What kind of wisdom is being described in "Blue Winds Dancing?"

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Blue Winds Dancing" relates the journey of an Indian boy reaffirming his personal identity and beliefs. Along the way, he contrasts the wisdom he has learned from his heritage and family with the wisdom and ways of the whites who have been his recent teachers and supposed role models.

The narrator sees no value or benefit in the ways of the whites. He sees no wisdom in their view of life:

I am weary of trying to keep up this bluff of being civilized. Being civilized means trying to do everything you don't want to, never doing everything you want to. It means dancing to the strings of custom and tradition; it means living in houses and never knowing or caring who is next door.

Contrasting this drive to become civilized, he considers all the wisdom of his ancestors. They understand the ways of nature and appreciate what they can sense and learn from the environment and the animals and plants around them. They recognize the changes of the seasons and celebrate the differences in activities that are associated with the phases of the yearly cycle.

He also sees accomplishments and skills in the ways of the Indians that have been forgotten by the whites. He acknowledges the worth of Indian expressions of individuality and of community.

They know how to give; how to tear one's piece of meat in two and share it with one's brother. They know how to sing--how to make each man his song and sing them;

In the end, the narrator recognizes the greatest insight of all - he understands his place in the universal scheme of life. "it is a part of me that I am one with my people and we are all a part of something universal." In that wisdom, he has found his place.