Through writing and observation, the spiritual lessons that can be absorbed are magnificent. The Lenni Lenape tribes of the East, as well as many other native peoples, believed that a piece of the divine creator was present within every aspect of nature.
In Lenape, the word “Manitowuk” can be translated as the spirit, or life force, that dwells within natural objects. That divinity lies not merely in the soul itself, but in all things wrought of nature. A tree, the sunlight, a fawn in the forest, a beautiful stone outcrop that has been forged over eons through rain and snow. Who is to say these things are not mystical and to be treated with reverence?
So tell me, is this blasphemous idol worship? Non-Christian, savage? Hardly. It is simply an inherent appreciation for all things in nature, and the role they play in this massive and divine ecosystem known as Earth, no matter how minute. Rethink your priorities today. Look up, look down, and breathe in deeply. There are Manitowuk all around you, and they sustain your existence.
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Excerpt from Savage Forest:
Leaving the village was a new experience for Jenna. They traveled into the waiting forest on a soft, grass-covered footpath. The pliant leather of their moccasins made next to no sound at all as they padded agilely along the narrow, winding trail. At first, the quietness seemed unnatural to Jenna, after weeks in the village where laughing children and chattering women were always close at hand to break the solitude of the vast mountains.
Jenna was impressed by the multitude of ferns that carpeted the forest floor in verdant splendor. Dappled here and there with speckles of sunlight, the slightest breeze would cause the plumes to dance lithely. The effect reminded her of the Delaware shoreline, with each tiny wave feeding into another, causing a simultaneous ripple of changing color and motion.
The giant hemlocks towered above like sentries, their branches interlacing to form a complex and protective canopy network. The canopy worked almost too well, thought Jenna, for it filtered out much of the brilliance of the afternoon sun. The deeper they ventured, the dimmer it seemed. The dusky silence lent a mystical air to the woodland, and it became as one large, breathing entity in itself.
Willow Plume glanced over her bare shoulder and smiled, catching the wonder in Jenna’s eyes. “The Manitowuk dwell here in great number,” she spoke in a hushed tone, “they watch over us as we pass. But do not be afraid,” she added as the girl’s eyes widened, “the spirits of nature are good forces, there is little evil here in the forest itself. Nature can be cruel at times, but her essence is not evil. Such evil dwells more so in the hearts of lustful and greedy men.”