The Buffalo

credit: Chase A. Fountain photo

I grew up on the prairie lands of South Dakota. It was my home, and also the home of the Sioux tribe, and their beloved and sacred buffalo. From what I understand of the Sioux tradition, the buffalo is a symbol of the divine feminine, ancestors, and wisdom.

I come from a long line of cattle ranchers. We lean on fence posts and watch the herds chew and graze.

Cattle are known for their timid, nature and when the wild prairie land storms approach, they often run away from the storm, the wind at their backs. For them, it makes the most sense. It’s easier to run away with the wind at your back. But, the cost is this:  the winds often overtake the cattle, and they struggle longer in the chaos of the storm.

Buffalo are quiet, fierce creatures, and when the wild prairie land storms come, they often turn into the wind. They stand with their great heads down, feet grounded and their shoulders up, bearing the brunt of the storm.  It’s hard work for a lone buffalo. But, when her tribe surrounds her, they gather together, shoulder to shoulder and deliberately step into the wind. And, the gift is this: the tribe is bound together in strength and they walk through the storm together, passing more quickly through the winds and chaos.

Lean into the resistance, it takes practice and courage, and the gift is priceless.