The sweetgrass is aged. It whispers beneath my fingers like eagles spreading their wings for flight. I am gentle, for it is a gift like everything else.
The wisps of smoke fill my nostrils. I inhale deeply and gently, fan the tiny flame. I lift my hands and caress the ghost of smoking spirits, cleanse my ears, and bid my heart to open in prayer. The sweetgrass scent is the pathway to heaven. With this, my prayers can rise to the Creator, but only if I pray with integrity and in deep humility. May the grandparents bless these prayers.
-Sky Dancer, Louise Bernice Halfe
The rain fell hard all day and the air was thick with moisture. If felt as though the clouds lifted their heavy blanket just as people arrived to the Handmade Fire. Emilio and Elyse Portal worked tirelessly to generate a flame. They teased us with numerous attempts. We smelled the smoke and witnessed the sparks but the moist air dominated and eventually won over. Still we sat by the fire, exhausted with anticipation. Mesmerized by the flames we learned of the relationship between humans and land through fire.