Once many years ago. On a long cold winters night. I dreamed of a storm raging in a dark and snow covered forest. In the distance I could see a figure, close to the ground, fighting for every foothold against the fears-est of winds. As the figure pushed it's way through the pine bows I could clearly see the outline of a wolf. Pure white from the coat of snow he wore. He pushed on strait into the wind as if driven by a forces unknown to me and it made my heart pound out of my chest to witnessed the struggle of life and death he proudly fought. Finally with one last thrust forward, he collapsed in the snow. There he lay motionless. I thought for a moment he had lost his fight yet just as hope faded, one paw reached forward and he began to once again pull himself to his feet. As he reached his feet he shook off the thick snow that had covered him, revealing the silver gray coat beneath and then abruptly continued his war against the wind that fought him so fiercely. Yet as he struggled against the wind I herd him begin to pray. I call it, Sunkmanitu Tanka Wa Wocekiya (Prayer of the Snow Wolf). And this is what I herd.
Oh Grandfather Great Spirit, and four winds, and father spirit.
So heavy with snow my feet drag from foothold to foothold. Though it is so dark and cold, I have fought the wind and the fight has left me old as if time itself has passed me by.
If this be my last breath I must thank you grandfather for the strength beyond expectation, the will that has brought me these many miles. And though I walk through the cold darkness, it is your light I follow, your warmth I seek, your song
Please bless the children of tomorrow with the struggle of today, as
I have benefited from the footsteps before me.
One day I will take my place on the sacred circle among my grandfathers. I thank you Tunkashila (grandfather) for the opportunity to share their wisdom and sing their song; to add my voice to the prayers of my grandfathers.
As mother earth is handed down from father to son, mother to daughter, I pray our children will honor the land that holds the bones of their ancestors with the wisdom accumulated through the journey
Great Spirit please hide me now from the wind and cold to await the warmth of spring. Gather my family to me and protect them with my life for it is all I truly have to give, all I ever needed and more than ever could have dreamed.
Wopila Tunkashila (Thank you Grandfather)