These are all true stories that have happened in my life.
Many times after school I would go to the woods close by and play. I was drawn to them. This time I was silently kneeling behind the palmetto bushes as I slowly parted the palm fronds to get a better look. There drinking at the crystal clear spring where I'd just been fishing was a beautiful doe and her cute little baby fawn. My body was frozen still and not moving and I was barely breathing as I absorbed this beautiful picture. Afraid to move for fear of disturbing this incredible scene I continued to watch until suddenly I heard a hawk cry out and as I looked up mama and baby went scampering away.
What I saw was a huge gray hawk that seemed to be watching me as he cried out. All of a sudden everything went white, and as I watched I had a very disturbing premonition. I knew that something terrible was going to happen to me someday and because of it I would be helping people. I was about 7 years old at that time and I lived with this vision for 40 years.
In 1992 I was a black belt karate instructor in peak condition when I became very ill. My heart and blood had developed a severe bacterial infection which caused my health to rapidly deteriorate. Since I possessed all of the pertinent symptoms the doctors originally thought that I had contracted Lyme disease, due to the fact that I had spent an extraordinary amount of time in the woods and forest. In about a year I went from being a man in excellent physical shape to a person who could hardly walk a third of a city block. The diagnosis? I was informed I had developed congestive heart failure.
The infection had eaten away most of my mitral valve and when my heart ruptured it destroyed what was left. I was taken to the hospital where I was informed that without immediate open-heart surgery I would not survive. But due to the fact of the infection immediate surgery was not an option. Thus I was in a state of limbo.
The doctors and nurses managed to keep me alive while an infectious disease team worked on me. Up to this point I had been living for 5 days with no mitral valve in my heart. Quite a miracle in itself.
Finally, the doctors came into my room and gathered around the foot of my bed. I could tell by the looks on their faces the news was not good. They told me my heart was rapidly failing, and I had about 48 hrs. to live at the most. They also stated that they must operate now regardless of the infection if I had any chance of living. I was terrified.
My wife Cindy and my father were with me when they came to get me for surgery. She was holding my hand and was telling me "you're not going to die, this is all happening for a reason". I didn't think I was going to make it so I asked the doctors for a moment to pray. They left the room but I was so afraid I cried out "Oh God, where is all this peace and comfort you promised"? Suddenly my fear was all gone. I've never known such peace before. They told me I was smiling, I was ready.
On the way to surgery as we were going into the operating room everything went all white. I felt as if I were picked up and cradled like a baby in a bed of power and energy. I felt surrounded by protection by an awesome power. There was light all around, warm and peaceful. I could feel the energy all around me. Words cannot describe what I felt and saw. Later my doctors told me my heart had stopped and it was a mad rush to get me on the heart lung machine and open my chest. I had only minutes to spare. Amazingly, when the doctors got inside my chest the infection, which I still had on the way to surgery, was now mysteriously gone! A miracle! I am now the proud owner of a titanium St. Jude mechanical valve that resides inside my heart. My recovery was phenomenal. It's obvious the Lord kept me around for a reason.
In January of 1994, three
months after my surgery, Cindy took me to my first pow wow to learn of my
American Indian heritage. To get in touch with my roots. There I heard the
Native American flute for the first time. I was mesmerized, obsessed, and
possessed. I knew this was what I was meant to do and I bought my first flute.
It seemed like I had been playing it all of my life. I began to play as I regained
my health and strength. The Native American flute has a soothing healing
quality to it. This combined with the power of prayer is an awesome thing.
I began doing small concerts at state parks, churches, and schools and was asked to play for the cardiac patients at Tampa General Hospital, the same hospital where I had open heart surgery. I played on a Christmas eve. As I talked, played, and prayed with the patients, I knew this was what I was meant to do. A week later I was asked if I would be interested in doing this on a regular basis. Later I was made a chaplain.
The vision I had as a little boy had come true, full circle. Going through what I did with my heart makes it possible for me to help others in this same situation. I have experienced their fears, pain, anxieties, and depressions. I have been through everything they have. I can relate. I visit with patients going to open-heart surgery, heart transplants, etc. I take the flute and prayer to them.
My Father in heaven set it all up when I was a little boy. He gave me the vision. Then as a grown man He gave me the second part of that childhood vision, a miracle, a testimony, the NA flute, the Holy Spirit, and Cindy. Then He began opening doors.
The Lord sent Cindy to me to set all of this in motion. Before we were married I was telling her of my childhood vision and she said, "you're my Silverhawk", she gave me my name. In the hospital she said, "you're not going to die, this is all happening for a reason", she gave me the message. And she took me to my first pow wow where I found the NA flute. Without Cindy there would have never been a Silverhawk. She said, "your vision finally came true".
When I was in the hospital a lot of things went through my mind. My family, my secret place in the north Georgia mountains. I wrote a poem of my feelings, "My Testimony". You will find it below.
Take a long walk in a Green Mountain forest,
then you'll surely know.
See all the wonders the Lord has made,
a daisy, a little doe.
The Silverhawk cries as he soars high above
a tiny little stream.
Now sit quietly in a carpet of ferns,
reflect on what you've seen.
Greater than gifts the eye can behold,
The One He sent from above.
Sent to save a dying lost world,
the pure white Lamb of love.
Now I am dying, I can't help but think,
will I see these things again?
My child's embrace, my grandchild's kiss,
my wife's warm tender hand.
Time now draws near, it's felt in every breath,
my heart is gripped in fear.
"Oh Lord", I cry out."Where's the comfort you promised"?
Now death is so very near.
Where's the strength I need for this journey?
Do I have to make it alone?
His power engulfs me. Warm peace now fills me.
Warmth that His Son has shown.
Thank you my Lord for the comfort you promised.
My doubts are now all gone.
My family gathers around, their love surrounds me.
If it is your will, I'll now go home.
Dock Green Silverhawk 1993
Shadow Ghost Dancer
Before Cindy and I were married she had a horse rental business, and at that time owned between 25 and 30 horses. All my life I had always spent a great deal of time in the woods and forest of Georgia and Florida so this fit in very well with my life-style. I new a lot about the woods and farm life, but had never had a horse and soon developed a great love for these beautiful animals. And I also became very good at fixing broken saddles, a never ending chore.
Cindy had a big Morgan mare named Diamond and an Appaloosa mare named Crystal that had been bred with a large Quarter horse named Magnum. Her rental business shared barns and space with a big horse boarding stable. Between the renters and the boarders there were a lot of people anxiously awaiting these two births. Crystal went into labor first in the middle of a big barn party and the word quickly spread as a crowed gathered for this awaited event. Horse people are funny. We have a great love for these beautiful gifts from the Creator. To see a foal born is a very special thing indeed.
That night a little female was born. A beautiful little brown colored Appaloosa with a white butt. Cindy said, "I'm keeping her for myself, and I'm naming her China". A week later Diamond went into labor and again the same crowd gathered to watch the miracle of birth a second time. Two foals in a week, what a bonus, most people never get a chance to see one born in a life time. That night Diamond gave birth to a little coal black female with a white blaze on her face and two white feet. She looked like she was all legs, but quickly got up on her feet. I was drawn to her and walked over and slowly knelt down beside her. I let her smell my hand and slowly began touching her and petting her. I gently put my face next to hers and softly blew into her nostrils while quietly talking to her. We bonded. I then backed away to let her bond with her mama. I was standing there admiring her and then looked at Cindy, who said, "she's yours, raise her the way you want her to be". I named her Shadow, Shadow Ghostdancer. And that was the birth of my song, "Shadow Ghostdancer"
At night when she would be laying down I would kneel down and talk to her as I petted and loved on her. I would straddle her and slowly lower myself down, just barely touching her, making sure not to put any weight on her. She soon became accustomed to me being there and as she grew I slowly began to put more and more weight on her. During this time of gentleing we really connected and she would follow me around like a little puppy dog. In the months that followed, training her was a pleasure, I learned as she learned. One thing I learned is there is something very spiritual about a horse.
We developed a real closeness, to the point that she would play with me. I would run in the pasture and she and China would run along beside me, one on each side, every now and then squealing and nipping me softly on the arm. Another game Shadow liked to play was, I would be standing there and would jump at her and yell while shaking my hands in the air and shaking my head. She would take off at a dead run, make a big circle in the pasture, and then come running straight at me, coming to a sliding stop about five feet away. Then we would do it all over again, and again, and again.
Shadow slowly changed from black to a dappled gray and was an awesome horse, big and strong. She looked like a war horse. Word had gotten around of the big day I was going to ride Shadow for the first time and a group gathered. Shadow had gotten the reputation of being a very spirited horse and everyone wanted to see this wild bucking event with me hitting the ground. As I brushed and saddled her I was talking to her and loving on her. I took the reins and slowly stepped into the stirrup and eased into the seat of the saddle not knowing what to expect. I sat there for a few minutes, waiting. Nothing happened. She let out a breath of air, slightly shaking her head, and then dropped her head and started chewing. She was completely relaxed and trusted me totally. This woman said, "that's it, that's all there is". I laughed and squeezed Shadow with my heels and we rode off with everyone watching in amazement. They didn't know that for weeks I'd done most of the training from the ground.
Shadow loves to go on trail rides in the woods. Her head held high, and constantly looking from side to side, very alert. She is a big powerful Morgan horse with a lot of stamina who loves to run. She is a descendant of the great race horse "Man-o-war". I trained her to go with a squeeze from my heels, not a kick. You don't have to kick her to make her run, all you have to do is let her know she can. It takes an experienced rider to ride Shadow. You want to run? Just let her know and she'll run, real fast.
One day we were going on a trail ride with a group of friends. It was a gorgeous day and the area we were riding in is beautiful with a lot of woods. Shadow was really spunky that day and kept wanting to run. She would shake her head, come up off the ground about a foot with her front feet (sort of like a little bounce), and shake her head again. People think she is trying to rear up when she does this. If she wanted to rear up, she'd rear up. She's just telling me,"I want to run". But you don't just take off running in a group. Horses have the herd instinct, if one runs they all run. When one takes off they think there is danger and they all take off. I kept having to hold her back.
I was working the evening shift that day and had to leave the group early so I could get to work on time. I said my goodbyes and headed back to the barn.
On the way back Shadow would do her bounce up off the front feet routine every now and then. She really wanted to run. We had quite a ways to go and I thought, "OK, I'm gonna let you run", and I squeezed her with my heels. She shook her mane and went into a trot. She was liking this. I squeezed again and she went into a loping rocking chair canter. She is so smooth but I could feel the excitement building in her. I squeezed again and she began to really run. She was really liking this.
Something was beginning to happen between Shadow and I. It's hard to explain. I tie the ends of my reins together in case I drop them they fall around the horses neck and I can easily retrieve them . We were going through a long area of trail that had overhanging wooded brush and tree limbs, almost like a tunnel through the woods and trees. A strange feeling came over me and I dropped the reins, put one hand on each side of her neck with a handful of mane, took my feet out of the stirrups, and from the waist up laid down along her neck. I gave her the lead and whispered..............."come on Shadow".
Her mane was blowing along the side of my face and I whispered..............."come on Shadow". I felt a surge and again I whispered..............."come on Shadow". I could feel her excitement building..............."come on Shadow". She was now running flat out..............."come on Shadow".
I began to feel as if I were falling into sort of a hypnotic trance. Her legs were my legs. I suddenly realized we were breathing as one . Our hearts were beating together. Our rhythm was one. I moved when she moved. I could feel her joy, abandon, and freedom. I could feel her awesome power. I felt every muscle in her body. Her hooves were thunder on the ground. We were racing with the wind. It was magic. This was a gift, she was letting me feel what she feels. We were one.
In the distance I began to hear a song to the rhythm of our bodies and the thunder of her hooves. Our souls moving in unison. We were speaking a language without words and I knew she felt it too. I didn't want to leave this magical world and hung on to it as long as I could. I knew this was a once-in-a-life time experience we were sharing. This was a happening. We shared our souls.
When I got home that afternoon I got out a flute and played "Shadow Ghostdancer" for the first time. It is a special song and is on my cd.
Cindy and I got out of the horse rental business and bought a small ranch a little north of Plant City, Fl and now raise Appaloosas. We have eight horses and Shadow and China are now 19 years old and doing well. Shadow is still my faithful friend and still loves to be petted and loved on. And yes, she still follows me around like a little puppy dog. I still sit on her at night while scratching her and talking to her. I have raised two of her daughters, Shawnee and Mico, and they are a lot like their mama. They're good horses. Shawnee is actually bigger than Shadow and has a huge neck. You can really see the Morgan in her. She is going to be an awesome horse. Who knows, maybe some new adventures.
But there will never be another Shadow, she is one of a kind, she's special. She and I have had many adventures which I will be sharing. We have a special relationship.
Every time I play my song "Shadow Ghostdancer", my thoughts go back to that magical day years ago . The day she brought me into her world and let me feel what she feels. The day we ran with the wind.
Dead Man Walking
I was running some errands in preparation for my upcoming vacation in the North Georgia Mountains. I was quite excited as Cindy and I would be camping on my land, the "Hawk's Nest". We would be arriving 7/4/10 and I would be giving a concert at Vogel State Park 7/10/10. I was anticipating a good crowd and expecting some folks from the flute circles around the Atlanta area.
I was in Lakeland, Fl on a major 8 lane highway and in the outside lane. A car in front of me was driving slowly so I looked over my left shoulder to look for an opening so I could pass him. There was none and as I turned around he had come to a stop and then was turning in to a parking lot. I was on top of him, and in my big 4 wheel drive Dodge Ram truck, I didn't have a prayer as I jammed my foot on the brake. I hit him in the left rear and then lost control of my truck which sent me careening into a huge concrete and metal high energy power pole at 50 mph. I gripped the steering wheel as hard as I could to brace myself and right before I hit it dead on I thought, "Oh Jesus, I'm going to die".Then, impact!
The concussion of the impact was unreal and I sat there stunned for what seemed to be a very long time. I was trying to comprehend what had just happened as I slowly looked around. It looked like a bomb had gone off inside my truck. Thoughts came to me. Did this really just happen?------ How could I have survived?----- Am I dead?------This is going to ruin Cindy's vacation.
There was a presence all around me. So heavy you could almost cut it with a knife. I've had this feeling before. It was the Holy Spirit. My Father had saved my life again. "Thank you Jesus".
The impact was so horrendous that the back of the truck came completely off the ground when I hit. All the glass was broken, the front of the truck was truly wrapped around the pole, the motor and transmission had been pushed up under my feet, the doors were jammed, the roof was buckled upward, the dash was shattered into little pieces. There was blood everywhere. I was feeling my face when I saw the source of the blood. My right hand had gone through the dash and was badly cut, the knuckle was partially sticking out, and already beginning to swell and bruise. That is what had shattered the dash. I take coumadin, a blood thinner, and applied pressure to try and stop the bleeding. As I looked at my hand I began thinking, "will I ever play the flute again"?
My attention was then drawn to what was going on outside my truck. People were gathering at a distance but no one was coming to help me. A sheriff had stopped, and he too was standing at a distance. Again I began thinking, "am I dead? I can see them, can't they see me"?
What if the truck caught on fire, I had to get out. The door was jammed and I had to throw my shoulder against it several times before it partially opened enough for me to slowly squeeze my way out as people looked on in shocked disbelief and started yelling. Still, no one was helping me. Am I dead?
As I was leaning up against the truck trying to clear my head I could still feel a strong presence all around through me, almost like being in a bubble. Finally one of the Emergency Attendants started yelling for me to come over and sit down, which I did. They checked my vitals, wrapped up my hand and took me to the hospital where they took 18 x-rays of my body and several of my hand. No broken bones or internal injuries. They then stitched up my hand. As I was leaving the hospital the doctor that had attended me said "Mr Green, you've seen a miracle today. You need to go to church Sunday". My daughter Trina was there and laughed as she said, "he's an Indian pastor, he'll be there". I also found out that day that my truck was in contact with a high energy line that was arcing and sparking against my bumper. They told me my truck was energized with several thousand volts of electricity. That's why no one would come near me to help me. Why didn't I get electrocuted?
The next day I went to the scene of the accident just to see and think about what had happened. As I stood there taking everything in a man came out of the store a little distance from the pole and asked, "how is your hand"? I told him. He then told me that he and a couple of other people were outside talking and witnessed the whole thing. He said, "when you hit it was so hard the whole back of the truck went up in the air before dropping back down". He told his friends, "this is going to be ugly". They thought I had to be dead. He told me that they then saw a bare power cable trapped against the bumper of my truck arcing to it. It was hot. They then saw me moving around and to their horror I began forcing my way out of the truck ( I didn't know it was hot ). He said "we couldn't believe it, you were still alive. And now you were about to be electrocuted and we couldn't do a thing about it". As I slowly squeezed out of the truck he said they were dumbfounded that I was not electrocuted. He said, "you were a dead man walking, it was a miracle".
That night at home as I looked at my badly injured hand I again wondered if I would ever play again. My body hurt all over and my hand was extremely swollen and in a lot of pain. It was black and blue from the elbow down. I could move none of my fingers.
As I sat there a feeling of depression came over me and I said to my wife Cindy,"I have only a few days until my concert in Georgia, I guess I better cancel. I'll never be able to play". She looked up at me and said, "The Lord brought you through this for a reason, This was a miracle. He's given you another story to tell of His power. He's done this with you several times before. You're supposed to go and tell the story. He'll make a way. You've got to have faith".
When we got to Georgia my body was so sore all I wanted to do was lay around. And my hand? It hurt so bad and I could barely move my fingers. Again I wanted to cancel and again Cindy said no, your here for a reason.
The day before my concert I could move my fingers a little but it was painful. I got out a flute and played a song in pain. I said, "Lord if you want me to do this, you've got to make it happen".
The time had finally come and I still had no idea if I would be able to do an hour long concert. The speaking would be no problem but the playing was.
The venue at Vogel State Park is a big open air roofed pavillion sitting on a mountain lake surrounded by forested mountains. A perfect setting if there ever was one for a NAF concert. I've been doing this, here, yearly for close to 20 years.
As people began arriving I had a knot in my stomach. Not knowing what to expect I turned away from the audience as they were being seated and faced big Blood mountain. Beautiful! I lit sage and gave a smoke offering to Creator. I then prayed, "Father, I give myself to you. Use me. Put the words in my mouth and the music in my flutes. I need you. I ask this in your Son's name". Then I just stood there with my eyes shut for a while.
I turned around and couldn't believe it. There was a crowd of over 200 people including about 20 from the flute circles around Atlanta. As I began to play I could feel His energy inside me, He was with me. My fingers began to loosen up to the point that I could play. It hurt but it was good. All night as I spoke and played I could feel a connection between the audience and I. I could also feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. I was doing what He wanted. I only squeaked about 4 times because my fingers didn't work quite right but overall it was good.
When it was over a small crowd, including a lot of flute players, stayed to talk. I loved it. I was so tired and my hand was so sore but I didn't care. These people are so nice and I enjoy them extremely. This will always be a special night in my memory. I will treasure it. Something very special happened that night.
My accident was June 23, 2010. My hand still hurts when I play. It is still swollen and stiff, but I still play. Every time I play and feel the pain I remember the day the Holy Spirit wrapped His energy around me and saved me from death, twice. A miracle.
Years ago when I first put my breath into a flute a wonderful journey began. Creator has taken me to the door of death and brought me back several times. He uses the flute as a vehicle for me to tell of these experiences to tell of His power and what He can do. It has been an inspiration to many people in and out of hospitals. I receive many letters from people thanking me for a particular story and how it helped them.
Last year I received a letter from a lady who, because of deaths of her husband and parents that year and and test results saying she had a possible terminal disease, had planned on committing suicide when she got home that night. She said a story I told that evening had changed her mind. She is now working with the sheriff's department in the suicide crisis center.
I know He will use this incredible experience He has brought me through. I still find it hard to believe. This pole was in front of a little strip mall. If I'd gone to either side of the pole I'd have run into the parking area and possibly killed someone. I'll take the power pole any day.
Blessings to you all
Dock Green Silverhawk