Keeping the circle strong . . .
My dream is over.
I roll and stretch and turn my head;
My son is lying next to me.
He calls himself a blond haired indian.
Oh how I love this child.
I whisper a prayer before I leave my bed.
I ask Creator's guidance and wisdom
so I can raise him to be
a man of good character.
This child of my heart; my life's chance.
When we walk to the bus stop
in the early morning
we talk about how blessed we are
to live in this beautiful land.
We discuss the patterns the sunlight makes
as it filters through the leaves
and how we can eat some of the
different plants we see if we want to.
This morning my beautiful little boy
threw back his head and howled like a wolf.
From down the street,
at another bus stop,
a little voice returned his call.
We looked at each other and laughed!
I told my son if a wolf is near,
he will always answer back.
My Geoffie just said "yeah, cuz his
heart tells him to, right mama?"
And I said "right, son."
This morning I am a happy woman
with a new memory for my old age.
My son has added another lesson to his life.
I hope Creator is pleased.
I wish I could fill this site with words of wisdom from the Elders, or wonderful teachings from my grandmothers. But I can't. If you feel like it, come and sit. We'll talk about life as Creator has given it. It'll be a good talk. I've had quite a learning experience this go-round. I would be honored and there's a lot to share.
A Little about what's important to me
I grew up hearing we were English, Irish and Indian. Not Cherokee mind you, just Indian. There were 5 of us kids and I was the oldest. Mama wore mocs and braids and seashell necklaces and cut both my brother's hair in mohawks every summer. I only saw my grandma twice before I was 12 that I can remember. Gramma and mama had this extreme thing going on that I didn't understand. Gramma did not claim her heritage openly. She was a cool red headed lady that I adored.
Just thinking about it WOWs me.
About the time I hit 14, mama gave up all pretense of being Indian for christianity. That left me totally unconnected. I loved the stories and nature and knowing I was Cherokee. I never used drugs, books were my escape. I read everything I could get my hands on, especially about Indians. My heritage was my refuge.
Today I collect genealogy. This hobby started because I was adopted and really wanted to find my father. It kind of grows on you after a while. Goforth is an English name in case anyone wants to know. I could look for names on the rolls from now till eternity but my family names aren't there. In a way, I think we are lucky. I am who and what I am in spite of anyone's blood quantums, or opinions. If you are careful and respectful, and living a way of harmony, you will find a place of belonging. I believe that with my whole heart. More than anything, I hope I come across as true to my values. You can't get anyone to accept you as anything until you learn to be yourself. Eventually they will accept you for you. That will happen in whatever community you live in. My gramma used to say that a person's example shouts over their words. I like that saying.
This past year I've been learning to play a cedar flute. Sometimes Geoffie and I sit outside and make a bit of music on it. One day a neighbor came over and asked if he could listen while I played. It wasn't that it was an Indian flute that drew him. It was the beauty of the music in the morning. It's my opinion that's how our heritage should fit
. . . like music in the morning.
I want to learn about our culture just like the next person. I didn't learn it growing up. I went to a pow-wow once, the only one I've ever attended and the vender goes "which one speaks to you?" in this condescending tone. I took my little boy away from that place. We went to the top of the mountain where we could hear the drums and have a good heart conversation instead.
I will never know what it is like to be an Indian with a card. My family's culture developes because I care about it. I learn the language, I sing the songs, I learn the stories and pass them on to my children just like people did generations ago. The difference is that they come to me over the world-wide-web instead of from the mouth of my grandmother. So I have to be careful what I choose to pass on. I have pretty good instincts, and I use the same thing as a guide that I have always used . . . the fact that I am smart enough to discern right from wrong and recognize TRUTH. I think we have to get to the point where we accept OURSELVES and stop doubting what we know is real. I think THAT pays the greatest honor to our ancestors possible. This life isn't about being Indian and recapturing our lost culture. It's about becoming the best human beings we can possibly be. The rest will follow.
Think about how many generations it has been since the removal . . . since our people either marched and died, or hid. They all suffered. Signing or not signing the Rolls doesn't make what our grandparents went through any less valid . . . pain, abuse, poverty and lack of education have kept ALL the generations down. Sometimes it's society that's unaccepting, and sometimes it's what we do to ourselves.
The main thing I've realized is that healing doesn't come from anger. It comes from love and there is nothing plain and simple about LOVE. Boy what a lesson. I never believed in unconditional love until my oldest son brought a situation to my heart that DEMANDED I look again. I don't know how we are gonna work this out, or what's going to happen, but I love him. Last week I heard a term called "heartmind". I'd never heard the term before but I completely understand the meaning.
Here is my lesson of the day.
Your "heartmind" is your connection to everything. It's BEING the beauty in the sunrise. It's the difference in KNOWING and FEELING. It's realizing we are spiritual beings. Old pain makes us see the world in black and white, good and bad. Healing lets us move beyond simplicity and BECOME the color that Creator intended for us to BE. I think this is the pathway to God. It's totally seperate from religion. God does not see us as skin colors. God sees spirit; and heart. Whatever connection we are looking for; whether it's to belong to a people or to find that spiritual link, we have to connect with our "Heartmind".
Every morning I get up determined to do my very best. I know so much more now than I did 25 yrs ago. I owe my children my best, I owe my husband my best. I owe myself the same. Every day is a new chance to begin again and envision the person I want to be. Gentleness, that's my goal. I'm Bear through and through. I am always intospective and logical. When I think back over my life, I still distance myself from certain things. This is how I know I still have a ways to go. I see the day coming where compassion and empathy are natural extensions of who I am. It is said we are what we focus on. I like that saying too.
with much love,
On to lesson ONE