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The opportunities were there.
Passing glances at flaws,
each and any one a chance to choose unhappiness.
I skipped across them, like stepping stones
in a clear rushing stream.
They helped to keep me moving, active, careful, aware.
I determined only to live my prayer to the Universe
Open and send Love.
Allow others to make their own choices.
Part of the flow, it was all so easy.
Effort that energized and rewarded.
By morning, there was friendship, even trust.
Synchronicity. Someone even said it.
Two too little girls stepping out of dances
Two big girls stepping in.
An almost awkward but perfect
confluence of timing, spacing and placement.
Movement, flow, of its own accord
And the dresses
Not less than nine ancient dresses delivered up
to sooth the heart and mend the spirit.
Intricate, delicate, enduring
I accept their presence as my gift.
I carry their song as a lullaby
The music of the deep rush of the river,
the strong but gentle wind moving through the tree tops.
Music for the dance of life.
Mary J. Risling (Hupa, Karuk, Yurok) is the Executive Director of the Me'Dil Institute and a traditional regalia maker.
The Northwest Coast Regalia Stories Project explores the life stories of cultural regalia pieces for Northwest California Native peoples. Read More...
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