Manataka American Indian Council




Feature Story

February 2010




Walk in Beauty


By Daniel Rearin Horse Beatty


It was an evil south wind that caused the feathers of Hunka, the young immature eagle to rise against the resistance. The edges of each feather looked like the hair on the back of a wild hog. Despite his unkempt appearance, Hunka flew higher and higher, for he was on a mission. His job was to deliver a special and important prayer to the Creator from the elders of the Osage Tribe.


As he circled and soured even higher, the air became lighter and lighter, and he thought, what a strange cultural time those human beings live in today. As he look downed he could see the ocean was not as blue as it used to be, the smoke from the trees told him that the forest was not as old and bold as it used to be, in fact from this distance it looked frail and discolored.


The old ones of the tribe felt sad to see such selfish changes on mother earth, they had asked the eagle to fly as high as it could, because they said…


We are all so separated, the young do not know or want to be around us old ones. The middle generations are so busy making a living and spending money, that they do not see the value of either the old or the young. Most of our children seem to have no knowledge of the past, they are on survival mode and live for today, with no plans for the future, The Osage people have always been good at living in the spirit, and we have always been good judges of body language. In the past grandfather used to play the shell game with the children, Hunka’s friend, Rearin Horse, could never guess which hand held the concealed object.  Both He and his granddad would stand in a stoic stance, neither wanted to divulge the exact location of the small rock that was hidden under the nut shell. With Indians, the word stoic is often misused but it is appropriate when serious concentration is needed to find that small rock. The game was training for the young Rearin horse, for after all, his grandfather knew that there were a lot of nuts in this world and few small solid rocks that were hard enough to produce gentle soft forgiveness and unconditional love. Love is always the key to completion, to happiness, and to finding your personal path in life. Life is short and the rocks cry out.  


Rearin Horse would send up prayers, via the eagles, each morning to the Great Sprit, who was and is the creator of all things. The young boy knew that all things are related, and when one is gone, the other things suffer greatly. Without the roots of the tree, the land will flood when the rains come and the rich soil will wash down the torrent of water and be gone. He wanted to be the care taker of both the tree and the soil. He was a rock for his family and fellow creatures.  In the family cellar there was an abundance of food and most of it would not be touched, it was being saved for ceremonies, after all, he had been taught that a good man is extremely generous with both his time and his possessions.  He was very intelligent. His ask for wisdom and knowledge each day, which comes from only one source. He felt his path in life included being a care taker of many things.


Rearin Horse had a counting stick in the used it like a string of prayer beads, he would say his make shift prayers, and use the sick like a rosary.  He was brave, but disliked any type of war, he walked on a path of beauty which meant that he only looked for the good in people, the things that made them great, the special gifts and talents that the Creator had blessed each person, plant and animal was easy for him to spot. He was fortunate that part of his blessing from the Great Spirit was the ability to stay on his path, and be as kind a possible to everything and every one. This is not an easy path, for there are so many things in this world that will try to get your attention and take you from the true meaning of life.  His “Counting stick never kept a tally of the bad things that happened, the disappointments that tore at his heart, or the evil intentions that are always hanging around the human mind.


His grandfather was one of the last to take the time to teach him the secrets of life, how Wa Kon Tan, the Creator, put certain things in our path, so that we could see that all could be soared above if we kept the faith. Rearin horse loved the squirrels, the birds, the plants, the sun light, and his fellow humans. As the Lakota say, Mitakuye Oyasin, we are ALL related. His favorite animals were the bison for it had strength and was the provider, here on earth, and the eagle that has a special relationship with the Creator of all things.


Grandmother taught him that all things are to be revered and are sacred; we are to respect all living things. Without respect, there is no love, and with out love there is no chance for the creator to guide us and help us on our personal “Path” in life. All paths are different, yet all lead to one place, to Wakan, and to home. We are all related!


Grandmother and Grandfather were wise enough to “Pray up” for the future of their young grandson and all the young people of the tribes. The smell of sweet grass and sage were always in their home, the sweet smell rose up past the horizon and clouds, and fell upon the wings of the young eagle.


As the eagle approached the throne of God, his feathers began to settle into their proper place, his wings took on the glow of divine presence, he circled four times and placed the message into the loving hand of the Creator, and back on earth Mother earth and Father Sky breathed a sigh of contentment and balance.  In the whisper of the wind, you could here the words…. Walk in Beauty.