From the very first moment I saw him, I could not take my eyes off of him.
There was something very special that made him stand out from the crowd.
I began slowing down in the same moment that he seemed to notice me.
He spotted me in my red Dodge Charger. He spotted me though none of the others noticed. The others continued to keep their heads down, apathetic to anyone or anything other than what was right in front of them.
He strode with purpose. Quickly and confidently he approached me. He seemed intent on reaching me – as if something told him to come to me before the opportunity had passed him by.
He moved through the throng, parting them as if he were Moses and they the Red Sea.
Except this sea was brown, not red.
And we were in the Black Hills of South Dakota just as the sun was setting. My eleven-year old daughter, Amber, and I were enjoying the peace and beauty of this very hallowed ground.
Hundreds of Bison roamed freely around us all a good and safe distance away.
He was the only one who seemed intent on approaching us. And he was the only one to stop me in my tracks.
As soon as I saw him, moving across the field, I wanted to stop. I wanted to wait for him to come to me.
As his massive presence stepped onto the pavement beside us I put my car in park.
The highway quiet and still around us, I was able to stop right in the middle of the road.
As he took another step in front of my bumper, I turned the car off.
Before me now in all his glory his gait changed to that of a tortoise. Like a two-ton peacock he seemed to strut slowly and carefully in front of me.
I was amazed that something so great and strong, so obviously powerful, could also move so incredibly slow.
As he lumbered oh so slowly in front of us, his massive head on massive shoulders, we remained quiet, each of us captivated by his larger than life persona.
Inches from my bumper he leaned into my grill. Completely enraptured – I stopped breathing the moment his body touched my car. He moved me, and he could have moved my car.
His powerful presence wrapped all around me. I felt a surge of electricity and was suddenly overcome with memories of other life times.
I remembered when he provided for us. I remembered when we would follow him everywhere. I remembered when all we needed came from him. He was sacred to me then and he still is today.
He stands before me once again and I am honored to be with him. I am thrilled to see him again, up close with his dark eyes ancient and wise.
I look into his eyes and wonder if we are near an end. I wonder if we will have future lifetimes together. I wonder if I will see him again.
Will the Bison be here in 3013? Will there be animals running wild anywhere on this earth one hundred years from now? What will become of the Black Hills and other sacred ground?
I will be back again. I know that. But will he be back?
It’s up to us to decide.
Silence surrounds us, the Universe waiting for our decision.
He moves slowly before me giving me time to ponder all we have known, and all we still can learn from him.
The air is so still we hear the bison herds breathing.
I had been wanting to come home. Sitting here, in the Black Hills, with Bison all around me, I am home.
On the shores of Puget Sound with Bald Eagles above me, I am home.
My feet in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico with Dolphin frolicking nearby, I am home.
With this Ancient One, anywhere and anytime I am with Him, I am home.
This gorgeous, powerful presence eventually finished crossing.
What had seemed eternal, ended way too soon.
As he moved completely onto the shoulder of the road, I whispered, “Thank you.”
Spirit knows I needed him. I needed to see him, to be near him.
I needed to feel home once again.
He reminded me of what is timeless, what is eternal, and what we all need. We need to feel the connection between us, to come home to what has always been.
I am grateful for the sacred spaces and wide open places that remain.
I am grateful for those who still run free.
And I am grateful we have the ability to see what still can be, even one hundred years from now.
I wanted to stay and gaze upon the beauty around us a bit longer, but the light was fading and we needed to find a place to lie down for the night.
As we began to drive very slowly on through the Black Hills, I looked in my rear view mirror often. I looked back and wondered when I would see him again.
It’s always good to come home. And it’s always a bit sad to let go and go on.
Now we are on our way to the nation’s capital. From Pine Ridge to Washington D.C., I don’t know why, but Spirit is leading me on as always.
From my time in South Dakota, I will remember what is sacred and what I hope we can hold onto.
I hold onto my memories of what is good. I hold onto the belief things will get better, for all of us.
And always I keep a vision of the way things can be someday…for the bison…for you…and for me.
For I have been in the presence of greatness.
In love and gratitude, and more than just a little wild and free,
And I say it ain’t far to this land from where we are
Take my hand, come with me, where the children are free
Come with me, take my hand, and we’ll live
In a land where the river runs free
In a land through the green country
In a land to a shining sea
And you and me are free to be you and me…