Saturday, April 08, 2006

A Visitor

Yesterday, at noon, a visitor came to the monastery to "look around" as he said. Of course we welcomed him, and allowed him to wander the grounds. Bro. Simon strolled with him and later they both joined all of us for our noontime meal. When asked his name, he would simply smile, and for most of us, that was enough. Bro. Simon urged the visitor to tell all of us what he had told Bro. Simon on their stroll, and with that the visitor related his interest in Native American cultures, and noted that he too was of one of those cultures, and told us a bit about his recent travels. With that he produced a tiny notebook that he said were his collection of proverbs and sayings of his people. Here are a few that I hurriedly scribbled down, but I can say that hearing them with your ears is such a different experience than simply reading my hasty notes, but nevertheless, here they are. (I should note that the visitor departed with a promise to share some of our proverbs and sayings with whoever again invites him for a noontime meal.)

"Wisdom comes only when you stop looking for it and start living the life the Creator intended for you." --Hopi

"What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the winter time. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset." --Crowfoot, Blackfoot

"Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing and always come back where they were." --Luther Standing Bear, Teton Sioux

"Before eating always take a little time to thank the food." --Arapaho Proverb

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