild’ animals. My response was always the same. The only animal I feared was the one that walked upright on two legs. If I saw a human I would hide. Unlike the animals of the forest, human behavior was unpredictable. It was humans I had learned to fear.
    The picture you drew so reminds me of the story of the giving tree. Often we don’t know or appreciate what we have until it’s gone. The last 6 lines of your poem give me hope. Thank you for your insight, kindness and words of hope.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Maria, and for sharing a little bit about your childhood. It is troubling to realize that so many children, past and present, learn to fear other people – with good reasons. And yet, there are many people who still give me hope. You are one of them. I send my best wishes to you. ❤

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comments, Natalie. I believe it is a dream of many people around the world to live in peace with each other. I also hope that dream comes true for the sake of our children and grandchildren. ❤

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