Having convinced myself my mind is able to over ride everything, the plan was for me to take my RV and regardless of my physical limitations, to drive to Arizona for what may be my last visit to The Navajo and Hopi Nations to see my friends.
A friend had assured me he was going to travel with me, excitement mounted in my soul as time drew near for the journey. My friend backed out for personal reasons and being who I am I went from shock to disappointment to hatred all in a manner of several days, knowing I was unable to pull the journey off by myself, mostly for financial reasons. My anger was directed towards circumstances people had created for me, my health and I am sure even some imaginary reasons. Needless to say on some level I knew there was a reason, I was able to jump off the emotional roller-coaster and got over it.
I moved into cyberspace full time. 123 of my shows: A visit with a person of High Strangeness from 1998 on were downloaded on YouTube and Blip. http://www.youtube.com/view_all_playlists’
I lived in my FB world, along with the wonderful people I had managed to befriend and was content.
News came that the 2012 Canoe Journey of 130 Westcoast Tribes were going to land in Olympia, WA this year. I shifted my focus and concentrated on the arrival of the Canoes and along with so many others be on the shore and shout: WELCOME TO OUR SHORES!
I was unable to walk that day and missed the arrival on Sunday July 29, 2012.
The seven-day celebration took place on Squaxin Island. I was blessed and received a LIVE FEED to the festivities and remained in Cyberspace for the following day. The Stories of the tribes, the dancing and just being able to watch everything unfold lifted my spirits and I felt I was allowed to participate, thanks to the Live feed. Just to give you an Idea here is a list of SOME of the tribes present:
Chumash, Shinnecook, Hopi, Tla uqwi aht, Homalco, Kwumut Lelliam. CHOWICHAN, TSARTLIP. Songhees, Squamish, Warm Spings and Clatsup Nehalem. Cowlitz, Chinook, Hoh River, Quileute, Makah. Elwa, Nooksack. Lummi, Samish, Swinomish, Tulalip and Sauk-Suiattle, Snoqualmie and Suquamish. Muckleshoot, Puyallup. Chehelis, Skokomish and Ojibwe. Maori, Nisqually, Ahousaht, Quinault and Squaxin.
These are all Water Tribes and then…..wait for it….. it was announced a HOPI ELDER was going to tell about the Great Migration!
It has been quite a while since I followed my GO WITH THE FLOW guidance.
I called my friend, the one, which wanted to journey with me if he would consider visiting the Island in lieu of our cross country trip, he said he was busy. I then asked one of my girlfriends to go with me to Squaxin Island the next day, Tuesday, to look for the HOPI ELDER. There were only 10,000 visitors, plus the locals, how hard could that be!?
We drove to Kamiliche, parked the car and were picked up by a school bus, which took us to the Protocol Tent, a tent about a city block in size. We were welcomed and treated as Elders, due to our age. We stayed for a while, remember our task was to find ONE HOPI ELDER.
Let me tell you what we saw. A City block long Food tent. Two meals were being fed to all the visitors. FREE of charge.
Toilets and washbasins were situated about a block apart, all throughout the Reservation.
Laundry and shower facilities next to the tent cities, which were everywhere and in people’s yards.
Trash cans every 50 feet and the place was spotless.
A 24 hour swimming pool was open to cool off in the 100 degree weather.
Golf-carts and their drivers were everywhere and offered to drive us where we wanted to go, my walker and all.
Children well behaved, helpful and unbelievably respectful everywhere, offering to help with where ever we wanted to go and directing us to the next wonderful event.
A trailer had been set up for the Elders to take naps, since the festivities lasted from 5AM to 3AM for seven days.
The information booth gifted us Burlap Handbags, programs and water pouches.
Eventually we had a wonderful meal, we used plates and utensils made from corn.
We left messages in many places and stated who we were looking for, we did not have a name for the Hopi Elder. We found out he had arrived with a tribe from the East Coast Water People.
Before the sun went down I was ready to go home, we were transported by school bus back to our car.
We reflected on our visit on the way home and were grateful for the wonderful experience we were allowed to be a part of.
Wednesday I was unable to walk, Tuesday had taken it’s toll on me, so I retreated back into Cyber space and watched the festivities on my live feed. About 11PM one of my friends came to see me. She works for the Tribes. She had a strange look on her face and informed me she had stopped by the food tent before coming home. She assisted an Elder, which appeared not to feel well. He excepted her help and informed her he was sick, because he was not used to the climate and the food, since he was a DESERT NATIVE! After a little while he explained he was from Arizona and you would be right to assume he was the Hopi Elder I was looking for. My friend told him I was looking for him and had a gift for him, since Potlatch is also a gift giving celebration. He told her where to find him, if need be.
And my friend secured a contact phone number from someone traveling with him.
Thursday morning I drove to Squaxin Island. One of my Squaxin friends drove me in her car from my parked car to where I needed to go, in order to avoid having to ride the school bus. I was still struggling with my back issues.
And so I met Leroy Lewis, the Hopi Elder, his wife and two daughters. After the usual formalities in etiquette we sat and visited. I delivered my present…sand from the Sahara, shells from the Mediterranean and pine cones from the original tree Claudia and I had taken to Canyon DeShelle in 2005. I was given a pair of earnings. We talked about mutual friends, mutual places we visited. He gave me permission to share our visit with you.
What was so interesting, yet not surprising, was our meeting all together. Eventually he admitted knowing exactly who I was from stories which were told in Kykotsmovi, on second Mesa, about my previous visits there. He had heard the stories about me teaching some of the young people on his Reservation how to bend spoons, he asked me to teach it to his family and I did.
I asked him how he ended up on Squaxin Island and he reveled that he had just been released from the Mayo Clinic, where he had received a liver transplant and stayed with one of the Eastern Water Tribes. I am unable to write, pronounce or give a location at the moment, I think it was the Shinnecock. While recovering there before his journey home he was asked if he wanted to go to the Canoe Journey of 2012 and he agreed. He had no Idea what was involved, how far it was, he just followed his guidance and came along. Needless to say eventually we concluded our meeting was predestined. It certainly helped me with my regret not to have been able to visit Hopi and Navajo Nations and he was grateful to learn about my part of the world. I had no idea I actually had any detailed knowledge of my native neighbors, but there it was I was able to explain quiet a bit of our home on the West Coast of America and was surprised to remember how many places I had been in my travels without realizing it.
At one point a man joined our conversation, he had recognized me from TV, as time went on it turned out that Leroy was his ACTUAL UNCLE. The man’s mother was taken as a child and raised by Mormons, as it was so often the case. She returned to Kykotsmovi for a short time, but was unable to fit into her previous life and left. She often told her son about that time in her life. It was such a moving experience for me to be part of this reunion. We cried, hugged and cried some more.
It was 103 degrees that day on the Island. We burned to a crisp and 3 weeks later I am still peeling the skin off my face and arms.
The day went by so fast. We shared a meal of bear and geoduck, a new experience for all of us and did not want to say good bye. We talked about how Leroy and his family were there for me and I, in turn, there for them. Five friends in midst of 13,000 people.
One last hug and as I waited for the Schoolbus to take me to my car, a friend from the Navajo Nation spotted me, she was married to a Muckleshoot and living there now.
From Friday to Monday morning I remained in Cyberspace and watched the rest of the celebration, the hugs, the affection and just celebrating human existence on the planet. Each person received a gift and I would like to believe my gift was the greatest. My visit
with Leroy Lewis and his Family,
Not EVER in my life have I seen and been to a place which was more orderly, more loving and welcoming than my visit to Squaxin Island. Politics are running rampant and crazy, we could all take a lesson from the Unity displayed by the tribes. The RESPECT shown to each person once it was announced : WELCOME TO OUR SHORES!
And this is where I come in. My name is Delphina Nova from the Algonquin Nation. I was in the area visiting and a friend of Lilian’s mentioned that I was traveling through and was looking forward to meeting new people. Lilian was quick to mention she would be happy to show me some sightseeing. My friend Angie dropped me off at a gas station and waited for Lillian to arrive.
Life has a way to rearrange your schedules and destiny. I wanted to be in Canyon de Chelly this past weekend in order to attend the First Gathering of Healers in Arizona, but my trip log wanted me in Olympia. The next few days were filled with oohs and ahs as Lilian and I exchanged stories. Lilian shared her dream of wanting to be in Canyon de Chelly. I had made a documentary that I filmed there in 2007. Lilian had spent time in Hopi – so had I. She knew the same Hopi family. The next day, sitting on her couch, I looked at a doll on a chair. I asked her the name of the doll maker. I knew the woman. We laughed.
We spoke of the Gathering of the Canoes in Olympia that had recently come in the area. I told her I was invited on one of the healing journeys and paddled some years before. The synchronicity weaving all our stories were endless. We soon realized both of us were very connected to the Healing Gathering in Canyon de Chelly and that the Universe had guided us to meet where we could be most helpful. We had to be in Olympia at the same time.
In the next few days, Lilian will interview me for her show. I look forward to sharing my stories to weave into the basket’.
I, Lilian, did not take any pictures of my visit to Squaxin Island and the Gathering, since it was a personal visit. I was later allowed to use in part or all of the videos of the 7-day festivities for my shows.
I was beside myself and mentioned it to a fellow producer at TCTV. I offered to share my footage, once finished, she declined, stating she did not like any of it, since “THEY” did not explain anything.
Let me leave you with a story:
A young boy was sitting by the river, he was crying. A hummingbird came and asked the boy why he was crying.
“Someone stole my mother, have you seen her?”
Hummingbird asked what the mother looked like.
“She is the most beautiful maiden in the world, with long black hair.”
“I have seen her, three villages over,” said hummingbird to the boy.
“When you see her, can you tell her I love her?”
“Sure.” Said Hummingbird.
FIRST CELL PHONE!
Love and Light