Manataka American Indian Council











By Suhail Baloch


I have seen a world blessed by God.  I have traveled to wondrous heaven on Earth.  I have seen sights only angles have beheld.  I feel this heart will drown from the joy it has felt.  I have become immortal in this world; I have been welcomed back home.

I have seen mountains ache for the skies above.  Breathlessly I have felt their might, solitude, and peace.  I feel so insignificant in their presence, yet so very important for I have proudly recognized them.  These mountains have healed broken hearts.  These mountains have given comfort to the lonely.  These mountains have called me their son.  I have come back home.

So many memories flood me that I do not own, yet share.  Memories of winds that once swept this land, memories of a proud people who called the canyons their home, memories of trees older than the world, memories of monuments that thrust through this earth, and waters that carved wonders across its visage.  I remember this world untouched, unblemished, and free to the stars and the sun.  I remember this being my home.

I have felt the spirits speak to me.  I have seen their corn, their dwellings, their symbols, and felt their presence.  I have bowed to their wisdom and welcomed their warmth and comfort to soak this forlorn soul.  I have sat with them and shared their sight.  They have shown me how the spirit of the great one glides across the canyons riding the rising thermals and protecting this land from sickness and loss.  I will be the messenger of their wisdom.  I will convey to others the beauty and sacredness of this land.  I will champion the protection of this land I call home.

I have known sadness from the loss my people have suffered.  Once they looked upon the greatness of this land and took pride in its magnificence and holiness.   Once their gods dwelt here and spirits spoke to them often.  Once they lived in harmony with the land and the sky above.  Proud warriors, alien to defeat and shame.  Now their faces are tortured, humiliated, and forever angry.  Their slaughter unjustified, their plight forced.  How can pride and bravery overcome the gun, how can dignity survive the trail of tears.  Wholesale slaughter of my brothers and mothers, “how can the great spirit have abandoned us” they have cried.  There is no longer fight in them just sorrowful surrender.  How can I comfort the defeated and give them hope?

I have looked to the starry sky; I have seen the sun surrender to its magnificence.  I have seen the great bear endlessly follow its cycle in the heavens, forever bound to the North Star.  I have seen the milk of the goddess spread across the sky.  So close are the stars that I have reached up to feel their warmth.  So bright are the stars that there is no fear in the night.  I am home in their light and companionship.  Fires spread across the skies have lit the sacred mountains and monuments.  I have thanked them for the eerie glow they have offered.  I have seen the shadows dance across the valleys.  I have remembered of home and felt the presence of the ancient ones singing their prayers under the very same sky.  I have ached to join their company yet I have countered nothing but shadows upon my approach.  With tearful eyes I have remembered home.

I have never known home, yet I am home here.  I have solace and consolation in this land.  My life would indeed be a gift if I were allowed to tread this land forever, feel the warmth of its sun on my shoulders, and hold the presence of the Great Spirit in my life.

Credit:    Suhail Baloch


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