The Pow Wow has ended for another year.
All that remains are the memories.
Memories of little boys eating popcorn, beautiful girls in pink dresses, men with eagle feather staffs, women in jingle dresses and buckskin.
Every time I close my eyes, images rush in. Solemn-faced natives stare out from the Mind’s eye. All these hours later, the Pow Wow stays at the forefront of consciousness. The drum-beat continues in my heart. The Pow Wow goes on, even though I am now at home ready to do dishes, to finish cleaning the house for tomorrow’s company, trying to write this blog.
My friend Denise showed me how to ask folks to take their photos. If you read yesterday’s blog, you know how hard that was. But by the time these two little girls happened by, I was a pro. “Can I take their picture?” I asked their mom, and she smiled, nodded, seemingly pleased. The girls spread their smiles for the camera to capture.
Then there were little boys, with their shy grins. This one’s ribbon shirt showed that someone cared for him. Someone lovingly sewed the ribbons on his shirt, teaching him his culture through this tender gesture.
The vendors sold everything from traditional Native American jewelry to books to beads to turtle shells. I did not buy anything. Here is the part of the blog where I apologize to my daughter. Kiah, I am sorry. I could not find the beautiful native jewelry you wanted. If you were there, walking along the dirt road, peeking into the many vendor’s shops, you may have discovered something you loved. But I am not a jewelry-person, and to discover that extra-special necklace or earring or bracelet for you proved impossible. I am so sorry… the dream-catcher (was it a necklace?) from last year will have to do…
Today I came early and listened to a native guitar player singing in the arena before Grand Entry. Sipped coffee. Waited for my friend Susan to arrive. And arrive she did! We watched Grand Entry together before eating a bowl of corn soup. We talked and talked, catching up on at least a hundred subjects before it was time to go home.
The rain drizzled and poured and drizzled and stopped. All weekend. The rain continued to do its rain-thing and the people tried to stay dry beneath the tall pines which surrounded the campgrounds. Umbrellas came up, and umbrellas went down.
It’s beautiful in the campground in the early morning, before everyone is awake and around. There’s a few campfires burning, but the tents generally remain still. You can walk around the dirt road which encircles the campsite, around and around, feeling gratitude and love for this sacred gathering.
It’s a special event. Until next year, then…