Listen to an Audio Reading of this Poetic Story with Native American roots.
Dances with Manoomin (Wild Rice) by: Jennifer Kruse, LMT CRMT
And the waters call out to me,
come in, come in, come in!
I walk into the water.
I kneel to dance with them.
The waves come in,
they sway gracefully back and forth.
I follow with their lead.
I let the waters guide the movement of my body
and together we danced and danced.
Calling in the waters,
I sang in languages I did not know.
I was calling in the waters…
“come meet me at the narrows!”
Calling down the upper waters,
Calling up the lower waters.
Come meet me in the Narrows!
Here we flow together,
Here we dance together,
Here we can become as one.
Dancing with manoomin,
Upper and Lower waters…
Here at the narrows.
Here we flow together,
no division, no predjudice…
here we are as one…
dancing with manoomin.
Manoomin shared her story,
I saw her memories, as if they were my own.
Manoomin grew up from whence it’s tiny seed had fallen…
Noodin (wind) had whispered to manoomin,
"there's great power in your hair."
Gichi-noodin (great wind) came and suddenly manoomin was carried on the air by it's breeze.
it was as if she had gained the ability of flight.
"Oh No! I've fallen, I'm lost, it's so dark and I'm all alone!"
A soft voice said,
"You are not alone Sweet Child, I'm here with you."
"Who are you?" Manoomin asked softly.
"I'm your Mother," the soft voice said,
"You are safe now, here within my womb."
"Yes Child...you must grow now.
Go on, Keep Reaching for the Light!"
Manoomin regained hope once more
and began to reach for the light.
Reaching... ever reaching,
growing out from under the sand, rock and earth.
Moving and dancing under the waters,
flowing with the waters
from the upper, from the lower,
in the place they meet as one,
here in the center place,
here at the narrows.
growing, ever reaching
Always reaching towards the light.
Moving upwards, ever upwards,
reaching to the light.
Cresting the surfaces of the water,
the air felt cold at first.
The warmth returned with the memory.
the water laps over little manoomin,
as a reminder of two worlds…
this one and that,
in the water… out.
In the light… in the dark.
In the wet... in the dry.
Experiencing two worlds rapidly as noodin's wind increased.
In and out,
under and over…
water and air.
As the wind ever increases,
the waves come more violently…
stirring up the sand,
stirring up the earth,
mixing with the waters,
to remind manoomin
of where it had grown from.
"I'm frightened!" Manoomin cried out.
Earth mixed water caressed Manoomin's head,
as the Great Mother said: "Fear not, my child, I'm here with you!"
"Mother!" Manoomin cried, "I don't want to leave you!"
"I will always be with you... Wiggle your toes & you will feel me there."
"Mother..." Manoomin cried, "I'm so afraid, Gichi-Noodin is up here!"
Manoomin tried to crouch lower, as to stay under the waters.
"I have many children," The Great Mother said, "Children of the Water, Children of the Earth & Children of the Air. But you, my sweet manoomin... you are the most special kind of all my children! You have a great power in your hair, manoomin, as do all of my Children of the Fire."
"Children of the Fire?" asked Manoomin.
"a great mixing?" asked Manoomin.
"You remember your Father, Gichi-noodin, don't you Manoomin?"
Manoomin gasped as she realized that Gichi-noodin had purposefully cast her down from the world of Air!
"Gichi-noodin didn't want me... That's why he dropped me." manoomin cried.
"Gichi-noodin did ONLY what I asked him to do... " the Mother said.
"Listen to me, Manoomin," roared Gichi-noodin, "I took you from the World of Air, delivered you to the World of Water, who gently carried you to reach the Great Mother's womb in the World under the Earth. Yes... I did it on purpose, but I knew you'd rejoin me someday."
"Child of the Fire, Are you ready to use your Great Power?" Gichi-noodin asked.
"What great power" asked manoomin, "and how... how do I use it?"
"You have grown so strong Manoomin," the Mother said...
"Soon you will be with ALL YOUR RELATIVES,
as you stand equally in ALL THE WORLDS at once.
No matter what happens...
Always remember WHO YOU ARE, Child of the Fire.
Plant your feet firmly within me, hold your head high and stand tall among them... Invite them to DANCE WITH YOU as you bridge the worlds together. Use your power to restore peace among my children. Stand as a reminder of the GREAT LOVE & PEACE it took to create you!"
had kept growing taller, taller.
The waves no longer come tall enough to remind of the water.
Manoomin ever remembers,
the life under the waters,
the life in the dark,
down in the sand, in the rock, in the earth…
under the waters where there was no sunlight.
Instead of light, there is a smokeless FIRE, it's warmth, more comforting than a hot day.
That FIRE is the energy of the GREATEST LOVE, made possible only through a GREAT PEACE.
living in ALL WORLDS at once,
being a blessing to ALL the worlds,
a bridge between the realms.
The fish underneath,
unaware of that above.
That above often very much,
unaware of that below.
Both places very real,
manoomin knows this, manoomin lives in both,
communicates in both worlds,
sharing her blessings in ALL THE WORLDS at once.
Moved by Manoomin's story... I wept.
I began to pray:
Miigwech (Thank You) Gichi-Manidoo (Great Spirit/God)...
Thank you for creating me to be like manoomin!
Let me remain as manoomin,
dancing, always dancing,
here as in the Narrows.
always feeling the oneness.
Let me remain as manoomin,
where the great waters meet,
here in the center places,
where the waters narrow.
Great Spirit, I shall serve like manoomin,
as I cross between the worlds,
I shall be a bridge connecting them,
like the waters in the narrows.
I am a Manoomin Dancer now...
dancing in the narrows,
My dance shares the light of harmony, I have found within.
I bring blessings to ALL MY RELATIVES...
for I too, am a Child of the Fire.
so they may Live PEACEFULLY together within me.
I shall always remember WHO I AM.
For I AM THEM and THEY ARE ME.
I shall stand tall among the two-leggeds,
as a reminder of the GREAT LOVE & PEACE it took to create me!
For I am a Manoomin Dancer, a Child of the Fire.
Sending out a call now..
Remember WHO YOU ARE...
all you Children of the Fire.
Calling ALL MANOOMIN DANCERS...
the 7th Fire has been lit!
It's time to Dance & Share Our Light...
Come Dance with Me!
Zhebaa Camigook Niindizhinikaaz (Jen's Spirit Name)
Wells Family, Red Lake Nation - Minnesota - Anishinaabe
Jennifer is a Hands-on Holistic Healer, Inspirational Teacher, Speaker & Writer
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