Last Saturday, I recommended the American Masters documentary on N. Scott Momaday.
In that video, Momaday reads from a Navajo prayer. I googled the prayer, and there are several versions. What I’m posting below is what I thought to be the most reliable source and translation of the old Navajo prayer.
Respect and gratitude to the Navajo elders for their wisdom.
In a loosely related pivot, today’s photo was taken during my walk yesterday. Early in the afternoon, I grabbed my day pack, stuffed some journals and pens in it, and set out for my ‘zen bench.’ On the way, I inexplicably didn’t feel like going into the park, so I kept walking.
A couple of miles down, an opening along the road grabbed my attention.
I sat roadside — I’m certain the few cars that passed thought I was a little nuts — and I started a new journal.
There’s nothing like starting a new journal. It seemed especially timely yesterday, because, while walking, I thought that the virus of fear has many morbidities.
The death of dreaming seems the m.o. of authoritarians, and, too often, those who would slay them.
As we explore intentionality together, let’s dream.
Dream big. Dream bold. Dream often.
The power of dreaming and imagination seems at least part of the Navajo prayer.
Until Saturday, I invite you to dream big, open yourself to possibilities, to beauty, and to unexpected sweetness.
Consider writing your dreams down.
And by all means, let them soar.
Walking in Beauty: Closing Prayer from the Navajo Way Blessing Ceremony
In beauty I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty around me I walk
It has become beauty again
Hózhóogo naasháa doo Shitsijí’ hózhóogo naasháa doo Shikéédéé hózhóogo naasháa doo Shideigi hózhóogo naasháa doo T’áá altso shinaagóó hózhóogo naasháa doo Hózhó náhásdlíí’ Hózhó náhásdlíí’ Hózhó náhásdlíí’ Hózhó náhásdlíí’
Today I will walk out, today everything negative will leave me
I will be as I was before, I will have a cool breeze over my body.
I will have a light body, I will be happy forever, nothing will hinder me.
I walk with beauty before me. I walk with beauty behind me.
I walk with beauty below me. I walk with beauty above me.
I walk with beauty around me. My words will be beautiful.
In beauty all day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With dew about my feet, may I walk.
With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty below me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
My words will be beautiful…. (Source: TalkingFeather.com)