This poem, written down by an American poet but dictated by a Native American elder, is an instruction to young tribal people about how to meet the world.
The name of the poem is “Lost,” but could also be “Found.”
Stand still. The trees ahead and the bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers.
I have made this place around you;
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
Quoted in David Whyte’s, The Heart Aroused pp 259-60