The sound of the Big Hole river — lapping — slowly moving — October-like — the color a deep navy blue. I could sit here and breathe in the smell of sage ’til I fill up with the fragrance — so big, so strong, that I become part of the sky — like quaking aspen leaves, floating in the air. And little pieces of me, little round dry leaves will float for miles, — across the river, into the cottonwoods, over the prickly pear cactus, the juniper, the sage, the greasewood and rabbit bush — over everything — until the pieces of me — the dry leaves —finally reach the golden eagle rookery.
And a young eagle — while soaring in the sky — will say to its mother: “What are all these little dry leaves — falling from Heaven? They look like aspen leaves, but they’re not.”And his mother would answer:“Oh, those leaves are just pieces of that woman who loves sage. I’ve seen her here before. I’ve seen her pick sage twigs and juniper twigs and put them in her pocket. I’ve seen her looking up at us when we’re in the sky, craning back her neck until she fell over. I’ve seen her sitting on the ground, holding sage against her nose, breathing it in. I have seen her tears. I knew something like this would happen to her if she kept doing that, and she probably knew it too.
She loves this place. She loves our sky, our river, the willow, the juniper, the greasewood, the rocks, the old bones, the wild flowers — everything of the earth and sky she loves. She even loves the little high-tailed chipmunks that scurry around. Those tiny little chipmunks — you know — the ones we like to eat for dessert!
I know all this because I’ve watched from the sky, with my eagle eye. I’ve seen her on her back staring at our sky, watching the clouds roll across — the dolphin clouds, the shark clouds, the lace clouds, the long finger clouds. I’ve seen her face down on the ground, kissing it! Can you imagine?
And that’s where she wanted to be — a part of the earth — and that’s where she is now. She breathed in so much sage she turned into floating aspen leaves and became a part of everything — as we are.
So, my son, the leaves you see floating through the air, they ARE Sage Woman.
I’ve heard her pray for rain, a healing rain, and it would come. Whatever she asked for, it would come. She asked to be a part of mother earth, and — so — now you see — these tiny pieces floating through the air — these little aspen leaves, they ARE Sage Woman, and
SHE HAS COME HOME.
SHE HAS COME HOME.
A note from the author:
Mathew, by all means, post the Sage Woman story on your website — a great honor for me. It’s odd, but when I first wrote the parable about 13 years ago, many connections of Spirit began to occur because of the writing — I met people I would have otherwise never known — people who saw the parable through friends who had copies — I have never promoted myself — it is always word of mouth. As it happened, my little grandson was with me and my older son that day — he was fishing with his dad on the Big Hole river — and I sat in the jeep or walked around looking at the exquisite beauty of nature in that area.
I had nothing to write on, so I found a big manila envelope in my son’s vehicle and began to draw a chambered Nautilus on one side. Then, being fairly bored and too warm for comfort, I turned the envelope over and began to scratch out the feelings I was having at the time. Of course, the woman is me, and the sentiment was a deep feeling I had — a sadness about what was happening to our Mother Earth, and what was happening in my life. A yearning to “go home.” To go home is the yearning we all have, so I guess that accounts for the strong emotional response people have to the story. And the fact that we are all “connected.”
When my grandson came back to the vehicle, I read the story out loud to him. He said, “Gramma, I loved the part where you fell over backwards.” We had in fact been watching golden and bald eagles that morning, craning our necks back until we almost fell over. The area is filled with eagles, and other magnificent wildlife — bears, wolves, elk, antelope, beaver, blue heron, and a river so pure and deep blue in color — filled with native fish. A very, very isolated place — to get there you must pass over a road filled with boulders and mud — but, oh, the reward.
So my grandson asked me to type the story up (had no computer in those days) and I did, and sent it to him in Butte, where he was living with his mother at the time. He took it to school. All the English teachers at his grade school shared it with their students. Then someone at the college I was attending asked if they could publish it in a journal, and her husband, who was a filmmaker, wanted to meet me and find out who “wrote that?? Then, I was communicating with a lady who had a website called Sage Woman, and she asked to put it on her site. Then a friend of a friend asked to put it on her website, and a half brother asked to put it in his little magazine, and finally, the best thing of all — a Japanese lady who was teaching Japanese at the college I was attending — and who had experienced Hiroshima first hand — read the story after I had given it to her as a birthday present (not having money to purchase anything for her). She was a very, very reserved lady, and so intelligent and spiritual. She came to school the next day and thanked me for the story, and then burst into tears. She said it touched her at a deep level. I was appointed her “guide” and assistant during her one year stay. It was magnificent to share with her — I miss her to this day.