There was a time in my life when I was terrified at the thought of having to speak to a crowd of people. I was always the quiet one. My favorite answer when requested to speak was, “A picture is worth a thousand words, just look at my prints”.
One day on life’s great journey, a change began with one incredible experience. I was on the west coast of Vancouver Island on my boat Eagle Dancer, when an eagle appeared and flew straight to me at about 200 feet up in the air. As the eagle passed over, I gave it my best eagle call, and, to my surprise, the eagle turned in the air, and as it turned, it dropped an eagle feather from its tail. A few seconds later, as I tried to catch it, the feather landed on my chest! I was struck by the significance of this event. I was born into the eagle clan of Kitkatla, British Columbia, so as the days passed, I wondered about the message of that gift of the eagle feather. One evening in my meditation and prayer time, I remembered that feathers had been used in talking circles for generations. The message that came to me was loud and clear, as if somebody spoke the words, “It is time for you to speak, Roy.” My quiet answer was that I didn’t do that sort of thing. However, the message was repeated, and I was reminded that my heart, eyes, and ears are always open to the lessons from my teachers. I silently agreed that if I was asked to speak, I would do so.
It has been twenty-two years since I began my journey as a speaker and storyteller, and I’ve been asked many times to speak to thousands of people and continue to do so. I’ve worked with other speakers, teachers, and storytellers and have learned many lessons.
I’ve come to understand that storytelling is the ointment of the healer.
I know that the most important story you have to share with the world is yours.
I always have the fear of speaking, yet courage comes when I stand to speak.
I am thankful for the gift of that EAGLE FEATHER.
Roy Henry Vickers