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the seed of my identity


There is a true story about a tribe of
Indians who got themselves lost
on purpose.

People of the North,
they usually were,
but they referred to and also
thought of themselves
as "summer people."
For they thrived best during that
wamer season of the year.

One day,
tiring of winter's hardship,
they made the decision to travel
further south, into unfamiliar lands.

Along the way, they witnessed
many unfamiliar sights,
and experienced unusually warm
temperatures.

Surely, they began to think,
we are now literally in
the land of the sun.

There was a Peyote Seer among them.
Revered by the tribe for his insight.
His duty was to pay special attention
to strangeness, for he had be entrusted
a sacred duty to protect
his entire tribe.

So, while the tribal members slept
soundly and unaware,
he remained vigilant, wide-awake,
and seeing.

In the morning, when they awoke,
he spoke to them saying:
"Last night as you slept, we were surrounded by
tiny men with long tails and pointed spears."
" Surely, these beings strange beings mean us harm."

The tribal members scoffed at him and the visions at first.
But, soon, they too began to see
the tiny men with long tails and pointed spears,
they began to understand
the danger they were in.

They had entered too far into the hot
land of the sun and forgotten,
as a people, what it was like to
be themselves and to taste buffalo meat.

So, heeding the Peyote Seer's wisdom,
they packed up and left
to return to the North.

I laughed aloud when I first read
the recounting of this true story of the Kiowas
by M. Scott Momaday.
For surely, in my mind, he was referring
to tiny demons.

But then, this story,
began to strike a chord with me
as well.

And, I, too, looked around me, realizing,
that I, too, had journeyed too far from home.

I began seeing those around me as
"people pretending to be my people"...
when they wore the tails of rats and
walked on all fours like rats did.

Had it been a mistake to leave
a place I'd formerly thought of as stale
and overly familiar?

Thinking again, I examined my heart.
Had I forgotten who I was?

Was the seed of my identity
mostly planted in a familiar place
where I, so long ago, once lived?

And who could I hope to be
now?


Copyright February 3, 2014
All Rights Reserved By this Author
Meloo/Melissa A Howells
Site: Tilt-a-World







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