A great flood has come to the Minnesota north woods, a deluge of almost mythical proportions.
(No, that is not a photo of Child Lake…it’s the front yard!)
A flood is an apocalyptic symbol for the washing away of an old life, and the rebirth of a new one. It is therefore, a dual symbol of death and new birth. In all cultures it is the flood by which the world, and life, starts over again.
The Ojibway story of the flood that recreated the world is the one of Nanaboozhoo.
He was a forest spirit, born of a human mother and spirit father, sent by the great spirit, Gitche Manitou, to be a teacher of his people. It was Nanaboozhoo, who named all plants and animals, and taught people to fish and write in hieroglyphs. Being a shapeshifter, he is often seen in these woods in the form of a rabbit.
It was the angry acts of Nanaboozhoo that caused the waters of the lakes to rise and obliterate the earth. But through his magical powers, Nanaboozhoo managed to create a raft and save the drowning animals.
With the help of the rescued animals, Nanaboozhoo re-created a new world. But he was frustrated because he could not determine exactly what he had created.
Eventually he came to the realization that even though he had the power to manifest a new world and a new life, he could not control everything about about it.
So even for spirit creatures, some things in life are best left unknown.