The Meadow – A Book Review

You might think that my reviewing the book The Meadow on my blog about Native American Totems might be misplaced and that putting it in the category of Native Americans of Today is incorrect, but bare with me for a few minutes and I think that it will make sense.

No, as far as I know neither Mike O’Hare nor Elfreda Pretorius are of Native American ancestry.  The book The Meadow does not outline any particular totems that we have discussed on this blog in a definitive manner. Yet, in my opinion recommending this book for you to read very much fits with the messages, lessons, and traditions of the Indigenous Peoples of North America and other areas of the world.

The feathers of Eagle and Owl are integral parts of this incredibly written story. Both birds give us lessons in our Earth Walk.  So, let me tell you more about this amazing book.

The Meadow tells the story of two souls who travel through many lives throughout the centuries. It is a marvelous love story of such depth that you find it difficult to put it down. We first meet the two souls in prehistoric Mexica and travel through the centuries as their souls enter different bodies in different situations, always finding each other and always finding the two feathers at some point in that lifetime.  There are times that the souls are of Native American lineage but that is not the main theme of the book.

So, why am I recommending the book to people who are interested in learning about totems? If you have not gained anything else from my posts, I hope that you have begun to understand that in the traditions and spiritual beliefs of the First Peoples that the underlying message is that everything is connected.  People, animals, plants, and all living things have a purpose, a lesson, and a connection. Mike and Elfreda have made those connections very real in the story they weave of these two remarkable souls.

For the guys who regularly read this blog, this book is not just about an unending love story. There is plenty of intrigue, action, and mysteries that unfold as the story progresses.

As I shared with Mike when I wrote to him about reading this book, it is a story that will stay with me for a long time.  I read many books in a year and I enjoy most that I read. However, there are very few books that make a huge impression with me.  A few that leave such a mark that I find myself thinking about them weeks, months, and even years after I have completed them. The Meadow is one of those rare books that still has me thinking about the characters and the story. Out of the thousands of books that I have read over my lifetime, this book is in the top 5 of my favorites.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

Native American Artist – Darlene Gait

Yesterday, my post was the story of Sister Swan and her message in Native American Totems.  I told you of her message of Grace. Today, I would like to tell you about what and who inspired me to write that post.  I would like to introduce you to a Native American Artist from Canada, Darlene Gait.

Darlene, a contemporary Coast Salish First Nation’s artist, moves my soul with her art. Over this past weekend I was searching for someone that I could feature on my blog, as I want to bring to light the talented authors, artists, and people of note who are from the First Peoples (Native Americans). So, I lit my sage candle to purify the room and my thoughts and humbly asked my Spirit Guides to help me find the right person to promote this week. They guided me to Darlene Gait.

When I landed on her website, I was mesmerized by what I found. Her art shows the beauty of the North West and her people. I was guided along to images of her interpretation of people doing everyday things with incredible detail. My breath was taken away with Spiritual images that I felt a connection with.

As I clicked from beautiful page to beautiful page, a thought was forming in my head. And then I came to the picture of a Swan and I stopped.  I was transfixed on that picture finding such joy in it. Such peace! I wondered why I was moved more by this than the others because it didn’t really have a Native American theme to it. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it, though. I found myself looking deeper and deeper into the picture and suddenly felt like I was gliding on the water like that graceful swan. “Are you talking to me Sister Swan?” I asked my computer screen. “You must be because I feel I’m swimming with you.”

So I took my book out to see if there was a Native American Totem of Swan. I read for the first time the beautiful story of Sister Swan and her message of Grace. One message is to act on our hunches.

Here is the picture that brought me the message:

I wrote to Darlene and asked her permission to use the image in this blog post.  Clicking on this next word Opalescence” will take you to her website page for the picture.
I invite, no encourage, you to visit Darlene’s website to learn more about her and to visit her galleries. You are in for a most delightful treat! She is an internationally recognized artist whose art is in both private and public exhibits.  Her website is:  One Moon Gallery

I want to thank Darlene for giving me the permission to use her “Opalescence” image and graciously allowing me to introduce her to you.

In other blog posts, I’ve talked to you about Totems choosing you to bring a message that you need to hear. This is an example of how it works sometimes.  Swan stopped me. I relaxed and went with the flow and I acted on my hunch by contacting Darlene. There is something in the Great Mystery working here. We can grow in so many ways when we stop and listen to our Native American Totems.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related

Listen To The Drum by Blackwolf Jones and Gina Jones

Blackwolf Jones and his wife Gina Jones co-wrote a book together in 1995 titled “Listen To The Drum“.  I’ve read the book through once and want to go back and really study it now.  I found a lot of inspiration in this book and also some answers for my own spiritual journey as I try to walk on the Sacred Path.

The book teaches and guides us to return to the Self within us and to the healer that resides in all of us.  Blackwolf and Gina fill the book Listen to the Drum with stories, prayers, and tools that help us to walk in balance and harmony.  We learn to listen to nature, ourselves, and the silence within us.  We learn to become masters over our fears, to make wiser decisions, and the importance of blessing all children of this earth.

Robert Jones (Blackwolf) is of Ojibway heritage and is a licensed psychotherapist who presents seminars and lectures on Native American healing. You can read more about Blackwolf in a discussion from 1997. Gina Jones is of Mohawk ancestry and is a teacher, writer, and poet.

The essence of the book is to listen to the drum that beats within us, the rhythm of our own soul. A form of meditation that takes you on an unbelievable journey to find yourself and what your purpose in life truly is. To find out about yourself and to learn to dance to the beat only you can hear.

It was in this book that I first learned of the Lakota prayer “Mitakuye Oyasin” that I sign my posts with. This prayer is simple, yet so profound. Translated it means: We are all related.  You pronounce it: mi-TAHK-wee-a-say.

Another very meaningful part of “Listen To The Drum” for me was the chapter on the Sacred Quiver.  It speaks of the container made from the fabric of awareness and holds two kinds of arrows. The straight arrows and the crooked arrows.  The application for ones life is to try to remove as many of the crooked arrows from our quiver as we can.  Crooked Arrows  would be:

  • Self-Centeredness
  • Fear
  • Dependency
  • Denial
  • Expectations
  • Stress
  • Depression

We will talk more in the days to come about the Sacred Quiver and other lessons from Blackwolf Jones in the book “Listen To The Drum”.  In the meantime, may you have fewer crooked arrows than you do straight arrows in your Sacred Quiver.

~ Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are all related