Glade Park & Pinon Mesa

Local Wisdom

Many years ago I came across this Navajo chant, about embracing the changing of seasons. Knowing how much I loved it, my sister Roxie engraved it on a buckskin hide with a woodburner, for a Christmas gift. It still hangs on my wall, next to the wood stove. Today I look out my window at a white-out of blowing and drifting snow. Earlier I ventured out to feed the horses and bring in a load of wood. As I was stacking the wood, I noticed this poem and decided this is a good day to share it with you...


Winter Song

A Navajo Chant

I sing.
Come deer with the black tail.
Come before the long cold night.
Come to my singing. Come to my song.

The time of the fallen leaf is passed
Time of mountain maple red, oak brown.
Second Summer is passed and gone.
Now the weasel turns white,
White as the mountain tops.

We have made the lodges snug.
We have sewed warm moccasins and leggings.
We are not the frog or the turtle,
Who bury themselves and never know winter.
We walk like men even when the white storm
Closes us inside a small world.
We know the white world and the green world.
We know the cold world and the warm world.
We do not hide from the sky, because it is cold
Or because the sun is tired and the wind is whips.
We are the People.

I am more than myself,
The blackbird am I, friend of the deer.
The jay am I, friend of the bear.
The coyote am I, and the rabbit and the mouse.
The eagle am I, the swallow and the bluebird.

I am the morning and the day.
I am the evening and the night.
I am the water, the sweet water.
I am the short day, the long night.
I am the long day, the short night.
I am yesterday.
I am now.
I am tomorrow.

I sing
Come down from the dark mountains,
Come deer with the black tail,
Down the trail from the dark thickets,
Come to my singing,
Through the snow, the deep white snow,
Deer with the black tail,
Through the white snow and the blue shadow,
Come, deer, to my singing,
Before the long cold night
Come deer, to my song.