‘The earth, the sky and the water.’


The earth, the sky and the water

 

I found my Apache friend at the Fort Hood entrance. I brought him some fruit and some coffee. He saw the sadness in my face this day. He told me. “Johnnie, you have come a long way. Touch five continents and saw so many places. You made many friends and you have learned so much. I see the disappointment in your face. I understand your place. Took me many years to find the place of teacher and to know laughter. You believe you have learn little and you believe your life was a useless journey. You didn’t do enough. Today we will tap drums together for the dead warriors, the earth, the sky and water.”

 

I told him. I have punished myself for the hunger to see, to feel and know everything in life that can be felt. I forgot my brothers who killed themselves, left family and I wanted new places and people. I can’t find forgiveness for leaving so many things behind.

 

My Apache friend Joseph. His face darken by the Texas sun and his old eyes always kind and gentle. He lite the pipe of tobacco . Took a deep swallow of the smoke and he passed the pipe to me. He told me. “The sun will rise daily and the moon will fall into the sea. Every dawn bring a new chance to do the proper things. We are not locked-in by hate and regret. Unless you built a wall of fear. Can you walk? Is your mind still strong? Can you breath and talk? Then you must be liked the mountain. Able to take the burdens of the seasons. Stand strong and solid and live with the things that were done and cannot be changed.”

 

I told my friend. Old way and habit are hard to break. Can one man change his world? I fear more for the coming generation. What is left for them?

 

He smiled and he told me. “You can’t stop the storms, you can’t control the sea. The earth will move when the earth want. Men are like the earth, the sky and the water. Free to make the right or wrong decisions. You cannot control the will of men. We must do what we can. We must teach our children to be strong. To seek education and know freedom. Become the elder who showed the children. All life had value. One earth and one people. We must seek peace.

 

I left my friend. His eyes looked tired and he gave hope to so many. The kindness had drained his soul, but he waved goodbye and I see his large hopeful smile. I feel peace in my mind and heart.

 

I climbed a large hill. I sat and I watched the dust come. I pray. Kind earth, the sky and the water. Give me the strength to do the right things. My regret and hate seem less heavy as I walk back to my truck. I looked to the rising moon and I told her. Please bring peace and calm to my world. One earth and one people. We must get along for the sake of the children.
John Castellenas/Coyote

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