top of page

Excerpt from A New Beginning/The Smoke of One Thousand Lodge Fires

Updated: Aug 30, 2020

Wild horses as I exited the Orchard a few weeks ago. All creation declares the Glory...

A short excerpt from A New Beginning/The Smoke of One Thousand Lodge Fires

Estimated publish date now September 2020

The West Texas wind whistled through the trees as it swept down the little canyon. The few remaining leaves and a few small branches were torn away from the large trees, landing along the riverbank and occasionally on top of the snug little lodge. Sana and Abby sat on the huge buffalo rug in the warm lodge on the banks of the San Saba River. David and Old Grandmother were seated across from them. Grandmother began serving her stew from the large cooking pot. The fire crackled, giving off its warmth and the light fragrance of oak wood burning.

The knock on the door was gentle but still alarmed the four.

“Come in, my child,” Old Grandmother called out.

The door opened slowly as the man entered the lodge.

Tosahwi had to duck slightly to enter the six-foot-tall doorway. The man was imposing, astounding… or beautiful… might have been a better word.

He removed the large buffalo robe draped over his shoulders. His buckskins were adorned with incredible detailed beadwork. The breastplate over his chest was made of bone and decorated with colorful beads. His medicine bag hung around his neck, dangling as he moved across the lodge toward Grandmother. His long black hair was flowing and peppered with grey. His facial skin was weathered and wrinkled, although his features appeared still strong. In the man’s eyes, David could see wisdom… and cunning.

Tosahwi gazed into David’s eyes for a moment as he entered. David returned the gaze, never wavering from the deeply personal eye contact. There seemed to be a mutual understanding or respect, David thought, incredibly without any words being spoken.

The smell of the outdoors and the wild followed Tosahwi across the room.

To Abby, the entire atmosphere in the room seemed to change as Tosahwi entered. The man exuded a presence, a power, a knowing. Even his gait as he crossed the room appeared somehow regal, even graceful. Tosahwi carried himself in a way she had never seen a man do so, perhaps as a king might. Abby was enthralled with this presence. He seemed a figure come alive from some artists masterpiece…or an ancient character arriving from some other time…in this unassuming little lodge on the banks of the San Saba River.

Tosahwi gazed at Abby for a moment, and in that moment she felt the man read her. His gaze seemed to peer deep into her soul, with a knowing look he seemed to feel her pain for a moment. He seemed to know her wounding, her loss, and even acknowledge it.

Abby released the breath she had been holding.

Tosahwi embraced Grandmother while speaking in his Native tongue.

It is good to see you, Old Grandmother... It has been many moons.”

Grandmother smiled and laughed out loud, as tears of joy rolled down her face.

Sana also rose to greet him. Tosahwi took her in his arms, lifting her like a child.

“And you, Little One, the boys are making you too heavy for me to lift!

Sana and Grandmother laughed. Sana’s heart rejoicing, her friend, her leader had found her…across the years.

The man turned toward David and Abby who had also risen to greet him.

David J. Ross, it is an honor to meet you. Thank you for what you have done to help my friends. My Family.”

Grandmother translated. David and Abby smiled and motioned for Tosahwi to be seated. The group all settled in as Grandmother served the delicious stew.

She began the song of gratefulness and thanksgiving. The others joining in. The sounds echoed along the riverbank and into the trees outside the lodge. Those songs also echoed within the hearts of David and Abby. The two sat in awe, watching, listening, to a way of life, a reverence, that had disappeared from the modern world in which they lived. Each person was moved deeply within their soul at the simple song of worship.

591 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Thank you. Your book moved me.

Steven Hightower
Steven Hightower
Oct 16, 2021
Replying to

Your welcome! Glad you enjoyed.

bottom of page