Manataka American Indian Council

Proudly Presents






Climbing A Mountain

Lee Standing Bear Moore/Takatoka


"We climb a mountain every day. That is life.  One day we reach the top and beautiful vistas speak to our souls as visions of a silvery ribbon, the River of Life appears in the distance..."


As humans we are given tasks, jobs, duties, routines and difficulties to overcome every day of our lives. Whether it be getting dressed in the morning, launching a rocket or filing papers, we all have tasks to accomplish.  I like to envision those things as mountains. Small mountains and big ones.  Luckily, most of the really high and steep mountains in my life appeared when I was young, strong and foolish.  In old age the climb is slower and arduous but more enjoyable.


From the youngest child to the oldest adult, we all have things to accomplish daily.  From the easiest to the most difficult tasks, we apply our abilities and achieve success -- most of the time.  There are instances when climbing the mountains of our lives that we stumble and fall.  Skin a knee, blister a hand and become frightened.  The darkness of night descends and fear is lurking behind every rock on your mountain.  Strange vibrations shake your core.  Danger is everywhere.  We feel the pain of living. 


As in the Circle of Life, dawn slowly appears and the journey to the top of the mountain continues, step by step, day by day until we reach the top.  When that special moment arrives, we realize what a thrilling sight it is!  Witnessing vistas seldom seen by others. It is magnificent!  One day we reach the top and beautiful vistas speak to our souls as visions of a silvery ribbon, the River of Spirit appears on the horizon, so we know our journey has only begun.


Immediately, a desire to be at the River overwhelms our every thought.  The glistening ribbon in the far distance draws our eye, mind and soul.  Consumed by the power of the River, but fortified by the strength of the Mountain, we begin a new journey from the top of the mountain, down into the dark forests, bogs and deserts below.  There we encounter many detours, unexpected people and things appear blocking our way.  Monsters of every description appear in our mind and spirit.  But a vision of the mountain and magnificent River abide and drives every step forward. 


This is the pursuit of everything we consider important day by day.  Keeping the silver River of Spirit keenly in focus as we negotiate our lives through many mazes and conundrums is vital.  Finding that which is missing is not easy if you have not been told. 


Emerging from the dense forest of our lives, we catch a glimpse of the silver ribbon and smell the moist wind bursting from its banks.  The sacred waters roar powerfully as they silently bless every thing.  Many people gather near its banks to wait silently and dare not venture too close for fear of being swept away by the Spirit water.  Some are sitting on the banks and shoals feeling the awesome pull, daring the power but fearful of letting go.  And, a few walk quietly and confidently into rushing waters to join the eternal journey.


Regardless of where you may be in your journey to join the River of Spirit, have faith the experience will be remembered by your Soul travelling through eternity.  A glorious transition.