Saturday, January 29, 2011


I am solely responsible for my own life and well being.
(If I'm not happy and at peace with myself, it is up to me, and
me alone, to discover the causes and take action.)

I have the authority to take full charge of my life,
to think, say and do anything I choose.

There is a price for everything I do.  It is up to me to determine
such price and decide whether or not I am able and willing to pay
for it.

I am responsible for everything I do, for I will gain or suffer
according to the consequences of my every act.


I like this poem because it says it all; there is nowhere for us to hide behind infirm resolves.  It makes us think about what we are going to do.
My father often told me that the only thing I had in the world was my good name and it is up to me to keep it that way.  Sometimes it is difficult and unpopular to do this, but I have remained true to his advice.


I want to share this prayer with you.  I wrote it
many years ago for one of our many backyard gatherings.

Creator - Hear me!
With thanksgiving I offer these words
of devotion from your people.

Thank you for family and friends
For work for our hands to accomplish
Thank you for our Ancestors,  who are here today
to note the coming together of their people.

Thank you, Creator, for the sun which warms
Mother Earth and our hearts,
Filling us with all good things.
For sleep that arrives on the silent wings of the wind;
For the rivers that come forth from lofty peaks.
For herbs that heal us
For fruit, nuts and grains that nourish us.

Thank you for the fish from the oceans and lakes
And meat from the four leggeds.
Thank you for the memory of the hunt
Where our mighty chiefs once smoked the pipe of peace.

Creator, help us to remain the children of Nature,
Let us be tall and strong
Courageous and timeless in years.
Lend us the patience of the turtle,
Give us the keen vision of the eagle
Riding the thermals a thousand feet above Mother Earth.
Let us beget prophets who are wise in all things.

Instill us with love for our Mother Earth
With her magical dawn
Her evening glow and her dark clouds
that lend contrast to all we behold.

Thank you for the trees, the flowers and the mists that
make them grow.
Thank you for the seed-pods and green vegetables
that thrive in the rains that come for Thunderbird
Who is our totem.

Help us to be humble before YOU Who are the Great Mystery,
And to be true to our ancient faith.

And Creator
When the last fire is extinguished
And the winds cease to give breath to the Earth
Please lead us down the Red Road to the
encampment of our fathers
Across the River of Hope.

Let is be so, Creator, let is be so.

Sol a so!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

About The Winter Solstice


The moon is full and the bright light reflects off the cold snow-covered ground.  The air is crisp, and the night sky is clear and filled with millions of twinkling stars.  It is the longest night of the year, and is supposed to be one of the most peaceful.  Looking up towards the sky you can almost see the Creator . . .  It's the Winter Solstice, a celebration.  It is:  the darkness before the dawn
the glimmer of renewed Hope can look upon the Winter Solstice as we do upon the dawn.

The days will be longer as Mother Earth travels closer to the sun, turning on her axis to warm the northern hemisphere on her journey through space.  The cycle of birth and renewal begins again. Everything lays in silent sleep . . .
Winter Solstice is simply a time to revel in the awakening joy of the season, for it is a time to heal, to rest after the daily labors of everyday life, and regenerate for the coming seasons of struggles in the spring and summer.  The cycle goes on.  Darkness goes to light, cold to warmth, love replaces hate.

It is said that a Tribal Elder was laying near death in his lodge, his skin cracked and wrinkled with age, and his hair, long and gray,  no longer braided, but fanned across his hides as he lay waiting for death.  He is alone in the cold and winds . . .
As night approaches, he hears a visitor at the entrance of  his lodge, seeking shelter from the harsh weather.  It is a young woman with smooth skin and long dark hair.  She is dressed warmly and enters the elderly man's lodge . . . she goes to the elderly man, kneeling down beside him.  She takes his hand in comfort as the wind howls outside and the rain turns to snow.
The night passes and they do not speak, but their eyes meet.  The woman watches as the long night slowly gives way to the dawn, and the elderly man closes his eyes.  She holds his hand to the end, then gently releases it;  he is gone.
This is what the winter is . . . the time for renewal and the women is now the one to prepare the world for the coming days.  Now the awakening slowly takes place as each new day becomes longer and longer.  Winter is passing and Spring is slowly coming with each new day.
The changes during winter will slowly be noticed as they reveal themselves in many different ways.  Winter Solstice is in full gear, and the celebration is at hand.  Dance in the snow, and enjoy the peaceful beauty of a wintry night.  Take delight in the winds and feel the rain on your face.  The time for renewal is approaching and Women is now the one to prepare the world for the coming days of future . . .
I realize that I'm a bit late with this,but I believe it needed to be written to remind us of who we are and that we are living in the magical time of rebirth.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

When Someone You Love Dies

I'm 77 years old, and the friend that I have had since I was nine years old died yesterday. You may wonder how I feel about that?  Probably not the way most people would think.  Nancy was an indomitable person whom life threw many curve balls at.  Her mother died when she was about three or four years old.  Her father couldn't stay home to look after her  and four or five other children and earn a living.  There was no such thing as welfare in those days, so he did the next best thing.  He made arrangements for Nancy to live with a family in Egmont.  They already had a couple of children of their own and figured one more wouldn't hurt at all.  Nancy enrolled at our school when she was six years old. 
She was sort of like a new-born fawn.  Long-legged and defenseless.  Her older sisters did nothing to help her in her new school surroundings.  In fact a couple of them were a thorn in my side and I was a tough kid quite capable of taking care of myself and my older sister. 
I watched and minded my own business as some of the brattier kids began to make Nancy's existence miserable.  Finally, I couldn't stand it any longer when a group of kids were shoving her around a circle just for fun.  One kid would shove her towards another who did the same thing until she was staggering around like a drunken sailor.  I went over and took hold of her and the kids thought I was going to join in their fun.  I took Nancy out of the circle and said do you want stay in that ring or do you want to leave it?  She was beyond crying and she said, "I want to leave it, but they won't let me."  "They will now" I said, or they can try shoving me around their circle"  No one wanted to try that.
From that day onward, Nancy tagged along with me and no one mistreated her while I was around. That happened about 69 years ago, and we have remained friends all through our lives.
Of course, we had times when our lives drifted many miles apart, but we always seemed to find each other every once in awhile.
For now, I'll just tell you that Nancy was in a very abusive marriage.  The man that was her husband was a waste of skin in my books.  But I'm not going to tell about that just now.  I want to let Patrick know what I believe has transpired since his mother crossed over the River of Hope.
I believe that when one of our loved one's die we should not allow our tears to touch their body as the tears cling onto them ,and they have a harder time crossing over because they don't want to leave us on earth hurting so badly.
This is the way I visualize it when someone I love crosses over.  Assisting Spirits are all around her as she proceeds down a beach towards a canoe that will bring her across the River of Hope.  There is a Spirit navigator in the canoe who will paddle her across.  On the shore are all the living people who don't want her to die and leave them.  They are crying and pleading with her to remain here on earth. I believe that the tears that are shed at such a time are shed for ourselves because we are going to miss her.  She stands there, feeling  torn between staying with her living loved ones and discovering what awaits her across the River of Hope.
She makes her decision, turns and throws kisses and waves at those standing there.  She walks towards the canoe and the waiting Spirits help her into the craft.  The navigator pushes off from shore and they move steadily towards the horizon which obscures their vision of what lies beyond.  Now, she is feeling an excitement as she draws further away from the weeping people.  She looks towards the horizon and they are nearing the very crest of it.  Soon they will be able to look ahead and see what awaits them.  Her heart and soul are reaching towards the unknown and she is not afraid. 
The helmsman lets out a sound in a language she does not understand, but she looks in the direction he is pointing and wading out from the far shore of the River of Hope are all the people who ever loved Nancy.   Now, she can barely wait to reach the other side.  She recognizes her two daughters who are weeping tears of joy at the sight of her, and she is happy that she is making this journey.  She sees her mother, her father, her sisters and many other people she has loved in life. Her breast is so full of thanksgiving that she no longer has the slightest qualm about crossing over the River of Hope.
She gives a last look in the direction she has come from and she sends healing thoughts of love towards you Patrick. She knows that you will miss her but she wants you to know that she has two good legs and everything else about her is in tip-top condition.  She has left the injured body behind and taken on her eternal shape that allows her to run free for the first time in a very many years.
This is the way I view death.  I believe that Nancy is truly happy for the first time in many years.  She has gone home.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Getting My Feet Wet

I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world.  On any given day we can look out and see wild animals swimming or flying in our line of vision.  The Georgia Straights is out front with marine traffic happening.  Often we can spot some guy in his small boat pulling up his crab or prawn traps.  The crabs are the lovely dungeness and the large red crabs.  They taste really delicious.  I'm an elder from the Sechelt Indian Band and the young guys that crab fish usually bring me crabs for a  moderate price.  I really appreciate their thoughtfullness.
Last year the porpoise began to return to Porpoise Bay after a hundred years of being absent.  Sometimes there have been schools of them swimming around Sechelt Inlet.  People have reported seeing as many as 200 porpoise at one siting.  Phenomenal!  And towards the end of last summer we had three grey whales that visited Davis Bay for weeks on end.  There were originally two large whales and one baby.  The first day they appeared my daughter and I were returning from Gibsons and we ran into an honest-to-goodness traffic jam as every motorist travelling north or south stopped to view the sight of the whales cavorting out in the sea.  What a sight that was.
I made a run up to our local landfill site yesterday and there was between two and three hundred seagulls walking around the grounds.  They reminded me of herds of sheep.  I kept expecting Little Bo Peep to  come along and lead them home.  The birds are such good barometers.  When they come in off the ocean you know that there is going to be one hell of a wind blowing in off the Pacific Ocean.
I don't know where the eagles have been since salmon season, but they, too, arrived back at the land fill.  There were some really huge eagles flying around.  Holly Ann counted 17 eagles sitting in one large tree. 
As usual I did my "Ho Grandmother!  Please drop me a feather.  If it is your time to cross over then please do it right here beside me.  I promise I will use your feathers, claws, bones and all parts of you in an honorable manner."  My daughter laughed at me.  I guess it is sort of funny because I have been doing that for probably forty years and not one eagle has seen fit to come and die beside me.  Oh, well.  Can't blame a woman for trying.
There is beauty all around us.  We are so fortunate to be born on the Sunshine Coast.
I am going to sign-off, but before I do let me say this to you, my new friends.
I have a huge concern for another human being today, please help me to send him good thoughts to help him out of his personal hell.  Thank you.