MANY WINTERS by Nancy Wood

If I had known before, all the things I know today,

I would have begun my life as an old woman.

Tricked by old men telling me there was nothing to fear

Except leaving my youth behind.

What would have been the fun of that?

What home would my mistakes have had?

It is better this way.

Now I can wish for my youth to come back.

Just so I can tell it, how old age is nothing buy

Remembering how rich the green fields looked

Despite the lack of rain.


Navajo Grandmother “Navajo Grandmother” watercolor painting by kayti sweetland rasmussen

These words written by Nancy Woods in her book “MANY WINTERS”.

“You know how it is. People come here and they want to know our secret of life. They ask many questions but their minds are already made up. They admire our children but thy feel sorry for them. They look around and they do not see anything except dust. They come to our dances but they are always wanting to take pictures.

They come into our homes expecting to learn about us in five minutes.

Our homes, which are made of mud and straw, look strange to them. They are glad they do not live here.

Yet they are not sure whether or not we know something which is the key to all understanding.

Our secret of life would take them forever to find out. Even then, they would not believe it.”

The words came from an old Indian at Taos Pueblo who sat on the roof of his house one afternoon, his back to the sun. He sat wrapped in his cotton blanket, his long hair in to braids. His face was wrinkled and the color of the earth from which his adobe house was made.