The Journey Continues…

This journey was born of heart, and continues to be piloted by it. Tonight I find myself along the Hudson River just north of New York City, its outline faintly visible in the thick haze of summer. Subway trains rumbling by, opening doors to release more people than I’ve seen at once for many years. A handful of days ago, though, I was in the Adirondacks, dressed in regalia, and attending a pow-wow … the regalia, loaned to me and previously worn by my hostess’ late mother, was an incredible honor to be given. And the moccasins I wore that day – a gift given from the heart – I still have, and will always cherish. In-between, I spent a night lost in deep conversation, strolling the trails of woodlands once written about by Longfellow…Aztec dancer 7-5-15

The first stop last week brought me to the home of a warm and loving Native American family who showered me with gifts and love. They gave without concern of cost, even though they had their own struggles … Kristy recently losing a job and Ed, severely disabled for years … following a tradition that teaches a guest coming to a Mohawk home should leave richer than they arrived. And indeed I did … in every way. In the handful of days we were together, not only was I fed morning, noon and night, but my spirit was fed as well.  I was taken to holy places and taught of an area so rich in history … culminating in attending an Metis (mixed blood) pow-wow at Fort William Henry, dressed in regalia gifted to me and worn by my Kristy’s mother. As I strolled through the grounds, listening to the drums beating with the heart of all those past, I found myself growing quiet … there is a reverence to a pow-wow, and it is said the Ancestors join when you stand within the circle that surrounds the sacred fire. I have no doubts that this is true … the sense of spirit is palpable. Royally dressed Aztec dancers whirled with intent, feathers flying, explaining the meaning behind their movements and how tcarrying the blankethey gave thanks to their Creator and to the earth beneath their feet.  As they ended their dance, I was motioned to come aside and asked to help “carry the blanket”:  The dancers who come are not paid and must sacrifice a great deal to attend the pow-wows and teach, so two people are chosen to carry a blanket through the crowd, asking for donations. We carefully made our way around the circle as people tossed bills and change into a blanket we carried between us … not being permitted to touch the money, as it would be prayed over and blessed with smoke before being offered it to the dancers. Not only was I privileged to attend the event and to be dressed with such love & care,  but I later learned it is considered an honor to be chosen for this task. It was a fast, but so very wonderful few days with new and now so very dear friends … and as always, as the time came for me to leave, the crows gathered, bidding me adieu from high in the treetops, waiting to escort me to the next stop.  

sunset 7-5-15 Tawasentha parkAnd they did. An hour down the road took me to a cottage in the woods and a short single-night in Guilderland, NY … a night that reminded me of girlfriend sleep-overs and long deep discussions about life and love. A evening meander among the trees watching the sunset in the Vale of Tawasentha – written about in Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha – a tasty burger & fries, and a thousand hugs later I was on my way in the morning to find my way toward “The City”. And so now, here I am in a town called Irvington – a stone’s throw from the city that never sleeps, enjoying more long conversations with another new friend … a jewelry maker and a former teacher. A grandma and a collector of life experiences. I look forward to a week filled with walks & talks along the aqueduct, subway rides to somewhere new and back again, ice cream by the Hudson, and piles of smiles….  Hazy NYC


6 thoughts on “The Journey Continues…

  1. I loved reading this post! You write so beautifully and I could see and feel and be there in my mind! I am so enjoying your journey – your pilgrimage! I keep you in my prayers as you travel and as you experience! I am inspired by the sheer courage you have shown to do this solo flight. But you are never alone – always wingtip to wingtip with others. Blessings and love to you and thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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