Writins of Weakeyes Cody
Talented and witty writings
Looking at my Grandparent's picture hanging on the wall, I am reminded of the many changes unfolded by time since they were young. They are gone now as are their eight children and the world is indeed a different place.
Even while they lived, the whirlwind of life was sweeping them apart. My Father was born in a small Missouri town, raised in Missouri and Oklahoma, and his grave is on a California hillside. He stayed in touch with his brothers and sisters, but seldom saw most of them. Conversely, most of my Mother's people lived and died within the confines of three counties, with only one brother straying away to live and work in other states.
Today I have cousins that I've never met and probably never shall. Maybe they've heard my name spoken as I have heard theirs? Ideally, a family stays near its beginnings. But where in our America has this happened? Fact is, very few families remain in close proximity. Being Americans, we each have our own special dreams and we pursue them with enthusiasm.
Today, my Son has a Son and my Son will most likely never see cousins of mine nor their children. And his Son won't even know their names or geographical origin. But what is sad to me is the fact that few of them are concerned. The people we now call Native Americans, and whose blood courses through our veins, had a much better way of tying families together. They included the names and deeds of the ancestors in their songs, dances, and rituals. They would sit for hours, even days, during the summer encampments where tribes met, listening to, and reciting tales of their tribal kin. The young grew up learning these rituals. It was a part of their culture.
As much as I've tried to piece together stories of my people, I see only dim traces in the dust. Only bits and pieces of truths, half-truths, and distortions can I find. So, it's easy to predict that tomorrow my grandson won't be able to find even the dust. That's provided he has the inclination to search.
I suppose it really doesn't matter what my ancestors did or didn't do? But it was always fascinating to me to sit near the stove on quiet winter evenings listening to tales told by my Mother of her family. She spoke of the time when she, as a baby, was almost carried away by a wolf as she lay on a blanket beneath the wagon one night. She would have been carried away but for the watchful eye of the family dog, Ring, who sprang from near the cookfire and fought the wolf away. And of a fast pony named Red Ant, she rode as a girl in the Seminole Nation before statehood.
She was ten years old, quick of hand and eye, nimble and could ride like a Comanche. She never lost a horse race while astride Red Ant. None of her siblings ever denied she was a "Daddy's Girl". And most everyone in the nations knew or had heard of that girl.
Bird dogs aren't taught to point birds and race horses aren't taught to run. They're born knowing how and why. It's simply in their blood. And certain other things are in our blood. We're born that way.
I have stood in places that beckoned thoughts from within my mind, making pictures of events and people who once lived here long ago. And whether it's imagination or senseless association, I know I'm a piece of it all and I'd like to know a little more about where I fit in.
But then, if I never find out, Native American culture teaches us that everything has a spirit, and everything is related. Isn't it fascinating to look in to the face of a stranger and see a measure of your own reflection?
~ Weakeyes Cody