Soulful Stuff, our Story Hour Leader opened the Gathering with “Osiyo ale ulihelisdi, digusdi! The atsila (fire) is warm and the kawi (coffee) hot!

Spread your blanket and enjoy some frybread! Put some of KB’s tsola in your pipe and relax……let the drums and flutes center you…..let the song of the wind relax you….and let go… is osda you are here!

She provided this wonderful prayer to bless the Gathering.
Great Spirit (U-ne-tlv-nv), whose voice I hear in the wind,
Whose breath gives life to all the world. Hear me;
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people.
Help me to remain calm and strong in the face of all that comes towards me.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
Help me seek pure thoughts and act with the intention of helping others.
Help me find compassion without empathy overwhelming me.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother, but to fight my greatest enemy MYSELF.
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame.

Wado, Great Spirit, for all your many blessings….for all things we thank you…it is all good.

Tonight our storyteller is DovesNativeDesign!

Manabozho and the Maple Trees
The name is pronounced similar to gih-chee muh-nih-doh or gih-chee muh-nih-doo, depending on dialect

A very long time ago, when the world was new, Gitchee Manitou made things so that life was very easy for the people. There was plenty of game, the weather was always good, and the maple trees were filled with thick sweet syrup. Whenever anyone wanted to get maple syrup from the trees, all they had to do was break off a twig and collect it as it dripped out.

One day, Manabozho went walking around. “I think I’ll go see how my friends the Anishinabe are doing,” he said. So, he went to a village of Indian people. But, there was no one around. So, Manabozho looked for the people. They were not fishing in the streams or the lake. They were not working in the fields hoeing their crops.

They were not gathering berries. Finally, he found them. They were in the grove of maple trees near the village. They were just lying on their backs with their mouths open, letting maple syrup drip into their mouths.

“This will NOT do!” Manabozho said. “My people are all going to be fat and lazy if they keep on living this way.”

So, Manabozho went down to the river. He took with him a big basket he had made of birch bark. With this basket, he brought back many buckets of water. He went to the top of the maple trees and poured water in, so that it thinned out the syrup. Now, thick maple syrup no longer dripped out of the broken twigs. Now what came out was thin, watery, and just barely sweet to the taste.

“This is how it will be from now on,” Manabozho said. “No longer will syrup drip from the maple trees. Now there will only be this watery sap. When people want to make maple syrup they will have to gather many buckets full of the sap in a birch bark basket like mine. They will have to gather wood and make fires so they can heat stones to drop into the baskets.

They will have to boil the water with the heated stones for a long time to make even a little maple syrup. Then my people will no longer grow fat and lazy. Then they will appreciate the maple syrup Gitchee Manitou made available to them.

Not only that, this sap will drip only from the trees at a certain time of the year. Then it will not keep people from hunting, fishing, gathering, and hoeing in the fields. This is how it is going to be,” Manabozho said.

And, that is how it is to this day.

Dove related her childhood experience with maple syrup:
As a child growing up Yellow Springs, Ohio, I joined a group of Junior Naturalists. We assisted in keeping the grounds around Glen Helens Trailside Museum. We also had the privilege of patrolling the trails in the Glen clearing fallen trees, weeding rest areas and occasionally collecting food for the wounded animals housed in the Museum while being nursed back to health and freedom. During late winter early spring, we got together with our families and gathered Maple sap to make Maple syrup. We would get up very early in the morning and meet in the Glen. Each of us would have buckets and “tap lines” those of us who were tall and strong enough would put the taps in the tree trunks, the rest of us would hang and collect the buckets. (I was a bucket hanger and collector).

The older kids would remind us that you have to ask nicely or the trees will not give you liquid, so I made sure to ask nicely. We took the small pails of liquid over to a big Kettle that had been set up in the clearing over the top of the spring. The fire was kept burning all day, by our parents. It took almost all day to cook down the sap and make it thick enough to make syrup. At the end of the day, we all ate a biscuit with the Maple syrup from our friends the Maple trees. This is one of my fondest childhood memories.

I am so glad you could join me… many of the stories told here have taken me places I would not have gone had the story not been told.. we share our experience strength and hope that others might have what we have…

I love you all  

And we love you back Dove! 

Doves creates some gorgeous turtle rattles and very beautiful hairpipe chokers! She always has wisdom to share and lifts our spirit with her thoughts.

In Doves shop description, she writes:
“My art is an expression and acknowledgement of ancient wisdom and each piece becomes a point of connection to the Great Mystery that connects us all.”  Here is an example of Dove’s work:
Turtle Shell Rattle - Four Directions Native American Inspired

Check out her Etsy shop…..

One of new members, Asian Brocade, attended her first Story Hour last night.  Today also happens to her birthday.  Join us in wishing her many more Story Hours and Happy Birthdays!  Here is an example of her work. 
Bless the Child Choker

Visit her store to see more.

Soul, thanks for our Story Hour!  We appreciate all you do for us!