First Thunder - Navajo Tradition

Submitted by brenda.beyal on

Eileen Quintana wrote on her Facebook Page, "I hear the roar of First Thunder here in Utah Valley sha'alchini! Stretch your bodies like you do early in the morning when you are waking up, soon the bears, snakes and spiders will awake too.  It is the end of winter and spring is on the way?"

This reminds me of my mother and Grandparents who said similar things to me. Shi ma would say, "Go outside and stretch your bodies; the bears are stirring in their caves, rolling around, rubbing their eyes, disturbed from their winter’s nap.  They have heard the thunder that has awaken them from their winter sleep, calling them out of their caves."  

So out we went to stretch our bodies, mimicking the bear's awakening, rolling and even doing somersaults. We would reach for the sky, slowing awakening our bodies too.  Then enthused that spring is on its way we would roll on the ground and then do somersaults and end with exuberant running, mostly in circles.

I didn’t hear my First Thunder this past week, but when I do, I will instruct my daughter to go out and stretch and wake her body to spring, celebrating earth’s call to the creatures.  Join us for this wonderful tradition.      

Eileen Quintana Facebook Post