Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America

December 30, 2000 - Issue 26



by Lazorleter

 artwork by Leland Bell

It's Christmas Day. The first of the new century. I woke up this morning and immediately dropped into the "poor pitiful me" mode. I was alone, and far away from my family. I was greeted with phone calls from loved ones, wishing me a wonderful day. I mumbled "you too" and shuffled off to the coffee pot, turning on the radio on my way by. Christmas carols cheerfully spieled out. I thought to myself, "great just what I needed, endless cheer." I turned on the computer and played several games, of which I lost, and took personally. I thought back on the many Christmas's I have enjoyed. How my reputation for being overly cheerful at Christmas and how it seemed to rub off on those around me. The cookies I baked, the beautiful packages I constructed, the snack table I prepared for when my grandchild would arrive. In short, I was a mess, feeling like I was "owed" something. I knew I was way out of line, and knew if I didn't do something I would be a wreck all day.

I jumped up, removed my slippers, and stuffed my feet into a pair of tennis shoes (the first thing I could find). I grabbed my tobacco and bolted out the door, beginning my prayers even before I stepped out into the deep snow. The wind blew up my nightgown, and my shoes filled with snow coating my feet with wet cold. I walked towards that huge Elm tree that has heard my prayers for over 2 yrs. My prayers came fast and hard. I prayed for the homeless, the elders, the sick children, my people, and for myself I prayed for harmony and gratitude. I thanked Creator for the health of my mother, and for another day. I laid my tobacco down and turned a complete circle before I headed back to my warm coffee and slippers.

As I sat down in front of my hot coffee, I was lost in thought. I was ashamed at the shallow way I began this day. This day, a gift from the Creator. I am well, a so very blessed. These blessing come daily to me, and the one day I should be reflecting of them, I lost sight of them completely. I was all wound up in the "things" of Christmas. Those silly things that are bought at K-Mart. Gifts that come wrapped in expensive colored paper, and the man made shine of tinsel. When the fact is, I receive gifts everyday from Creator. The beautiful shine of the sun, especially against the snow. The warmth of being loved. The joy of knowing all my loved ones are well and still with me. The comfort of memories of days gone by, and the promise of things to come.

As I fixed another cup of coffee, I found it necessary to chime in to "Grandma Got Runover by a Raindeer" and I felt good and once again whole. I turned up the radio, popped a piece of Christmas candy in my mouth and headed for the phone. (singing Jingle Bell Rock). I called my brother, sister, and children. Most importantly, I became aware of what this day is all about. Yes, my friends, I am truly a blessed woman.

Sometime today I hope to take a new blanket to an elder and lay some treats out for Creators little creatures, and maybe drop a blanket off to a homeless shelter. I will certainly take the time to thank my Creator for the wonderful gifts I have to be thankful for. To all of you, I send my wish for continued blessings. May you walk in harmony all year long. Peace Laz



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