The painting American Buffalo reflects the alignment of impossible circumstances made possible. This is the truth of my life. I made this painting for myself for my 45 birthday this year. It is critical to my own protection and human spirit to have a visual representation of one of my most cherished memories as a human. It was a defining moment in my life and led me to where I am today. I am forever grateful to my ancestors and the many gifts they have blessed me with.
Twenty-five years ago, I was in Yellowstone National Park. While driving cross-country, my friend and I stopped to see Old Faithful erupt. People travel from around the world to watch this geyser. To get a better view and avoid the crowd, I moved to the other side. I stood there, eating my bagel, watching people stare at me. My nose felt frozen in the cold morning and my breath fogged the air. My friend flicked the back of my ear, and I waved him away without looking. This happened a few times. Everyone kept staring at me. I flapped my hand again and saw my friend on the other side of the geyser. I turned my head and faced a giant nostril. I glanced at my friend who whispered that I should move away — slowly. I could not move. I turned my head again. The giant bison licked its lips. At that moment, I became enamored with its fur. I could feel the animal's noises it made from within. I could feel her vibrations, literally and spiritually.
Mature female bison weigh between 1000 and 1200 pounds, males between 1500 and 2000 pounds. They stand about 8.2 feet compared to me. The giant beast sniffed my right ear. Gently, it landed some buffalo kisses on my face. I loved looking deep into the fur of the buffalo. It fascinated me. The fur appears to pick up anything it walks by in the forest; so many connections to nature were embedded in the fur. She reminded me that we all share the planet, and we are all beasts here, hungry for something. I received a blessing from the earth that day. I created this painting to honor my sweet spirit guide and her memory. I dropped the bagel and she picked it up and walked away.
Some buffalo and bison symbolism includes manifesting our desires, Earth, bravery, kindness, strength, and respect. Buffalo spirit walks a sacred path, understanding the planet is a holy space and full of living creatures. All things under Father Sky and on Mother Earth connect through buffalo medicine.
Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful is located in Yellowstone’s Upper Geyser Basin in the southwest section of the park. The geyser-viewing area is the most accessible and visitor-friendly in the park. In case you were wondering how many gallons of water are expelled during an eruption? It depends on the duration of the eruption. Scientists estimate that the amount ranges from 3,700 gallons (for a short duration of 1.5 minutes) to 8,400 gallons (for a longer duration of 4.5 minutes).