I’ve been a storyteller for as long as I can remember. I listened to the stories of the non-Indian side of my family; it was my mother and grandparents who spun the tales and I was their captive audience! Good or bad, those stories taught me many things. I guess you could say, there were gems of wisdom in all of them and, like always, I chose to focus on the positive and leave the rest.
In recent years, it has been my beloved 89-year-old maternal aunt Lucy who has been sharing stories of my family: their hardships, joys, hopes, dreams and yes, even demons. She has been a wellspring of familial knowledge and inspiration to me and has helped me greatly in being able to connect the dots of my beginnings.
It wasn’t until I was in my teenage years that I was I told that my father was Oneida and once I was old enough, I could search for him if I so chose to do so. You see, I wasn’t raised on the reservation nor by my Oneida father. (Now that’s a story for another time)
However, as time went by and I grew into a young woman, I knew there was a missing link to my past. It felt as though I was denied (or did I deny it myself?) the other half of who I was or who I could become. How could I continue through this Earth School without embracing my past and my cultural roots?
Fast forward 20 years to when I finally met my father, family, and tribe. I began to learn about where I came from and which path I should take. I learned that I had a rich background filled with ancient teachings, history, and traditions that would serve me well as I journeyed through the rest of my life.
I also came to realize that my bones and blood remember my ancestors as they are all very much a part of me.
Finally, I can joyfully say at that at age 60 I have found my place in the Sacred Circle. I am a Storyteller. A weaver of words telling stories of love, abandonment, joy, loss, hope, redemption, and the hardest one for me, forgiveness – or should I call it letting go?
I can hear the many voices of my ancestors standing behind me cheering me on, gently urging me to tell our stories and to sing and dance out the pain…and most importantly, the joy!
I can feel their blanket of love wrapped around my shoulders as I walk up onto that stage.
Hmmm, this place sure seems familiar. Kind of feels like home. MY HOME.
Would you like to hear a story?