First Peoples

Siya?’s Beautiful Lessons

My dear Siya? She ends the year by holding still.

She wakes midwinter, without stirring.

She starts the year by holding still.


Very still. She has woven a basket to catch you, but did you see her move?

Then she holds still and pushes out clouds of sunlight.


Now she has your attention.

Then she holds still while the clouds bloom into stars.

Whole galaxies!

Then she holds still, offering you her fruit.

In what is called summer, she ripens her leaves. Without moving.

And now, when the cold comes?

That’s right. She doesn’t move. You do, though, and that is enough. European wisdom says that this bush finds its full expression in its fruit, and dies back in winter, only to be born again. Oh, hardly. She holds absolutely still, as the sun blows through her like music. When you see that, you know you are one of her children. She is always here.

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