Sheila Williams ~ Singing Cloud
Softly on stealthy feet the winters creep past leaving me to stare at a strangers reflection in my mirror, where has gone the laughing child with eyes black as night skies, hair flying in the wind as she goes racing on horseback, grandfather shaking his head saying that girl will never survive.
Too gently have the hands of time made their caresses, tenderly stealing the darkness from my hair and smoothness of my skin, tiny crinkles here and there remind of tears and joys, of babies with sticky fingers and teens with raging hormones leading to grandchildren of my own.
I stand on middle ground of memory and future, hoping with all I am to make the right decisions, I offer still my morning prayers facing the rising sun, lighting the sage and Cedar that will carry the words to Creators ears, let me walk this path with the honor of my grandmothers.
Have I been the person my Elders meant for me to be, or have I caused them sorrow and shame in the choices I have made, will my grandchildren shake their heads with regret, thinking their grandmother did not do her duty well in caring for their heritage?
Few are my own regrets but many are my worries, are the stories of my People carried to the generations coming, will they remember what we owe to Mother Earth and all her children, will the animals and plants survive to bring their grandchildren joy?
Days that pass quietly are few and far between, anger rages in my heart and tears soak my dreams, too many are the injustices that these eyes have seen, and yet a gentle peace comes drifting on the smoke, smile child I seem to hear do not take the years so hard.
A song can lift my spirit to the clouds above; make these aging feet forget the snow resting in my hair, a little one’s giggles can set my heart free allowing me to laugh at myself and the troubles that I claim, lifting my fan in tribute to those who walked before.
So serious the eyes that watch to see if I stumble, so quick to judge and grumble when they do not understand my choices, such joy it seems to bring those who cannot see beyond tomorrow, when my decisions are for seven generations forward.
Yes, it seems that the sands of time are flowing much more freely, hurrying toward a place that once seemed so distant, and the hands that light my fires now look much like my grandmothers, though yet steady the skin is so much thinner and wearing little wrinkles.
Lovingly I write the words of my ancestors, and though there is no fear of facing that Long Walk that will begin a brand new Journey, it is today in my mind no worries of tomorrow, I welcome those changes in my life that show my earthly aging.
Happy is my spirit satisfied with all I have known, glorying in friendships that are so varied, reaching out and touching, and being touched by their cares and troubles, their happy times and triumphs, sharing in a human way that is beyond creed or color.
Grateful I am for the loving words of those friends when I face my own troubles or joys, for the simple understanding they never fail to offer, moody days we will have, blue and teary, silly happy laughing at a little joke, just caring for each other.
So come as you will – winters stealing away sweet youth, with open arms I welcome the slower days I face, here you will find no reluctance for the steady hand of age, it is with confidence this granny now takes her place, at the many colored story fire that sets the world ablaze!
©Copyright September 9, 2008 by Sheila Williams ~ Singing Cloud