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1) When the heart went away from nature, it became hard. The lack of respect for nature’s softening influences soon led to lack of respect for humanity.

2 Knowledge was in all things. The world was a library and its books were the animals, the birds, the mountains, the plains, the trees, the grasses, and the rivers and streams. Knowledge taught us the blessings as well as the storms of the earth. We learned to do what only the student of nature learned, and that was to feel beauty.

3) In the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them. So close did Lakota come to their furred and feathered friends that in true brotherhood they spoke a common tongue.

4) The Lakota did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, the winding streams and majestic mountain as ‘wild’. Only to the white man was nature a ‘wilderness’ and only to him was it ‘infested’ with ‘wild’ animals and ‘savage’ people. To the Lakota it was tame. The earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of nature.

5) It was good for the skin to touch the earth. The Lakota would remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet on the sacred earth. They sat upon the earth to immerse in its life-giving forces. To sit or lie upon the ground enabled one to think more deeply and to feel more keenly. One could see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to the other lives about him.

6) Civilization was thrust upon the Lakota and it has not added anything to their love for nature, the truth, peace and harmony.

~ William E. Chamberlain Jr.

 

 

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