My Thoughts: Our Land is a Gift From the Creator

We belong to the land. We don’t own this land. It is a wonderful gift to all of us. If you listen, the earth will speak to you. This gift comes from the hand of our Creator and we must learn to love what he gives us. Maybe then we will remember that it is time to give thanks for what we have.

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Every time I play my flute I remember that the wood that produces the sound comes from the earth. It is as if the tree that produced the wood has a way of talking back to me through the voice of the flute. In this way, when I play my flute I am thanking the Creator for everything in nature – everything that comes from the earth.

Take time to listen to what nature has to say – the wind in the trees, the thunder during the storm, the sound of the rain, the rush of a stream as the water runs over the rocks. Listen to the voices of the animals – the song of the birds, and of those that crawl, and of those that swim – they all have a voice. All of creation can be heard in nature.

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Native American Version of the Twenty Third Psalm (Psalm 23)

Please take a moment to listen to my latest recording (scroll to bottom of post) as I recite the Native American Version of the 23rd Psalm. I am also playing Amazing Grace on the flute in the background.
howard_regalia_tp“I will go to live in the “Big Tepee” and sit down with my Shepherd Chief forever.”

THE GREAT FATHER above is a Shepherd Chief. I am His, and with him I want not.

He throws out to me a rope, and the name of the rope is Love, and He draws me to where the grass is green, and the water not dangerous, and I lie down satisfied.

Sometimes my heart grows weak and falls down, but He lifts it up again and draws me into a good road. His name is Wonderful.

Sometime, it may be soon, it may be a long, long time – He will draw me into a place between these mountains. It is dark here, but I shall not draw back. I shall be afraid not, for it is between these mountains that the Shepherd Chief will meet me, and the hunger that I have felt in my heart all through this life will be satisfied.

Sometimes He makes the love rope into a whip, but afterwards He gives me a staff to lean upon.

He spreads a table before me with all kinds of food. He puts His hand upon my head and all the “tired is gone.” My cup, He fills till it runs over.

What I tell is true. Doubt not. These roads that are “away ahead” will stay with me all through this life, and afterwards I will go to live in the “Big Tepee” and sit down with my Shepherd Chief forever.~Psalm 23 (Native American Version)

This was read at my father’s funeral in 1978. Dad founded Ball and Dodd Funeral  Home in Spokane, Washington in 1939. He loved the Indian people and he loved this version of the twenty third Psalm.

His first project after starting the funeral business, was to relocate all of the Indian graves that were going to be covered by water when the Grand Coulee Dam was built.  All of the sacred burial sites would be relocated before the dam was finished. He removed just over 1300 graves and relocated them above the pending water line. The lake that was created was called Lake Roosevelt. During this project he became a friend of Jim James. James was the Chief of the San Poil People. (See my blog post, Echoes of Yesterday telling more about this project and the documentary that was made about this important part of American History.)

The picture below shows Dad, Chief James, and some of his family and friends. Dad always told me how much he respected Chief James.


Chief James is in the hat on the right.
Dad (Howard T. Ball) is in the second row next to him.

Sometimes it is hard to remember some of the good times we had as children, but the memories of this project as told by my father, will always remain in my heart. The Colville, the Kalispel, and the Spokane people have become lifetime friends and I still enjoy their friendships as I move through life.


Chief James, Howard T. Ball (Dad), Henry Covington

I have spent the last 16 years of my life dancing at the local pow wows and getting involved with the local native people. Learning about their beliefs, their customs, and their history.

Please take a moment to listen to my latest recording as I recite the Native American Version of the 23rd Psalm. I am also playing Amazing Grace on the flute in the background.

For more recordings of my poems, prayers, and flute music, please visit my Flute Sounds page.

      Native American Version of Psalm 23