My mother carried this prayer with her for as long as I can remember.
O Great Spirit
O Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the winds, and whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me.
I am small and weak; I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my friend, but to fight my greatest enemy, myself.
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset, may my spirit come to you without shame.
This prayer is attributed to Native American Indian Lakota (Sioux) Chief Yellow Lark in 1887.
By Keri Douglas, writer/photographer, Washington. D.C.