A Child's Lesson In The Power Of Prayer
A Mother faithfully would start her early day with prayer. She would always move to the back yard to a small willow tree that was transplanted for just this purpose. With her tobacco in hand and her heart on her sleeve, she would journey every morning to the willow and give thanks to the Creator for another day.
Unbeknowst to her, was her 4 year old son, always watching from his bedroom window. He would see her give pinches of tobacco from out of the red cloth she carried and give to the seven sacred directions, East, South, West, North, Father Sky, Mother Earth and to the center, where God resides. Each day the boy watched and each day the Mother started her day in this holy manner.
One evening, a windy storm blew through, but it was the next morning that the Mother discovered her sacred willow was blown down and cleanly broken from the mighty winds of the night before. Though her heart felt sorrow, she still carried her red cloth full of tobacco and gave honor to the seven directions and talked with the Creator, giving thanks for the time the willow was allowed to grace her back yard.
From the same bedroom window, the little boy watched his mother pray over the broken tree. Though he was of tender mind, he still understood it was a loss to his mother. As the morning wore on, the boy came bounding into the kitchen to ask his mother for some tobacco.
"My child, what do you want tobacco for?", replied the mother.
With his favorite red bandana in hand, he twisted in his spot and said, "Mom, I even have a red cloth. I want to say a prayer!"
The Mother's face grew into a warm smile and agreed to give him a small amount of tobacco. She was proud that he recognized the action of prayer. As the child leaped out the front door and ran into the back yard, the Mother watch him from the child's bedroom window. The same window he looked out each morning. At that moment, she realized he must have been watching her actions all this time.
The son went to the broken down tree and placed tobacco at four corners and the rest in the center of the broken tree that still remained in the ground. With the willow being a small tree, the son picked up the broken half laying in the grass and raised to match to the remaining stump. He continued to tie the tree with his favorite red bandana. The mother released a tear from her eye and she joined him in the back yard.
"Child, do you think it is easy for you to mend this tree?"
"No, Mom, I was asking God to do that!"
The Mother realized this would be a good lesson for the child to learn of death. So she explained that though his intent is an honorable one, the tree will die. She went on to explain that all things in nature have a beginning and an end and this tree has found its end. She gave her son a warm hug and together the untied the bandana and simply let nature take its course with the broken tree.
After the chore was done, the Mother said, "Son, I am proud you have been watching and learning from me about prayer. Anytime you want tobacco to pray with, you let me know. This is the way of our people and it is time you learn."
The next seven days it rained continuously. On the eighth morning, the sun was beginning to rise and again the Mother went to were the tree once stood, to pray the traditional way of her people. When she reached the spot where the willow once stood, she could not believe her eyes.
Quickly she went to find her son, and took him to the sacred spot and pointed to the ground. To both of their delight, there were seven red saplings rising from out of the ground, in which the Mother replied to the son, "Now you can see the power of prayer!"
(Note: This is a true story. I was the mother and my youngest was the son. Creator certainly has His way!)