Come in out of the darkness.
Come in where the fire casts shadows of longing.
Sit near each other. Hold hands
while I tell you a story that has never been told,
a story with music, a flute and singing, a drum and dancing,
a story of life’s circle and the hungry wolves
waiting for caribou, and the caribou lingering
over a feast of lichen, and ravens poised in the trees
at the edges of the wolves’ eyes,
a story with a grandmother spider
stealing a piece of the sun,
a story with medicine plants and sacred weeds,
a story of how men and women found each other,
of how coyote got his cunning, of arrow boy,
of the owl’s beak tapping, always the owl, the death bird,
and the mouse, timorous, scuttling into its den,
a story of you, and you, and you.
What does it mean this dream fruit?
Nothing more than to peel and eat
the sweet juicy flesh, to let its seeds
become part of your spirit.
Long after I am gone
you will remember a story that never happened
how things that never were came into being.
from Doors to the Universe
Dolores Stewart Riccio's beautiful poem is about the ancient and timeless art of storytelling around the communal hearth as the year wanes, and I always enjoy reading it in this time and season. In the words of one of my favorite aboriginal sayings, "The world is full of stories, and from time to time they permit themselves to be told..."