Kunuhwela·tú Othahyu·ní
Thanksgiving to the Wolf

Susan Simensky Bietila

She has cooled my skin on a Summer's day
She has wrapped my body and bones in her healing waters
She has filled my eyes with many wonders,
My heart with peace,
My soul with love and respect for all waters.

Wild and raging at flood time, she is not a "tame" river
Her force and power teach
Reverence and humility,
Awe and respect.

She is the River of Life to the Nations on her shores
She feeds the wild rice beds
and sustains the Wild Rice People.

Her waters are so clear and clean that
Rock and weed, trout and crayfish,
And all manner of river mysteries can be seen in her depths.
The fishes breathe her sweet essence.
The waterbirds and eagles are attracted to her shores.

I have been in her stream when she was languid and gently dreaming;
I have been in her strong current and the swollen torrent of her at flood stage.
Each time I have come to her banks,
Each time I have been touched by her waters
She has lifted my life-spirit higher.
Just thinking of her or saying her name gives me pleasure.

Wolf, Wolf, Wolf
Great River Force,
Heart-Center of Nations,
Mother of Many Waters,
You continue to be as the Creator intended you to be.
I give thanks that yet you continue
And pray that generations in the future will
likewise offer their thanksgiving.

--Barbara E. Munson
May 1996

View the Wolf River pen and ink scene in all its detail.

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