TRAIN OF TEARS
When we wear our hair in braids it represents our ties to the Earth and the tangible world. When we wear our hair free, we connect our Spiritual Essences to the Spirits that ride on the Wind. Our connections to all living things are stong when we honor the truth in each part of Creation and respect the rights of all life forms to create life abundant.
It's easier for me than for Hawk. I fly over the desert to where he parked his hot dog stand today. The thermals cushion my breast as I gaze about. I love flying. The Arizona sunsets are as spectacular as its sunrises. Though the pinks and purples soothe my eyes my auditory canals are assaulted by the sound of gunfire over to the South. It's the border patrol doing their mighty best trying to guard the perimeter of the wall. They're still repairing the blowtorch hole someone drove their truck through earlier this week. As I begin my descent Hawk holds out his arm for me to land on and strokes my feathers with those magic hands of his. I love Hawk. He is true to life and in the moment even when he speaks about the past. "How was your day? Did anyone die? Are you ok?" he asks me quietly. "Today is a good day", I reply as I change form to kiss him soundly. No one died.
I say hello to Hale, and Lip and let them know that Smack and Indio needed a new blowtorch.
Today is Hawk's birthday, the day the Chiricahua were put on the train. September the 8th. Hawk always gets melancholy on this day. Usually Lip and Hale show up for company. They assist in his melancholy. I'm not sure they help.
Taz is off to the side with the newbees. I hear him dispensing his wise words of wisdom. "Know goin in, that NOTHING IS EVER GOOD ENOUGH! If you get only that, you will be ok." He's doing the self-improvement, preparation classes. For those of you familiar with the Armed Services you know the scene. The newbees will more than likely be exposed to acronyms such as FUBAR, TARFU, SNAFU and my personal favorites KISS and BOHICA*. These are partially secret medicine names for various life situations. And are required learning for hanging out at the hot dog stand.
I just shake my head and give them the latest news from Fort Hang Around. Hale's eyes light up, he's an East Coast Inner city street kid whose father settled there after the Navy. Those of you from back east know the type. Massive quantities of energy. Usually expended through fast and furious language accompanied with enthusiastic hand and body gestures.
Lip hands me some frybread and says, "Eat first, new recipe." I happily comply. They're all good recipes. I like frybread. Lip, Hale and Hawk are all marines. They are also all Chiricahua Apaches. Once a marine always a marine. We hear that a lot around the hot dog stand. Amazingly enough, they do have friends. Good and great friends. Magnanimous and understanding. (SEE EPISODE: VETS & SWEATS)
The Apache folks have a saying… "mad, just mad." Usually they're talking about someone they are all staying away from until they're back in balance. In balance, very important. That's where the women come in. (SEE EPISODE: KITCHEN KAPERS.) Hawk's education was very well rounded and thorough. His grandfather and his constituents of the Chiricahua people were also diligent in his education. They ended up in the Midwest as a result of the mule and acreage deal. Hawk ends up somewhere different in Cochise County every day with his hot dog stand. Today was the first day of the annual gathering of the National Immigrants Pow Wow. I can hear the beat of the different rhythms of the drums blending into one harmonious sound. The peals of the children's laughter coming in on time in between the spaces are a perfect example of right timing.
You need patience and good students to like teaching. Hawk doesn't think he's a good teacher. He thinks he's a great hot dog maker though. We attend all the hotdog and frybread competitions we can get to when the Brick is running. Taz loves to talk. He's allowed. He's earned the right to speak of what he knows as he has put in the time and effort to acquire it. A portion of Taz's training consisted of many years of total darkness and silence. He was isolated from any living thing for long stretches of time. He volunteered for this. Every time he opened his mouth to speak he was put in the hole. And once for 30 days without his toothbrush. Anyway, Taz finally learned to listen, so now he gets to talk.
Hawk tells Lip and Hale to watch over the stand as we walk over to where Smiley's Grandmother is in the kitchen with the young men and women. Smiley's Grandmother is our Clan Mother. We all alternatively love and fear her depending on how we are behaving. She has a cane that I have seen her use to poke folks with when they get in her way. She asks nicely, and once only. Hawk swears she wakes up and files her tongue before she brushes her teeth. We hear her discourse as we approach.
"Today, September 8th, is the day the Chiricahua were put on the trains. My grandson Smiley's birthday, is August 28th it was the day of the Chiricahua surrender. This was the beginning of our separation as a united people. This was the beginning of the relocation of our ancestors to lands foreign and domestic. Soon a lost member of the clan will be joining us and we all want to make him feel welcome. Don't we." Everyone nods their heads in the affirmative. I use Hawk as a backrest as we settle in and Tiny Bird crawls up into my lap to put her fingers up my nose and in my eyes.
"As you know just a couple of months ago, Creator's latest connection to all of us is with one of Geronimo's great-grandsons. As you also know Hawk's great grandfather ran with Geronimo, for a long time. They were still running together in that group of 36 who held off the cavalry that last year before they were rounded up and the men were sent to St. Augustine and the women to Fort Marion."
My mind wanders, this story when it is told takes your heart right out of your chest. Especially if the story teller has ancestors buried in the ground of different reservations as a result of the forced relocation. So, here we are, years later and the great grandkids are coming together. The ancestors have spoken on this. This is the beginning of a new world. Fifth world. This particular great grandson was born in Germany. His first language is not English and Hawk's German consists only of endearments and the German duck's butt song. The good/bad news is that my first language wasn't English either. I moved to Turtle Island permanently in 1973. Right in the middle of the 2nd Wounded Knee so, my German is very rusty...
I do not interrupt the discourse of the Clan Mother, so I keep quiet albeit I know what's coming. I'm about to be volunteered yet again. All I want to do is fly. I love to fly. You also do not win an argument with the Clan mother. She is a Timekeeper. Our elders carry time. Simple math. The older you are, the more time you carry. Collectively they have accrued massive amounts of information for us all. They are not shy about letting us know this every time they want us to do something we are hesitant about doing.
* Special thanks to author Richard Marchenko for this one.
Through the years of life lived, when I've acted on the "suggestions" of those TimeKeepers who have truly had my best interest at heart my flight has been smooth. When bucked their loving advice and went arrogantly ahead to do what I thought was better, my ride was pretty bumpy. Like the time I thought I'd retire in the middle of nowhere on the road to somewhere. (SEE EPISODE: SIX HOUSE KEYS - NONE MINE) I totally defied my uncle at a great cost. I'm still not sure why I had to leave. The lightening bolt missed me after all. The older I get the more airsick I get so I tend to pay more attention now to those that speak. I bemoan the fact so many are now gone. There are fewer left to send folks to. I have to sit. I have to listen. I have to suggest. I'd rather fly.
In this round dance we call life, the wonder, magic and beauty occurs for us to enjoy. Sometimes, somewhere on the road we realize the choices we made that make up the steps of this dance connect to all the dances and our fellow dancers. What leads us is the rhythm of the dance. Children carry the rhythm unless a so-called "adult" interferes. Those children who forge ahead are our visionaries, our artists, our future. What has sometimes been taught to the children has been very foreign to their internal nature and as a result the world we live in is fraught with problems interfering with everyone's joy. This dance is circular not linear, and in time those circles do connect. The children are the repositories. When safe and nurtured these little ones are able to fly high filled with grace. They then shine with a light so bright it burns the shields right to dust. (SEE EPISODE: CHILDREN OF THE SUN)
In this world we not only need to chose who we fly with but a safe place to do it and the time for it all to occur. For a large group you need gate guards and everyone needs to be on the same page or it doesn't work well. In some places, usually reservations, the space-time-place, matter is not a problem.
If you are there, following the proper protocol so as not to embarrass yourself or your family, you may recapture the remembrance of how to live to the fullest of your ability. Your ability, not mine, not your parents, not your peers. You do this with the gifts given to you by the Creator but you do it with the loving guidance of your elders and the trust of your children. I think that it is such a wonder, so many folks, so many presents. Some, we tend to like more than others but they are all gifts. So enjoy the explorations.
Know you are never alone. You are one with all things separated only by vibration. All that is, is energy. Each one of us is a unit of energy. Collectively we become one unit. Know that I am enjoying my journey, I sincerely wish for you to enjoy yours in a good and right way. All things are possible. This is your life. Moment by moment. Breath by breath. If you don't live to enjoy your experiences when you come to the end of it, it will be really difficult to let go with anticipation for what's coming next. For those of you who believe this life is it, all the more reason to really live. Live your life. If you need sounding boards, use them but remember ultimately your choices dictate your experiences. Your choices. Your life. Choose wisely and remember Creator is a Heyoka.
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