The Nurturing Black Hills

Chelsea - Phoenix, Arizona
Entered on May 13, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: nature

I believe in allowing the simplicity of nature to heal the deepest wounds.

Imagine an expanse of wide, ever-stretching land sprawled wildly before your eyes. The tender, summer wind gently envelops your body, sweetly beckoning for an adventure. In the distance, half-tamed horses neigh sweetly as they graze across the heaven bound grasses. These are the beautiful Black Hills of the Lakota Native American Reservation located in South Dakota

For years, this sacred place has become my annual refuge, a remote site tenderly nurtures me ever summer. As a young girl, my parents were divorced, my younger brother and I became our mother’s children. In these hills, away from my childhood tribulations, I had a sense of restoration of my body and spirit. Recalling the first steps off the small plane years ago, I was a battered, eleven-year-old girl, frightened of her past and anxious for the unfurling future. In my birthplace, the passionate deserts of Arizona, I felt confined in a concrete city, slowly suffocating because of my broken family. As I stepped onto South Dakota’s limitless rolling grasslands, I felt reborn. All that I had left in Arizona for those summer months became the vanishing smoke lifting off of the roaring, forest fire of my life.

Awakening the first morning in this blessed Reservation, I opened the unlocked door and sat on the porch steps. Upon arriving the night before I could not discern rock from grass, or tree from post. However, in the launching of dawn I can recall the quick intake of breathe and a long, long-awaited sigh. The soft sloping and curving of the hills, the majestic cottonwoods with their Dalmatian bark, the caressing breeze racing through the soaring shoots of grass, the sweet chirping of the native birds, and the rising sun. How could such a lovely, warm sun hide back home behind the skyscrapers and relentless smog? As if answering my question, a herd of horses made a grand appearance, galloping, dancing, and playing before my happy eyes. In my mind, I believed this was my true home. Just as people believe they were born into the wrong family or time, I loved both family and age, but I thought to be born in the wrong place.

Over these summers, I understood the healing powers of the land and became a rehabilitated person. Here, I embraced the months I had by bareback riding over rocks, skidded down steep hills, and galloped across bottomless rivers atop my beloved steed. Here, I awoke early ever morning to glimpse the poetic sunrise and stirring of the new world. Here, I began to heal through the land and people inhabiting my beloved Black Hills. Here, I could transform my withering blossom into a beautiful sunflower, cascading rays of sunlight. Here, I could be free, and learn to show the world my wonder. This I believe.