An Okay Day
You saw that Quinn and I went to the pow-wow.
I hadn’t been to that in 20 years when I moved here from New Jersey. Back then I bought a medicine wheel that is now old and faded. I have kept it in all my vehicles. This time I purchased a new one and gave it to Kelly.
When Quinn and I attended, It was charged with energy. I asked him the day before if he wanted to go. I said it’s like a party. He said ok ☺. After arriving we parked and immediately someone gave me a free ticket to get in. As we approached the entrance another person gave me ten dollars worth of food tickets. Quinn was excited and bouncing. When we are together it feels like we’re old friends
The pow-wow is kind of touristy now, but you need to see in the gaps. There was a model teepee at the entrance. There was a small group of people viewing it from the outside. I walked right in, Quinn in hand. I think this surprised the other people. He liked it too.
The whole experience had a very soft and relaxing feeling now. This is not common for me, but I saw it coming. Usually when I feel this way, it will often be with Quinn. He anticipated this party, wanted to go and go with me.
We approached the first dance,drumming and singing. He really did not want to go, pulling my arm desperately and hard. “Okay,” I said, “We’ll watch from a distance.” The drumming was calling to me. I do not like loud noises, but the drumming felt like a pillow. If Quinn was not there with me, I’m sure I would have flown away.
Before we left to go the event there was kind of preparing at home. I considered if appropriate to wear my feather from the hike, also my grandmother’s turquoise necklace. I even considered wearing my favorite boots even though they are the most uncomfortable, but this was about relaxing, so I chose to leave it all behind. I should have brought my feather, but my brother showed up (in spirit) there later anyway. He is with me often and Kelly usually confirms that too.
We did much walking, food, drink, and shopping. I practiced restraint, but Quinn was there to get a wolf shirt. I noticed as time passed, he was relaxing more too. The walking started to take its toll and we needed to rest our feet. We sat along the lake and finished some food. I looked across the inlet and saw a Large teepee and that outside of it, a man sat in a chair wearing a large top hat. The smoke from the fire was very noticeable. Usually, being socially nervous, I don’t take risks, but I said, “Quinn, let’s go over there”. Seeing the water between us, he said, “The sign says no swimming”. He said it again, “But we can’t swim.” I replied, “No, we must walk around and follow the path over there, pointing to the bridge”.
It looked like a long walk, so I was surprised to hear him say okay without hesitation. As we entered, the men stamped our hands and I joked with Quinn that kids must get stamped on the forehead. He laughed and chuckled “Noooo” he said. We play like this a lot.
Starting on the long path instantly I felt it. I was relaxed, cool, grounded, and proud. I felt kind of like there was no other place I was suppose to be at that moment. I realized I’ve felt this before. It was at the canyon when I was truly empowered, exiting it for the first time. I was flying. I wasn’t alone. My angels were there. Always Corey and my grandmothers come into my mind, then a lion and a crow and thoughts of the wind. The wind feeling almost sweeps me away. It kind of comes from behind and upward but also from within. It is very much a cool sensation that runs up my back and arms, forcing the hairs on them raise. I exhaled deeply and smiled. As I proceeded to the teepee, Quinn was still there,running about and on sensory overload.
There is nothing more important to me than my new inner dialogue, being aware of clarity, trust, and calmness. There is a self-assured presence that comes with it, one that echos “speaking your truth” or living your truth”. I like to think of it as letting go of the small power I think is big and at the same time remembering part of my present life’s goal is to simply expand my spirit.
In the larger teepee and at the sacred fire, I stopped to explain to Quinn that we can’t really fool around here and that this is like praying. The fire is lit with the intent of prayer for the world, but you may bring your own prayers in too. The two men there were kind of big. I noticed this all day too. A lot of Native American men are really big. I nodded to one and asked if we may take some tobacco for the offering. He was very polite. I was very cautious and deliberate. Exuding the utmost respect for everything there. Both Quinn and I grabbed a pinch of tobacco and went to the fire to sprinkle it in. I was quiet. It was a short moment. Quinn was so close he got smoke in his eyes and had to back up. He shuddered because of it. I could have stayed there forever.
I tried to figure out what and how I was feeling. It felt kind of like goodbye and maybe a thank you too. We turned to leave, but I just couldn’t. They allowed us to enter the teepee. This time he went in first. This was different. It was warm. It was inhabited. There were modern things too, of course. The men were taking shifts to keep the fire lit. That was the goal.
As we started to leave it was very important that I address these men with my heart and honor. The first was in his crappy folding chair on his cell, talking. He wore a vet cap, seasoned skin. I walked right up and interrupted his phone conversation and shook his hand as brothers, saying “Thank you.” I was in the Canyon again,as myself, free. He returned the handshake and we nodded. If you know me, I believe the sacred is not spoken and when connecting with others this way a nod is all I need. It is a natural interaction, a silent understanding, short and sweet. The other man was bigger sitting in another crappy chair. He wore a top hat. The four directions mark was painted on it. A medicine wheel. He was talking casually with some tourist. I actually butt right in. I think I just said, “Hey.” He looked up at me. I held out my hand for a brother’s shake. I think I surprised him, but he realized this was important or just important to me. His hand was huge (larger than mine), coarse and strong. I saw the sky in his blue eyes next to his leathered skin. I said thank you again and motioned to the fire. He chuckled to Quinn, patting his head with his laugh. We nodded together before I left. Back to the Pow Wow.
It was good, maybe even the sole purpose of going, and Quinn was there to witness it. I’ve only known this feeling once before, at Corey’s funeral. Fly high. Skibrotha.
On the street a brother’s shake often goes lame, and understandably so. Although when there is a connection, it pops or snaps, and indeed that person may very well be your brother. The little things within the mundane are important moments.
Back at the pow-wow arena, now sitting close and present, Quinn’s head bobbed with the drumming. Eventually leading to his whole body to move. This is true Quinn. His dance comes naturally. Music speaks strongest to this boy, paralleled, perhaps, by his love of dogs, puppies and presently, wolves. He is full of joy and it is unlike I have ever experienced. He’s got a little Oma in him and certainly Lolo too. It was An A-Okay Day, and it was so. Ah ho