Posted by: cosmicgarden | March 22, 2009

Battle of Bear Paw


chief joseph surrender

I was just going through my notes from last summer.  Driving along the hi-line, Highway 2 in northern Montana, my imagination and heart were full. The Bearpaw Mountains are to the south. These wide open spaces make me dream. If I believed in reincarnation I would think that I was there, before,  because I am so often moved to tears when I go back.  This photo of Chief Joseph’s surrender site seems so fitting with the black rain clouds coming over.

The Nez Perce broken —

I see the Nez Perce in their long retreat….fighting…struggling to reach freedom and asylum with Sitting Bull across the Border in Canada…for 105 days…always moving…700 people…women, children…elderly…walking 1,800 miles…only to be captured within 50 miles of their destination and freedom. Captured only because he was forced to surrender, refusing to leave the sick and dying of his People there, alone.

I can hear his words in the wind.

Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before I have in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead.    Tu-hul-hul-sote is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food; no one knows where they are – perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Here me, my chiefs. I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.



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