I still remember him. He was thin, with a broad face. His hair was long in its twin braids, and gunmetal grey. His face looked like a road map, there were so many lines. His eyes..they were the most riveting and beautiful eyes I'd ever seen. Dark and deep, endless in their depths. Yet they sparkled, with an almost otherworldly gleam...of humour and contentment. I got lost in those eyes the first time I saw them.
I looked into the shaman's eyes, I saw stars born, and stars die. I saw spirits climbing stairs of starlight into the Not Land. I saw comets streak across the sky. I felt that shaman look right into my very own soul.
'Life is a circle. With no beginning, and no end.'
His voice was thin and reedy, yet held such depths. A paradox within a paradox, this shaman.
'We are born. As we grow, we learn. The more we learn, the more we grow. We learn of the prairie dog, who digs neath the earth. The prairie dog makes room for the grass to grow tall. The tall grass hides the coyote who hunts the prairie dog. Does the prairie dog know, as it digs its burrow, that it aids in its demise? Perhaps, perhaps not. The coyote eats the prairie dog, and it's droppings feed the tall grass. When the coyote dies, its remains too, feed the grass. Both the coyote and the prairie dog live and die to feed the grass. We hunt the buffalo, who feeds upon the grass. The buffalo feeds us, and gives us warm furs to wear. The buffalo's bones give us shafts for our arrows, heads for our spears. The buffalo's horns give us cups to drink from, and its innards give us rope to tie our teepees together. Whatever remains feeds the grass. We too die, and when we die, our remains feed the grass. All things are related.'
I sat in awe of the shaman's words. There was such power in him, that I saw and felt his words. They seeped into my very core. He smiled at me, an ageless smile that seemed to make his eyes sparkle all the more.
'Go...learn and grow, Wandering Wolf. Find the circles. Carry them in your Heart.'