Our journey to the Gathering was a wonderful trip from East TN. The Sun was warm and the temperature was right for a road trip. With Three Feathers, Gray Feather, Precious Flower and a new additional friend of the Clan- Gail we drove down to Red Horse Stables. Our arrival being on Fri. evening and just prior to dinner, we had just enough time to set up camp. Padjir and Red Turtle met us at the camp and we soon fell into talk and laughter .
Meeting Chief Desert Wolf and family was a treat and I was honored to speak with Chief Desert Wolf later in the evening as he spoke to me about the pipe and honoring the sacred ways of our people. I perceived in our talk a man that generates quiet power of knowledge and wisdom. My tendency is to compare him to my Grandfather, whom to me was a man of indomitable spirit, yet was confident, proud and humble.
The years ahead will soon tell if Desert Wolf and I can be “friends”, but I trust my “gut” and I came to like the man I spoke to that night.
Blanket trade: It should be called the “Hawker’s Delight!”…resembling the bazaar of the olden days, hawking your wares for trade. Such a fun filled evening of merriment, calculating trade value (in a loving and honorable way) and chatter. It was a joy to watch and participate in. Ember trading for a lovely necklace from Red Arrow, seeing the want, but her not really voicing it (a quiet longing so to speak ). Desert Wolf and his quiet appraisal of my Knife for trade (but the glint in his eyes told me the real story…:)
Little Knife and I again this year trading for beads. (I love that woman!) We brought live Sweet Grass that we grow here and it traded very quickly by Padjir and RedArrow. I think for myself personally, my three best trades were for a leather crafted Notebook Cover to be delivered to me, and my trade for pipestone and a custom crafted “personal pipe”.
I sit here and remember all the events that transpired those 2-3 days, and I wonder which one I should write about, and each moment deserves speaking about, but foremost in my mind is drumming with the children. It gives me great pride to be thankful for this gift that Great Spirit shares with me. It empowers me to see children light up, after being so insecure about drumming, and learn that they can contribute to the music around them…and drum with the others as an integral part of the music.
My words here cannot describe the joy of that smile, but please know that we should work daily to achieve that same smile in all children, be they our children or others. In that smile is where our futures lie. In that “knowing joy”, or that “boost of confidence” that they gain, is how we will create our children’s future, our future and the future of our people.
Even tho the DeerClan could not be at a full week long event we bring back memories that will last us until we shed our Robes.
Sprite getting his first Horse ride and Little Knife and Blue Crow allowing a daddy to share the moment…
Three Feathers and a saddle that was too loose….(I giggle in a humble and loving way)
Blue Crow’s smile as the children ran about...
Little Knife’s loving look when Blue Crow said “ I think we should have some more kids”….(”loving look”-NOT!)
Seeing Corwyn again and being able to sit and talk like true brothers. Both of us being respectful of each other and honoring our people, and sharing our thoughts. I am proud to call you brother, and I know your people are proud of you.
Poker at midnight…
And a great many more……
Thank you all for your contributions to our memories
Greyfix and the DeerClan
hi-da-da-tse-li -"all my relations"-Cherokee
The photo of the deer above was taken by ShamanBear, a member of the Bird Clan of East Central Alabama. He took the photograph one morning after working all night.