— Melanie Lutz (@mobilemel) November 17, 2016
From the opening pages of Bear Heart's book The Wind is my Mother...
“When I was just three days old, my mother took me to a hill top near our home and introduced me to the elements.
“First she introduced me to the Four Directions — East, South, West and North. ‘I’m asking special blessings for this child. You surround our lives and keep us going. Please protect him and bring balance into his life.’
“Then she touched my tiny feet to this Mother Earth. ‘Dear Mother, Grandmother Earth, one day this child will walk, play and run on you. I will try to teach him to have respect for you as he grows up. Wherever he may go, please be there supporting and taking care of him.’
“I was introduced to the sun: ‘Grandfather Sun, shine upon this child as he grows. Let every portion of his body be normal and strong in every way, not only physically but mentally. Wherever he is, surround him with your warm, loving energy. We know that there will be cloudy days in his life, but you are always constant and shining — please shine through to this child and keep him safe at all times.’
“She lifted me up to be embraced by the breeze as she spoke to the wind: ‘Please recognize this child. Sometimes you will blow strong, sometimes you’ll be very gentle, but let him grow up knowing the value of your presence at all times as he lives upon this planet.’
“Next I was introduced to the water. ‘Water, we do not live without you, water is life. I ask that this child never know thirst.’
“She put some ashes on my forehead, saying, ‘Fire, burn away the obstacles of life for this child. Make the way clear so that he will not stumble in walking a path of learning to love and respect all of life.’
“And that night, I was introduced to the full moon and the stars.
“These elements were to watch over me as I grew up, running around on the carpet of grass that my Mother and Grandmother Earth provided, breathing in the air that sustains life and flows within my body, taking away all the toxins as I exhaled.
“I had a sense of belonging as I grew up because of my people’s relationship with these elements, and I imagine that’s why most of our people related to the environment so easily.
“We recognized a long time ago that there was life all around us — in the water, in the ground, in the vegetation. Children were introduced to the elements so that as we grew up, we were not looking down upon nature or looking up to nature.
“We felt a part of nature, on the same level. We respected each blade of grass, one leaf on a tree among many other leaves, everything.”
Bear Heart The Wind is my Mother (the life and teachings of a native american shaman)