This weekend marks the 10th Salmon Festival/Ceremony that has been a part of my life. I have only attended 9, due to a family issue one year. My children have been involved since their births. And this is where I have found my spiritual path.
At my first New Year's PowWow, a stranger dressed in full regalia came forward and begged to "dance" my infant daughter, my first born. My daughter was not quite 3 months old at the time, but I reluctantly allowed this woman to take her out and dance to one of the songs. I am so glad I did and so grateful for Corinne's friendship. I learned this weekend that she passed away after a lengthy illness. I am happy she is no longer in pain or suffering, but saddened that my children will never really know or remember her. I miss her. Blessings Corinne, and thank you for telling me that I am more of a Native American than many at the gathering. That means so much to me. You helped put me on the right path.
I got my first two books on Thursday of last week and took them with me to the gathering. While there, I read a bit, learned some, and knitted a small bag to keep them in. They fit, but only just, so there is a good excuse to find the perfect yarn and make another bag!
One evening, as I was knitting, I was listening to the conversation my husband was having with some other campers. The discussion turned to religion and spirituality and how he does not identify as Christian, but is looking for "something" that fits his beliefs. I pulled out the books and showed him (as I hadn't yet told him of my decisions) and his response thrilled me. AWESOME! Where did you get these? WHEN did you get these? But he was a bit hurt that I hadn't yet shared this with him. I was a bit afraid to, not knowing if he would agree with my decision. Now I know that he agrees with it and will support my choice and probably join in with my worship and practice. I am blessed with a partner that understands and is working toward the same path.
My daughter was honored this weekend by being included in the construction of the women's sweat lodge. She worked hard to help as much as she could with it. He reward? She was asked to go in the sweat with the women! I am so proud of her! She finished all four rounds and the last round had seven stones (from what she told me) AND she was the only under-13 person to complete the sweat. What an accomplishment!
My husband was included in a morning sweat on Sunday, before we left. He really needed it and the sweat master (G) is planning to invite him for future sweats. The lodge gave my husband a chance to say some things that have been weighing on his mind and to talk with others that can help him find the path he is searching for. He has felt aimless and unable to find what he wants to do with his life and that is depressing for him. He works hard to keep our children healthy and happy, but without purpose in his life in the way of a job or career, he has felt disconnected. Hopefully, G can be a guide for him. We have known G for 10 years, too, and I am grateful for that connection. I don't give out hugs much, but G and the cook (C) always get hugs, and so does Mama D.
So, I suppose I had better get back to work, but I needed to get this off of my chest.
Blessings to you all. May you find peace.