Thursday, November 3, 2016

This summer I've undertaken to weave a new "wapas" a basket for gathering. It hasn't come along very quickly but that's okay. This entry was begun on August 25, 2016, a momentous day indeed - Today is an amazing day, after years, and I do mean YEARS of work, sweat, disagreements, hard feelings, good feelings, no feelings, we're breaking ground on our new clinic. How do you describe something so amazing coming to fruition after only just hoping it will? When I started on this health commission journey I was waaaayyy in the back seat of the van...I wondered where are we going? What comes to mind though, is the late night discussions with my cousin Hin-mah-toom-see-loo. We talked about my years as a nursing assistant, my beginning in an EMT course many years before, how I learned about tribal health issues through a clinic up in Northern Idaho and again in the city where I worked for a large organization which dealt with all the NW tribes and their health issues. Then coming home and talking with him about the things I'd seen and heard. He never looked at me during these discussions, but would say in his quiet voice, "well, you came home for a reason, you should get on the health commission." Within a year, there I was. I wish he could be here today to see where we've come. My brother, too, Twie-pie-tit, he encouraged me one time, he looked at me and asked "what exactly have you been doing since you got home?" so I told him and he just smiled, kind of shook his head and said "I'm very proud of you, you've done a lot of things in a very short time." Throughout the following years, many different people talked about the new clinic, it was spoken of with hope, with affection and in stark contrast with disdain and hauteur. Along this journey our group has had many allies, speaking encouraging words and helpful thoughts and also many naysayers, speaking doubtfully of shattered dreams. Beloved aunties and elders who are now gone offered their wisdom and hope to the project giving direction at times without even knowing they were helping to shape the future. All of this input has been helpful. All of it. Through accepting instruction we are now free to pursue with passion that which we believe to be true. A new clinic will FURTHER help our tribal community in seeking better, holistic health from the babies to the great grandmas and grandpas. New treatments may be offered and the tried and true improved upon. The fruition of this vision is like a basket being woven. Sometimes you don't like the pattern, you have to tear it down to the foundation and start over and SOMETIMES you hold the work out and a light shines on it, the design and concept are visibly amazing and everyone can enjoy it. Weaving is an ongoing and utterly consuming passion - this new clinic, the health of this community, the health of my beautiful grandbabies is much the same!!!!

Never too old...

If you watched me walk down the street in front of you, you might muse to yourself, "oh look at that poor lady..." the limp, the grey hair, the weight are all telling factors of the human aging process. I should tell you though, that every single day I wake up I'm truly grateful. No, REALLY. This year at my celebration of sun cycles, I will be FIFTY NINE. 59!!! Ten beautiful grandchildren, four adult and ever so respectable children, a little house on the prairie, a pet goat, seven cats (yes, seven, only one is an "inside" cat though, k?), several neighboring hawks who are around to have been named (Clarence, Stacy, Stuart, Melanie) Life, while not always a bed of roses (who would actually LIKE a bed of roses? Seems pretty ostentatious to me) has been pleasant these past few years and I am grateful for each day. One of my favorite components of being a woman of a certain age (I've ALWAYS wanted to use that phrase appropriately!) is that I am no longer encumbered by the notion that at all costs the appearance of "having it all together" must be perfected. This is a release, a freedom to learn with wild abandon! It's been said before, "you're never too old to learn." Today I fully plan on embracing this truth. Hopefully again tomorrow!!! have a frabjous day... These are some quick shots from my recent trip to Suquamish, WA