Teachings of Cecaahkwa Kiihswa* (Sandhill Crane Moon)

The Myaamia call them Cecaahkwa,

the Sandhill Cranes, our relations

 

They had nesting grounds here in the Wabash River Valley

hundreds of years ago

 

These sacred birds are now making their way back

to their spring and summer homes

 

This is the time of Cecaahkwa Kiihswa

the time of Sandhill Crane Moon

 

When you hear their calls, and look up to see them high in the sky

you know the promise of spring winds will soon follow

 

Bringing a transition from winter into spring

the Cranes have teachings to share

 

 

They do not fix

the brokenness of the world

They do not fight

other species, people, or lands

They do not forget

their ancient ways

They do not give up

even when their numbers were few, and their homes mostly plowed under

They trust each other

always sharing the responsibilities of leading

They stay together

enabling them to travel a thousand miles through the air

They communicate with truth

guiding each other toward their shared destination

They dance with each other

celebrating life and love

They remind us

there are still sacred journeys ahead of us

 

 

During Sandhill Crane Moon

keep your ears open and your eyes ready to receive them

 

Their voices are asking

What do you hold sacred?

What is your journey?

 

Signature of Myaamia leader on Great Peace
of 1701

*The last native speaker of the Myaamia [Mee-awe-meah (Miami)] language died in ~ 1962. The Miami lived all throughout what is now the state of Indiana, including the Wabash River Valley (Waapaahšiki Siipiiwi – Bright Shiny River) where I live. They were sometimes known by neighboring tribes as people of the Crane. They were known to mark their boundaries and trails with the head of the crane carved into trees. In recent years a few individuals have revived the language and now more than 500 people are speaking some of the words again. You can listen to the story of how the Miami Tribe got its language back.

What do you think?