Thursday, September 22, 2016

Welcome Autumn! My Heart Soars by Chief Dan George

photo © Mark Butkus 2015
A Native American poem for the change of season.

The beauty of the trees,
the softness of the air,
the fragrance of the grass,
speaks to me.

The summit of the mountain,
the thunder of the sky,
the rhythm of the sea,
speaks to me.

The faintness of the stars,
the freshness of the morning,
the dewdrop of the flower,
speaks to me.

The strength of fire,
the taste of salmon,
the trail of the sun,
And the life that never goes away,
They speak to me.

And my heart soars.


— Chief Dan George


While today marks the change from summer into autumn, tomorrow — September 23 — marks the anniversary of the death of Chief Dan George in 1981.

Primarily known as an actor nominated for an Academy Award, George (1899-1981) was also an acclaimed writer and advocate for the welfare and treatment of indigenous peoples in his home country of Canada and the United States.

My Heart Soars is his best known poem and serves as the title of a "collection of memories, life stories, wisdom and poetry from the perspective of one of the nations most influential First Nation's Chiefs" first published in 1974.