Monday will be my nephew's birthday, our first without him. And it's hard.
Today, I will be at a Native American Honor Dance with my family, celebrating his much too short life.
His younger brother will hit the drum as he sits in the drum circle. He will sing and proclaim, "We dance for those that can't dance. We sing for those who no longer sing." Singing loud, dancing hard, doing this with the healing thought of being the feet and voice for her son, will be what provides my sister respite from her pain today. If only for the moments of the ceremony.
She'll dance, arms up and feet hitting the ground hard. She'll raise her head and lift her voice and sing for her boy. And in that sacred time, nothing else will exist for her, except the communion between a mother and her child. Private, holy.
Hold us in your thoughts today. Keep us close in your hearts.
Wish us peace.
In Powwow Trail, Dylan Jennings shares a weekend of singing with Midnite Express and dancing at the Oneida Powwow. This video is part of The Ways, an ongoing series of stories on culture and language from Native communities around the central Great Lakes.More at theways.org
Finn Ryan - Producer, Director, Video
David Nevala - Video, Editing, Photography
A Tribe Called Red - "Electric Pow Wow Drum"
Midnite Express - "Randy's Song"
A Production of Wisconsin Media Lab
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