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  • ... to tell stories.

    She told me stories about growing up with dirt floors and straw brooms. Picking flowers for the mason jars and baking bread with her mother all through the afternoons. My grandmother taught me to look at the stars, to crane my head wide back to see the upside down stars, upside down sky. She taught me about water moving around rocks, not a care in the world.

    Wild horses are blessings and crows tell us the future.

    My grandmother taught me to scan the horizon for coyotes and strangers. She taught me to greet strangers with open arms and the gun propped up by the door. My grandmother taught me to sweep the yard slowly, to make up a sweeping pattern and stick to it my whole life. To walk the prairie mindful of snakes and sudden winds and to listen for the peculiar crick-crick sound of the speckled bird; if i follow its call it will show me a secret.

    My grandmother taught me rocking quietly by the fire, and arranging stones into circles and knitting and saving. She showed me the hole in the ground where i could hide if i needed to, the bats would make room for me. Wild sage and dark berries and water pooled in rock bowls. My grandmother taught me humming and hand holding and saying yes when yes is what i meant.

    She taught me to keep my arms strong and my back stronger. How to listen to the quiet inside me even when inside me is so loud and desperate. She taught me how to find food and love and also to find my way with only the shadows to guide me. My grandmother taught me shadow and dream and holy holy and how to crush the herbs we had dried, how to drink the teas because the plants have their own stories to tell us.

    The coyotes and the crows and the water around the rocks. The path up the hill that you don't see until you're right on top of it. The rattlers, the windstorm, the lightning strikes far off in the distance, acid settles on your tongue from miles away. Burnt hollow tree trunk makes home for crick-crick birds and sweet honeyed bees.
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