Years ago I had an experience in the woods, an encounter with nature. It was late and the fire was burning low. I casually stuck my poker stick into the fire to stir the embers. Without warning the fire erupted and flames whooshed straight at me. In one swift motion I was on my feet moving away from the fire, which was suddenly burning fiercely as though it had a hidden source of oxygen.
As I paced back and forth, eyeing the fire warily, I heard these words:
“I see you. You walk my land, take my trees, drink my water, breathe my air.
‘Thank You‘ will do.
Sage, sweetgrass, and tobacco, these are my currency–make your offerings. Your prayers, these are my language–speak aloud your prayers.”