Teach Us, and Show Us the Way

Wilma Mankiller "Teach us, and show us the way"Wilma Mankiller
1945-2010
Chief of the Cherokee nation

We have lost a great heart, a compassionate leader. Here are her words from the Praises for the World concert several years ago. In her life and in her death, which she spoke of openly and without fear, she taught us much, and showed us the way:

“We call upon the earth, our planet home, for its beautiful depths, and soaring heights, its vitality and abundance of life, and together, we ask that it teach us, and show us the way. We call upon the mountains, the cascades and the olympics, the high green valleys and the meadows filled with wildflowers, the snows that never melt, the summits of intense silence, and we ask that they teach us, and show us the way. We call upon the waters that rim the earth, horizon to horizon, that flow in our rivers, and streams, that fall upon our gardens and fields, and ask that they teach us, and show us the way. We call upon the land that grows our food, the nurturing soil, the fertile fields, the abundant gardens and orchards, and ask that they teach us, and show us the way. We call upon the forests, the green trees, reaching strongly to the sky, with earth in their roots, and the heavens in their branches, the fir, the pine and the cedar. We ask them to teach us, and show us the way. We call upon the creatures of the fields and the forest and the seas, our brothers and sisters, the wolves and the deer, the eagle and the dove, the great whales and the dolphin, the beautiful orca, and salmon who share our northwest home, and ask them to teach us, and show us the way. We call upon those who have lived on this earth, our ancestors and our friends, who dream the best for future generations, and upon whose lives our lives are built, and with thanksgiving, we call upon them to teach us and show us the way. And lastly we call upon all that we hold most sacred, the presence and power of great spirit of love and truth, which flows throughout all the universe, to be with us, and teach us, and show us the way.”

Go well, Wilma, and thank you for all that you taught us.

Image found here.

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Hecate 04/07/2010, 9:50 pm

    What a lovely quote. Thank you.

  • Cari 04/07/2010, 11:47 pm

    I cannot recommend the Praises for the World DVD highly enough,not only to see Wilma deliver this beautiful speech, but so many other incredible women in performance of poetry, dance, song, and community. I cry every time I watch it. Every time. I think I first rented it through Netflix but now own it so I can have a weepfest whenever I want one.

  • Sherrie Lovler 04/12/2010, 1:28 am

    Beautiful, Cari. Thank you for sharing. I will have to watch that DVD.

  • Suzi Smith 04/19/2010, 8:06 am

    powerful & moving words… a special woman indeed. I am reading more about her now, thank you cari for the introduction. Her words will continue to weave their message… perhaps more so now.

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